Friday, September 21, 2007

Hillary, Mitt, Health care

Thursday, September 20, 2007
Hillary, Mitt, and health care
I was disappointed twice this week in regards to the health care plan that was announced by the Hillary Clinton campaign.

The first disappointment was how Senator Clinton's plan, though well thought out, was studiously conservative and cautious, and shied away from tackling some of the most glaring problems of the current system, like reducing the incentives for waste, fraud and excessive profits. Indeed, most commentators who have studied it say it it modeled after Mitt Romney's plan in Massachusetts, which in turn was modeled after the plan Republican Senator John Chafee proposed as an alternative to Hillary's plan in 1994. In other words, it appears Senator Clinton has proposed a Republican plan for health care reform. It's hard to blame her for this approach; as we have seen this week, the Republicans were just waiting to pounce on whatever she proposed as "Hillary Care II" or the usual ideological war cry, "socialized medicine". Her plan seems more designed to avoid criticism than to really tackle the glaring problems of our current system. Still, given the political realities of how politicians from both parties are owned by the drug and insurance companies, it may be the best we can do.

The second disappointment was the latest chapter in how my fellow Mormon, Mitt Romney, reinforced his well-earned reputation as being willing to say anything to pander to the Right. Despite the fact that Clinton's health care plan is basically modeled after the Massachusetts's system, he was first out of the gate with the typical Republican Noise Machine name calling. Joe Klein of had the following comment:

"Mitt Romney is already blasting Hillary Clinton's new health care plan--which resembles nothing so much, in its broad outlines, as the individual-mandate plan that Romney himself passed in Massachusetts. The intellectual dishonesty is just staggering; how sad to see a smart, pragmatic and essentially moderate politician continue to embarrass himself in this way." How different this guy is from his father, who basically lost the nomination for President in 1968 because of his courageous opposition to the Vietnam War.

One question I continue to ask my LDS Republican friends. Which guy most resembles Brigham Young: Mitt Romney, who has gained a reputation for changing his political values more often than his underwear, or Harry Reid, who tells you what he thinks and if you don't like it, you can go live with the devil in hell? I know who gets my vote.

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