There’s definitely something nice about being out of power. I feel like all day every day for the past week, I’ve been watching conservatives on television ranting and raving about how Democratic efforts to control health care costs and reform the system will lead to rationing and your grandma being turned into soylent green. In part precisely in order to avoid those accusations, the bills on the table probably don’t actually do enough to really throttle health cost inflation. So now for their trouble David Brooks treats Democratic legislators to a vicious lashing for not doing enough to control costs, during which time he somehow manages not to mention the scorched earth anti-rationing campaign being waged by the opposition party.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) says President Barack Obama wants to ration health care for Americans and involve the government in decisions on what treatments individual citizens can receive.
During an appearance Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” McConnell said Obama supports “a national rationing board, to determine what kind of treatments would be available for American citizens. Typically, those in single payer countries like Canada and Britain involve delays in treatment, denial of care, those kind of things.”
Now McConnell is just lying here. Straight-out lying. And by doing so he’s making it extremely difficult for the Senate to take anything other than fairly modest steps toward cost control. It’s fine—welcome, even—for conservative pundits to criticize current legislation for not going far enough in this regard. But if you want to make that argument you owe it to the world to get real about the context here and spare a lash or two for the folks who’ve been pushing legislation in this direction. But the right is, as Jon Chait points out, very conveniently having it both ways on the health spending issue, simultaneously whining about expense of giving health insurance to the currently uninsured while positioning themselves as the defenders of unlimited services.