The New York Times invited me to participate in an online symposium with Robert Reich, Gail Wilensky, and others to debate the odds on whether the Democrats’ health care plan will pass into law. Here’s an excerpt from my contribution:
Despite the enormous pressure from the White House, the odds remain against passage, Democratic catastrophe and all.
The votes Speaker Pelosi must get would mainly come from moderates and conservative members elected in highly competitive districts. Their constituents are trending solidly toward opposition to the bill, primarily for cost reasons….
The public is not naïve. They know government entitlement programs have a strong tendency to grow rapidly once put in place. What they see coming down the pike is another under-financed program, at a time when the federal government is already running up the nation’s debt at an unprecedented pace because previous commitments are now unaffordable.
Their concern is well placed, and should be enough to force Congress to come back later with a plan that is less risky for the country’s economic future.
You can find my contribution to the NYT symposium online here.