Robert J. Samuelson has a hard-hitting column in today’s Washington Post on the non-reform elements of the health care reform package. He points out the inherent contradictions in the Administration’s claims that health care can both be expanded to cover the uninsured and reduce costs. As the Congressional Budget Office noted in its devastating assessment, the proposals don’t represent fundamental changes and won’t reduce future health spending.
Samuelson says that in the president’s advocacy for the Democrats’ health care proposal, Obama has demonstrated “the ability to make misleading statements sound reasonable or sophisticated. Still, they’re misleading.”
Samuelson is no supporter of the current health care system, but he excoriates the president’s claims as “self-serving exaggerations and political fantasies.” As he concludes:
Unchecked health spending is depressing take-home pay, squeezing other government programs — state and local programs as well as federal — and driving up taxes and budget deficits. The president has said all of this; he simply isn’t doing much about it. He offers the illusion of “reform” while perpetuating the status quo of four decades: expand benefits, talk about controlling costs. The press should put “reform” in quote marks, because this is one “reform” that might leave the country worse off.