Yesterday two political science professors — one from Yale and one from Georgetown — had a column published in the Washington Post titled “After Massachusetts, why the Democrats should still pass health-care reform.” Here is the argument they make (apparently) with a straight face:
The bills in Congress hardly enjoy runaway popularity. But the problem isn’t that health-care reform itself is unpopular. It is that people are turned off by the current debate about it. And those repelled by what is happening in Washington include a lot of liberals as well as conservatives. In a recent nationwide CNN poll, for example, 10 percent of respondents opposed reform from the left because they felt it was not liberal enough. Another 40 percent supported reform outright, bringing the total supporting the current bills or something more liberal to 50 percent — compared with 45 percent who oppose the bills because they think they are too liberal.
Brilliant! So why don’t we try health care reform that’s more “conservative,” i.e., that promotes more liberty and less regulation? Maybe some tort reform, fewer purchasing mandates, Health Savings Account (HSA) expansions, allowing consumers to purchase insurance across state lines, etc. — ideas touted by many (and captured on video by Ari) who attended yesterday’s “Freedom of Health Care” rally. Because clearly 85 percent of Americans (40 percent who support the current reform plus 45 percent who oppose it for reasons other than it’s “not liberal enough”) would support that, right?
There’s no reason to believe that if the bill was made even more “liberal” (e.g., a straightforward single-payer government medical system), that any of the current 40 percent supporting the bill might change their minds, right?
I’d love to know how to become a tenured professor at one of our nation’s “elite” universities.