Debating Health Care

I have to say, I think Brad DeLong’s being kind of unfair to Karen Tumulty. The people who cover political campaigns for a living haven’t done a ton to earn the benefit of the doubt, but the fact remains that the SEIU/CAP health care event was boring. Nothing happened, no news was broken, and we learned basically nothing about the candidates. I would be interested in hearing about Barack Obama’s health care plan except he . . . doesn’t have one. I see no particular reason to hear about the fact that he doesn’t have one. Everyone thinks he’ll produce one soon enough, and it would be good to hear about it when it happens.

Dennis Kucinich’s health care proposal actually deserves some serious coverage, but placing in the context of a presidential campaign in which he’s not a serious factor just ensures that this won’t happen. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton and Bill Richardson who are somewhere between Edwards and Obama on the spectrum of releasing detailed plans managed to clarify nothing. Edwards’ plan remains Edwards’ plan and listening to him speak about it in this format is less enlightening than just reading about it in detail. All in all it was dull. Less because it was, in The Politico’s headline to a pretty good summary, “More Than You Wanted to Know About Health Care” than that it was considerably less than someone genuinely curious about this would want to know, while also being much more than those who don’t really care about the issue will want to know.