Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Health care? Expect more taxes

As Matt Bai's article in the NYT Magazine explains in perhaps too much detail, the Obama administration has moved shrewdly in pursuit of getting something that can be called health care reform through Congress, nurturing relationships in Congress to an extent Bush and Clinton never approached. But the sticking point just might be new taxes. As this Register editorial points out, Obama is actively flirting with two notions: making health benefits taxable to employees and putting a cap in deductions the "wealthy" can claim, to raise at least some of the money that will be needed.

The notion that deepening government involvement will lead to saving money, as the administration and its lackeys keep trying to make us believe (and maybe to convince themselves) is chimerical. But they seem determined and savvy, and resistanbce is less at this point than in 1993. I think Mike Cannon at Cato is doing some of the best work being done on health care issues, including this paper just released delineating the failures of the Massachusettsmodel, and a steady rain of articles and blog posts. If reasoned argument cold do it more nationalized health care would be dead in the water. I suspect if the administration falters, however, it will be due to divisions in the Democratic party rather than reasoned argument.

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