On Health Care, It's Republican Stupidity vs. Democratic Deception


In today's Politico, Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and possible fucking hipster Rosa DeLauro go after Republicans like Jon Kyl who are now championing and taking credit for the new health care law's preventive care provisions, despite having knocked some of those those same provisions, as well as having voted against the law's passage entirely. That's not just dirty politics, they say, it's also fiscally shortsighted. "Preventive care is fiscally responsible," they write, and it "goes a long way toward reducing surging health care costs for American families." Overall, they're half right.

As is so often the case in America's health care squabbles, the Republican side is clueless and classless—while the Democratic side is deeply misleading.

When Wasserman Schultz and DeLauro argue that preventive care is fiscally responsible, they're ignoring the fact that the best evidence we have indicates that, despite many politcians' frequent claims to the contrary, preventive care programs aren't likely to lower costs in most cases. In fact, according to the CBO, such programs are likely to raise costs overall.  

But as the GOP's ongoing bout of Medicare-mania has made exceedingly clear, when it comes to health care, much of the party has decided that shameless pandering is the way to go. (Granted, this seems to be working, at least in the short term: Seniors, who already benefit from Medicare, are the group most deeply opposed to the new health care bill.) Kyl touting the health care bill's preventive care provisions at this point is a lame, calculated political move from a party still struggling to figure what, exactly, it stands for on health care besides repealing the other party's law—or if it wants to stand for anything at all.

More on preventive care from David Harsanyi and Nick Gillespie.