December 21, 2009 1:54PM

Recklessness in the Senate

This morning, Politico Arena asks:

“The Senate health care vote: An ‘awesome achievement?’ ”

My response:

Far from being an “awesome achievement,” as Paul Krugman exclaims in this morning’s New York Times, the Senate’s 1:00 a.m. health care vote marks a new low in government recklessness. Even Krugman admits that “it’s a seriously flawed bill” and “we’ll spend years if not decades fixing it” — like we’ve “fixed” Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, presumably. To put it simply: Would any responsible person handle his own affairs the way the Senate has handled this affair?

For starters, no one knows, much less understands, what’s in this bill. For months, we’ve been fed ever‐​changing bits and pieces supposedly contained within its 2,000-plus pages, only to find that a “manager’s amendment” has emerged from Harry Reid’s secret enclave. The promises that the bill will expand coverage while reducing health care costs and the federal deficit are simply laughable. Just this morning the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank reported that yesterday the Congressional Budget Office said “it goofed and overstated the cost savings from the bill by half a trillion dollars.” When you have to resort to starting taxes next year but holding benefits off until 2014, among other such budgetary gimmicks, you know you’re dealing with one gigantic fraud.

The Wall Street Journal notes this morning that according to the National Journal’s composite of all health polling, some 51 percent of the public is now opposed to this scheme. As the details seep out over the coming months, and taxes kick in, one can only hope that November 2 will be the day of reckoning for this reckless bunch.