December 14, 2007 3:08PM

One of the Better Statements of the Current Health Care Debate

From today’s Los Angeles Times:

Though many Americans may not realize it, government is already the dominant player in healthcare, with federal and state expenditures accounting for 47% of the projected $2.3 trillion the nation will spend this year. Indeed, many private insurers follow the lead of the biggest government program, Medicare, in setting coverage policies.

Even if nothing changes, government will pick up more than half the nation’s healthcare tab by 2017. Universal coverage proposals from the leading Democratic presidential candidates would advance that tipping point to 2011, according to a recent analysis by the consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Leading Republican healthcare experts acknowledge the trend toward a greater role for government — indeed, Bush himself accelerated it when he signed the Medicare prescription drug benefit.…

“The debacle is not a partisan war between Democrats and Republicans over how to cover children, it’s a civil war within the Republican Party over the role of government and health policy in general,” said economist Len Nichols, director of the healthcare program at the New America Foundation.

Gotta hand it to Nichols on that one. In fact, Nichols is so sharp that maybe he can explain to Sen. Ron Wyden that universal coverage would not “rein in costs.”