In yet another display of the intellectual bankruptcy, and growing irrelevance, of the Washington GOP establishment, three top Senate Finance Committee republicans are working with committee democrats to "save" health care reform. According to the CATO's Michael Tanner (SENATE DEAL: CHANGE A FEW NAMES):
THE "compromise" health-care reform being negotiated by six members of the Senate Finance Committee is shaping up as a classic warning of the dangers of bipartisanship without principles: It looks like they'll keep the worst features of other ObamaCare bills -- but simply change the names.
Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Sens. Kent Conrad (D-ND), Jeff Bingham (D-NM) Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), Olympia Snowe (R-Me.) and Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) are reportedly putting the final touches on a bill that may save President Obama's chances for passing health-care reform this year.
The proposed bill is forthright on still containing many of the worst aspects of ObamaCare. It would mandate that all Americans buy insurance -- and not just any insurance, but a specific government-designed set of benefits, even if that package was more expensive or contained benefits that you didn't want.
It would set the stage for government interference in how doctors practice medicine. It would extend subsidies for health care well into the middle-class, making millions more Americans dependent on government. And it would pay for all this with huge tax increases on American workers and businesses.
In exchange for this pu-pu platter of bad ideas, it offers two supposed compromises.
First, instead of a government-run "public option," it would set up a nationwide health-insurance co-op.
But these aren't true co-ops. The members wouldn't choose its officers -- the president would. Plus, the secretary of Health and Human Services would have to approve its business plan, and thus could force it to offer whatever benefits, premiums and reimbursement schedules Washington wants. Finally, the federal government would provide start up, and possibly ongoing, subsidies.
A "co-op" run by the federal government, under rules imposed by the federal government and with federal funding is simply government-run health insurance by another name.
Or, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid put it, "We're going to have some type of public option, call it 'co-op,' call it what you want."
If this is what bipartisanship looks like, give me some old fashioned partisanship any day.
The key words in the above are, "the dangers of bipartisanship without principles". To be more precise, the republicans do embrace principles...those of the Left. They simply are content to quibble over the details of how to achieve their supposed opponents' socialist goals.