Second Thots

Sometimes one has to step back, take pause, and have some "second thots"

Monday, May 24, 2010


Question of the day (UPDATED)

Okay, I'll be the first to ask (I hope):

Will health care be Obama's Iraq?

By that, I mean: Will Obama's all-in gamble to pass health-care legislation, despite its alarming unpopularity, do to the Obama administration what the Iraq war did to the Bush administration? Katrina was widely seen as the nail in Bush's popularity coffin. Yet Iraq, rightly or wrongly, paved the way in eroding his basic credibility with the electorate. I'm just wondering if health care will do the same with Obama.

I know a lot of Canadians would be mystified at the idea that government intervention into health insurance would be so unpopular. But I'd be very surprised if even our own health care system looks like it does now in about 25 years.

People love a government program if they think it benefits them directly. On the other hand, people generally don't like government programs if they think they're no longer financially sustainable, which is often the case over the long-term with big socialist-style programs, isn't it?

Given that most Americans like their current health care coverage, it probably shouldn't be too surprising that they're skeptical of a huge government intervention that tinkers with things, especially at a time when people are starting to compare America's future prospects with Greece's current crisis. At some point, bills have to be paid, don't they?

UDPDATE (9:49 pm): As incredible as it sounds, given that Obama's had more than 30 days, whereas Bush maybe had about 30 hours, could the former have stumbled into his own Katrina, too?

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