And I don’t think that most Democrats, surveying the 2010 political landscape, will agree with Jonathan Chait’s assertion in The New Republic, “The health care bill is the greatest social achievement of our time.” Or if they do agree with Chait, it will be with the grim ruefulness of old King Pyrrhus (pictured above). You know, as in, Pyrrhic victory--the kind of victory you’d rather not have.
From an electoral point of view, this bill will divide and demoralize the left; Keith Olbermann and Arianna Huffington, to name just two big-gun lefties, now seem liberated to trash this Democratic president. Every day. And in the meantime, the bill will raise taxes on many individuals and institutions in the middle, all to pay for benefits that will kick in years down the road.
And the secular decay of the healthcare system will continue. Not only will innovation be stifled, but the centrifugal forces in American life--including, but not limited to, political polarizing, conspiracy theorizing, trial lawyering, and computerized cherrypicking--will further spin the healthcare system into a million little pieces.
Obama, Pelosi, Reid & Co. can’t be blamed for that larger out-of-control trend, but, with this bill, they now take full and complete ownership of the issue.