Wednesday, January 20, 2010

More On The Brown Victory

Two good election related articles - one by Stephen Spruiell, the other by Andrew McCarthy - are posted on the NRO website.

Spruiell argues that Scott Brown's victory is a blessing in disguise for Obama if…if! he now dissociates himself from the current health care reform bills in Congress. Spruiell provides a succinct explanation of why the bills are bad policy and expresses sadness that Republicans may not get to run on a platform promising repeal.

…the Pelosi-Reid health-care reform is objectively bad law. Mandates forcing individuals to buy coverage are hugely unpopular, even with the subsidies the bill would provide. Mandates forcing businesses to buy coverage for their employees would hit small and mid-size businesses hardest. There is no good time to saddle these businesses with additional costs and regulations, but right now is probably the worst time. More important, America’s reliance on employer-provided health insurance is one of the biggest problems with its health-care system. The third-party-payer problem drives the runaway cost of care. Meanwhile, Americans are often stuck with the jobs they have, fearful to strike out on their own and lose their health insurance.

The Pelosi-Reid legislation would not free us from this system; it would entrench it. It would exacerbate health-care-cost inflation by subsidizing insurance and expanding Medicaid. It would cut Medicare, not in a smart way that relies on competition to bring down costs, but by eliminating the private sector and relying on government’s power to dictate payment rates to doctors and hospitals. According to the bill’s own defenders, its other attempts at cost control amount to little more than a handful of pilot programs. And as if health-care-cost inflation weren’t bad enough, the Senate version of the bill includes an excise tax on health-insurance premiums that would, over time, hit an increasing number of middle-class premium payers — unless, of course, they belonged to a union, in which case the Democrats are hard at work carving out an exemption just for them.

McCarthy says that Scott Brown's most potent issue in his campaign wasn't health care but the government's treatment of enemy combatants. McCarthy praises the Bush administration's strong anti terror policies and registers his frustration that it shied away from defending them. The former prosecutor again presents his convincing argument that the Constitution gives the president not only the right but the duty to utilize his war making powers. And he dismisses as a pose the hand wringing over privacy concerns.

If you fret about privacy, it’s Obamacare that ought to give you sleepless nights. The lefties who’ve told us for nearly 40 years since Roe v. Wade that the government can’t come between you and your doctor are now saying you shouldn’t be able to get to a doctor except through the government, which will decide if you’re worth treating — that is an invasion of privacy. Penetrating enemy communications, on the other hand, is what Americans think of as self-defense. It’s what we’ve done in every war in our history.

McCarthy credits Brown for standing up forcefully for this principle.

Scott Brown went out and made the case for enhanced interrogation, for denying terrorists the rights of criminal defendants, for detaining them without trial, and for trying them by military commission. It worked. It will work for other candidates willing to get out of their Beltway bubbles.



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