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The Health Care Bill is Moderate—And That’s What’s Scary

Posted on March 2 2010 12:48 pm
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Those that know me know that I don’t know enough about economics or domestic issues to have a firm opinion. I usually stick to my field, which is foreign affairs and national security. As tempting as it has been to weigh in on the health care bill, I’ve refused because I don’t want to be the typical pundit who talks without knowing all the ins and outs of an issue. However, I noticed something that I do wish to comment on.

I’ve been wondering how supporters of the health care bill react to the question of higher premiums. If the insurance companies are expected to take a hit from not denying coverage of pre-existing conditions and other regulations, and want to rile up the public against the legislation, they’ll drastically increase premiums.

So far, I’ve been unable to get an answer as to why this isn’t the case beyond liberals saying, “Well, that’s why we needed a public option” or “that’s because the bill doesn’t go far enough.” According to one poll, 40% of Democrats believe the bill doesn’t go far enough. It reminds me of when Jon Stewart described Nancy Pelosi of being “too busy watering down bills and not passing them.”

When faced with what they really wanted to do—and want to do in the future—the bill is comparatively moderate. And that’s what’s really scary about this whole debate.

If premiums go sky high, the Democrats will use it to gain support for a public option or other legislation regulating health care prices. The public’s anger will be directed at the bill, but also directly at the insurance companies. When that happens, will the Democrats be able to focus the rage at the insurance companies, paving way for further government involvement?

If there is a major negative outcome from the bill, don’t expect it to be repealed or heavily modified and then the debate to be over. That’s just the start of round two.

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