Today's WSJ editorial: "The Worst Bill Ever"
All of this is intentional, even if it isn't explicitly acknowledged. The overriding liberal ambition is to finish the work began decades ago as the Great Society of converting health care into a government responsibility. Mr. Obama's own Medicare actuaries estimate that the federal share of U.S. health dollars will quickly climb beyond 60% from 46% today. One reason Mrs. Pelosi has fought so ferociously against her own Blue Dog colleagues to include at least a scaled-back "public option" entitlement program is so that the architecture is in place for future Congresses to expand this share even further.
As Congress's balance sheet drowns in trillions of dollars in new obligations, the political system will have no choice but to start making cost-minded decisions about which treatments patients are allowed to receive. Democrats can't regulate their way out of the reality that we live in a world of finite resources and infinite wants. Once health care is nationalized, or mostly nationalized, medical rationing is inevitable—especially for the innovative high-cost technologies and drugs that are the future of medicine.
Joust The Facts, Oct. 31, "Feigned Disappointment, Thinly Disguised"
The public option doesn't represent "consumer choice" or "competition." It represents yet another government intrusion in the private market designed to distort and eventually eliminate the private market. It's 1990 pages of smoke and mirrors, strobe lights, and special effects. The progressives are feigning disappointment at something that they know isn't the least that could be passed, but the most, and something that they know can later be transformed into what they're after. Single payer.
Joust The Facts, Oct. 29: "Creating Scarcity In Medicine The Easy Way"
So keep arguing about Medicaid rates, maybe moving them closer to Medicare (gasp!), and shifting costs onto the states by expanding Medicaid (the states love this), or "public options" dictating Medicare rates, or maybe (gasp!) Medicare +5. In twenty years there'll be a tremendous wait for physician appointments, particularly for specialists, waits for elective surgery like hip replacement, and waits for testing like MRI. The engineering world may develop some marvelous breakthroughs but nobody will be able to afford them.
Is this the "worst bill ever?" I don't know. Read the editorial and see what you think. There's a lot of competition for the top spot. Let's just say it'll be the worst bill ever, until the next one.