Assigned Reading: Judd Gregg: ‘Elections Have Consequences’
(FROM: The Wall Street Journal)
Every weekend, the Journal runs an interview with someone or another. This time, it was Gregg, who may be the only Obama selection to not fill a cabinet position because of something other than tax indiscretions. Gregg admittedly came to his senses a little late, saying that there was no way he could be with the president 100 percent of the time as Commerce Secretary, but the important thing is that he came to his senses.
If President Obama turned out to be like former President Bush and adopted nicknames for everyone–Dubya’s nicknames for adviser Karl Rove were “Boy Genius” and “Turd Blossom,” I kid you not–part of me wonders if Gregg’s nickname would have been “Token,” as he would have been the token Republican chosen to satisfy Obama’s otherwise empty claims of bipartisanship.
Regardless, among other things, “Token” had this to say about Obama’s plans for universal healthcare:
And while the aspiration for universal coverage may be noble, the practical realities of getting there may prove harder for the American public to swallow. “There’s no question,” the senator says, “that this is a debate about rationing to a large degree. All your single-payer systems are rationing systems. It’s also a debate about technology and innovation. Because you will not have capital pursuing technology, innovation and science if it’s health-care related, because the return on capital won’t be there. And these things are so expensive, especially on the pharmaceutical side and the biologic side, that you’ll dramatically slow improvements in the quality of health care through science with a single-payer plan.” Mr. Gregg thinks that critique will resonate with the public.
Even so, given the balance of power in Washington, Mr. Gregg gives the Democrats good chances of success in nationalizing our health-insurance market. “I think the odds are pretty good that it’s going to happen — that you’ll have a major health-care reform bill pass.” As he says, “Elections have consequences.”
This bill, by the way, the largest ever entitlements program, will likely be rammed through by the Democrats thanks to a procedural effort called “reconciliation,” as far as I know a mechanism designed to streamline intricate tax- and budget-related stuff which, like everything else, has been abused by those in power in D.C.
That means that this program, which will affect each and every American for generations, could be pushed through behind closed doors and without Republican input or debate because the Democrats are afraid that the outcry from such a public debate would endanger their chances of reaching the crucial 60-vote threshold.
So much for transparency. So much for bipartisanship.