Matt Yglesias and Ezra Klein have a request

by on June 16, 2009 at 7:18 am in Medicine | Permalink

They ask that I direct more messages to Republican Congressmen (here and here); Kevin Drum discusses related issues.  They have a point and I'll state it more clearly: Republicans should support and indeed applaud Obama's attempt to cut some Medicare costs.  Republican Congressmen also should stand ready to make a "grand bargain" on health care, again provided that it puts Medicare on a sustainable cost basis.

If I don't write more "for Republican politicians," it is for two reasons.  First, I view their incentive as to make Obama fail, not to find an acceptable compromise that will move the nation forward.  Second, I view the future of Medicare as the President vs. Congress, not one party vs. another.  Democratic Congressmen will, ultimately, require persuasion as much as the Republicans or maybe more so.  I still think the real danger is not recalcitrant Republicans but rather that we will get a health care plan without plausible mechanisms for fiscal responsibility.  

1 Billare June 16, 2009 at 7:51 am

I hate their obsequious attitudes. Fundamentally, they as progressives believe that the reason that Republican Senators don’t enact their policies is because they are obtuse and/or ignorant, because anyone who really listened would be totally enamored with the new Medicare plan. It’s just another false consciousness argument, and it sucks.

2 MikeDC June 16, 2009 at 8:13 am

LOL, so I assume you’re busy typing up letters this morning, Tyler?

3 josh June 16, 2009 at 8:36 am

What is your fascination with these twits?

4 Tom June 16, 2009 at 9:15 am

“What is your fascination with these twits?

Posted by: josh at Jun 16, 2009 8:36:59 AM”


5 Milena Thomas June 16, 2009 at 9:20 am

“…we will get a health care plan without plausible mechanisms for fiscal responsibility.”

Don’t we already have one?

6 Andrew June 16, 2009 at 9:39 am

“The ginormous organization that has demonstrated an inability to control costs (and if it didn’t we wouldn’t be having this discussion, because all we really care about is COG, continuation of government) is going to control costs, and in a fair and rational way that doesn’t screw politically disadvantaged individuals. You told us about regulatory capture, so we won’t do that. Trust us! Now what is your freaking problem, Republicans? Its for the good of the country(=government), it’s not like WE are doing this for political reasons.”

The liberal promise of cost controls involves their wet dream of a cost czar akin to the scene at the beginning of the Bourne supremacy where Pam Landy gets a call from CIA headquarters.

CIA director/Med cost czar: “That’s a lot of money Pam.”

Pam/Doctor: “It’s where we came out. All it does is narrow the list of suspects. A bargain at twice the price.”

CIA director/Med cost czar: “What’s the story?”

Pam/Doctor: “A mole. A biopsy, it could be cancer. The patient is on site and we are ready to go. There is nothing more to discuss.”

CIA director/Med cost czar: “Okay, it’s your call”

See, after reading this, the liberals just (, the conservatives chuckled, and the doctors got the willies. Insurance companies doing this is eeeveeeel, but government will be competent, with a soft touch, see. When we say everyone will spend the same, is it REALLY going to reduce costs to the lowest, or just raise them to the highest?

The liberal cost cutting idea rests on competent and knowing government experts. Conservatives don’t believe in those type of angels. The libs, also think Tyler is an expert to conservatives in the same they view economic experts. The experts we believe in are doctors and customers, and we’ve given them the wrong incentive structure, so fix it. Are they talking about fixing the structure, or just adding another bureaucracy. They are claiming, we’ll add the bureaucracy and then the structure will evolve to improve. Conservative skepticism ensues.

7 Laserlight June 16, 2009 at 10:39 am

If the GOP incentive is to make the Dems fail, then isn’t the Dem incentive to make the GOP fail? There are a few pols whose goal seems to be “for the good of the country”–Flake, Coburn, and….um…–but mostly it seems to be “for the good of me.”

8 Doc Merlin June 16, 2009 at 12:30 pm

Sigh, compromise in this case is another word for losing. Sorry, dude, I don’t want to go down that road.

9 Gordon Mohr June 16, 2009 at 4:05 pm

Love the Klein kiss-up: “Cowen, of course, is one of the nation’s most respected conservative economists. He has agency here.”

Ooh, “agency”. Almost as exciting as fiat power. But if Congress actually expressed the agency of Tyler and other “respected” economists, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years, either.

Tyler, if you could make one request to Congress and know that it would be granted, what would it be?

10 Phil June 17, 2009 at 12:59 am

I view their incentive as to make Obama fail, not to find an acceptable compromise that will move the nation forward.

But how will they have a chance to pursue that end, being a minority party without so much as a filibuster to stop the crazy train out of Chicago?

If Obama “succeeds”, America fails. (Unless you want paternalistic, cult of personality fascism)

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: