Monday, October 5, 2009

Krugman: Repulicans Dislike Anything Obama Proposes, Even if it's Good for the Country

In his column yesterday Paul Krugman pointed out that the Republicans cheering about Chicago not getting the Olympics didn't do the country any harm, but did serve as a prime example of the current state of the political discourse. You see, Krugman argues that the Republicans have become so bitterly partisan that they will dislike any policy that the President proposes even if it would be good for the country -- and that includes health care reform. In fact, the Republicans have become so obsessed with opposing anything Obama proposes that it even goes against what it has claimed to represent for decades.
Think about just how bizarre it is for Republicans to position themselves as the defenders of unrestricted Medicare spending. First of all, the modern G.O.P. considers itself the party of Ronald Reagan — and Reagan was a fierce opponent of Medicare’s creation, warning that it would destroy American freedom. (Honest.) In the 1990s, Newt Gingrich tried to force drastic cuts in Medicare financing. And in recent years, Republicans have repeatedly decried the growth in entitlement spending — growth that is largely driven by rising health care costs.

But the Obama administration’s plan to expand coverage relies in part on savings from Medicare. And since the G.O.P. opposes anything that might be good for Mr. Obama, it has become the passionate defender of ineffective medical procedures and overpayments to insurance companies.
So there you have it. The Republicans don't have a plan for real health care reform and are going back on their own values if they think it might make it easier for them to go after Obama. What's the most revealing factor about this tactic is that in the end it's not Obama who really suffers, but the millions of American families who cannot afford health care because the Republicans are so intent on destroying the president that they'll try to prevent the passage of any real reform. Of course, as Rep. Alan Grayson pointed out, while the Republicans are continuing to stand in the way of real reform there are 44,000 people who die every year due to not having health insurance. Now you tell me which party has a legislative agenda that truly values human life.

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