Putting Health Reform Fiscal Issues in Perspective

John Breaux and Bill Frist have an op-ed in Politico whose exoteric message is that congress should use the 2003 Medicare bill as a model for bipartisan health reform. The esoteric message is a reminder that the easiest way to get a bipartisan deal passed is to just have bipartisan agreement not to pay for it at all. That was the secret to the 2003 bill. First you take something a bloc of voters want—in this case prescription drugs—then you figure out a way to provide it in a manner that’s very good for the interests of stakeholders in the business community. Easy as pie.