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Questions Answered

By Matthew Yglesias  

"Questions Answered"

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Michael Cannon from the Cato Institute has been doing a series of posts where he sort of nags ObamaCare fans about nitpicky process issues, since I guess at this point everyone’s tired of debating substance. But there’s just not that much you can say about process, and I think it’s hugely disingenuous of people who simply oppose the bill on the merits to pretend that they care about this BS:

What does it say that pharmaceutical-industry lobbyists are meeting with House Democrats to write this legislation behind closed doors?

Pharma thinks that if more people have health insurance, more people will be able to buy medicine.

Or that the pharmaceutical industry is preparing to spend millions of dollars on advertisements in support of the legislation?

Pharma thinks that if more people have health insurance, more people will be able to buy medicine.

Does it trouble you that a former federal judge writes, “Under Article I, Section 7, passage of one bill cannot be deemed to be enactment of another“?

No. This would be important if it were correct, but if it were correct the House Democrats wouldn’t be pursuing the “deeming” strategy.

Does it trouble you that Speaker Pelosi says of the proposed “deeming” strategy, “I like it because people don’t have to vote on the Senate bill“?

No.

What does it say that left-of-center The Washington Post editorializes that the Democrats’ endgame seems “dodgy” and “threatens to turn into something unseemly and, more important, contrary to Democrats’ promises of transparency and time for deliberation”?

It says that the Washington Post editorial page isn’t left-of-center but is unhealthily obsessed with process BS.

What does it say about the feasibility of the Obama health plan that Speaker Pelosi is drawn to the “deeming” strategy, which she once opposed in a court of law?

Pelosi tried to get deeming declared illegal when she was in the minority, but she failed so now she uses it.

Most of all, what these process stories show is that it’s a shame that 41 Senators stand prepared to filibuster any healthcare legislation, which is forcing a lot of weird process stuff and creating a lot of weird process stories.

Update

In the original, I at one point typed “substance” when I meant “process.”

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