The venerable columnist David Broder praises the House Democrats for a job half done. “Having watched Hillary and Bill Clinton try and fail even to bring their version of health reform to a vote, I can certainly join in saluting Speaker Nancy Pelosi,” Broder writes today. So what’s the other half that remains to be done? Just this little ole thing:
But, as many sympathetic voices have been telling them: Unless you find more realistic ways of paying for the promises included in the bill, you are simply setting up the public for more frustration — and yourselves for a political backlash.
At least a dozen health and budget experts have filled the Web and the airwaves with warnings that the House bill simply postpones the cost controls needed to finance the vast expansion of insurance coverage and Medicaid benefits envisaged by its sponsors.
One of them speaks with special authority: David Walker, the former head of the Government Accountability Office — the auditing and investigative arm of Congress — told me in an interview on Wednesday that the lawmakers are “punting on the tough choices, rather than making sure they can deliver on the promises they’re making.”
Originally, Broder—who is ice-floe age—seemed to have strong reservations about some of the provisions of the House’s proposed health-care reforms, especially those relating to “end-of-life” matters. But now Broder appears to be only half-way against the House proposals.