Why Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world… but for Wales?
Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons by Robert Bolt
The New York Times editors urge Congressional Democrats to pass their version of healthcare reform even if it means without any Republican support:
Clearly the reconciliation approach is a risky and less desirable way to enact comprehensive health care reforms. The only worse approach would be to retreat to modest gestures in an effort to win Republican acquiescence. It is barely possible that the Senate Finance Committee might pull off a miracle and devise a comprehensive solution that could win broad support, or get one or more Republicans to vote to break a filibuster. If not, the Democrats need to push for as much reform as possible through majority vote.
It’s difficult for me to understand their reasoning. The bills before the Congress do little about the most pressing issues in healthcare reform which include cost and availability. No, universal coverage is not the same as universal availability. The bills don’t add a single physician, hospital, or nurse. For greater ability we’ve got to have an increasing supply of healthcare and increased coverage without increased supply will mean decreased availability, if anything.
As has been said before no progressive Democratic Congressman will lose his or her seat for voting against the half-baked reforms that the current bills comprise. And it’s pretty likely that some Blue Dog Democrats will lose their seats to Republican competitors if they vote for these bills.
But worst of all even the flawed reform that they’ll have opportunity to vote on probably isn’t the reform that they want. If Democrats are going to risk some of their members’ careers and their party’s Congressional majority for healthcare reform, shouldn’t it be for the reforms they really want?
Rather than voting for the prolix, absurd bills the Times wants them to fall on their swords for, wouldn’t it be a lot smarter to go for single payer?