Lost Arguments

Paul Krugman:

Health care reform hangs in the balance. Its fate rests with a handful of "centrist" senators — senators who claim to be mainly worried about whether the proposed legislation is fiscally responsible.

But if they’re really concerned with fiscal responsibility, they shouldn’t be worried about what would happen if health reform passes. They should, instead, be worried about what would happen if it doesn’t pass. For America can’t get control of its budget without controlling health care costs — and this is our last, best chance to deal with these costs in a rational way.

Of course it's not about fiscal responsibility. It's all about contributors and lobbyists.

But let's take the fiscal responsibility argument on its face. Who is confronting the Lieberdogs with the savings in the bill? If we argue on this basis, there is no counterpoint. The conservadem argument is all about fiscal responsibility, yet their efforts are putting fiscally responsible healthcare legislation in jeopardy.

Fact: the healthcare reform bill, along with the public option, reduces the deficit and saves money. Meanwhile, the conservadems are using a Bush-style opposite-day argument and, to date, I haven't seen them seriously confronted about this.

If only the corporate press were as diligent about this as they are about Tiger Woods' underpants.