Dave Leonhardt with a nice piece placing opposition to health reform in historical context. One take home from this long history is that you might as well try something radical because any new health or social policy will be called radical even if it is not. The Republican alternative to the Clinton Plan became the end of the Republic 15 years later. It will be fascinating to see what the House Republicans do on health reform in the new Congress beyond passing a repeal bill that has no consequence. Will that be it, or will they move to pass an alternative vision?
One thing I learned from my experience coaching my 10 year old's little league football team this past Fall is how much harder offense is than defense. On defense, one player can make a great play and the entire team looks great. On offense, 10 players can make a great play and one player messes up, the play fails and the team looks terrible. In the House of Representatives, the Republicans are getting ready to shift from defense to offense. Do they even have a health reform offense?
I don't believe that they do have an offense on health reform. That does not mean they don't have ideas, but they are mostly expert in using them to argue against things. I would love to see Paul Ryan's budget committee mark a bill along the lines of his roadmap proposal. I suspect he cannot pass it through his own committee, much less the entire House, but who knows? The default of our health care system with no changes is future fiscal disaster for our country, so we have got to do something. Offense is a whole lot harder than defense...I think the House Republicans owe it to the country to lay out their vision for health reform, and to go on offense.