In a letter to congressional leaders, President Obama wrote of his openness to including Republican proposals in his health care legislation.
Dropping a few Republican ideas into a government takeover of health care is like sterilizing the needle before a lethal injection: a nice thought, but the ultimate outcome is the same.
- Two of the four Republican ideas – federal grants to states that adopt medical malpractice liability reforms, and ratcheting upward Medicare’s physician-price controls – would increase government spending.
- The president's health savings accounts (HSAs) proposal would merely loosen the noose around consumer-directed health plans.
- Undercover investigations in Medicare and Medicaid are likely to be as unsuccessful as past efforts to combat fraud.
This is not bipartisanship. President Obama is creating the illusion of bipartisanship while taking the most partisan route possible: forcing his legislation through Congress via reconciliation.
(Cross-posted at National Journal's Health Care Arena.)