by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Kevin Williamson‘s latest National Review Online essay veers from Coca-Cola to the history of corporatism to the failures of Obamacare before hitting on the interesting prospect of bipartisan agreement on health care.
As the ACA fails, conservatives and progressives both are returning to square one on health care. Progressives know what they want.
In fact, we want many of the same things. Which is to say, conservatives want to achieve with their policies many of the same outcomes that progressives would hope to achieve with a public option: less anxiety, more security, better outcomes, lower costs, a more predictable and stable environment for families and businesses both, more intelligent management of risk. There are some progressives, maybe a third of them, who have other priorities that we do not share, e.g., those who simply are scandalized by profit-seeking in health care per se, who feel that big executive paychecks are more or less criminal in and of themselves irrespective of other factors, and who habitually seek to expand the size of the public sector and to subject private enterprise to it. (They don’t really want a public option, either: They want the National Health Service, if not the Semashko system.) We’ll never bring them around, because they think conservative ideas are not wrong but evil. They’re jihadists, and there’s no reasoning with them. But assuming good-faith interlocutors on both sides — and assuming our nation can for a moment get over the tantrum that currently passes for politics in this great republic — there is an opportunity to build a reasonable, enduring settlement on health care.