But if Obama doesn’t weigh in forcefully and say “no” to the hush money for Big Pharma, big insurance, and the AMA, America’s middle class will get walloped. And if the walloping starts before 2012, Sarah Palin or some other right wing-nut populist will wallop Obama. And after she or he wallops Obama, America will get walloped even worse.
And it’s on this account:
Last January, as I understand it, the White House promised Big Pharma, big insurance, and the American Medical Association the moral equivalent of what Joel Halderman allegedly demanded of David Letterman: hush money. The groups agreed to stay silent or even be supportive of healthcare reform, as long as they were paid off.
But now that it’s time to collect, the bill is larger than the White House expected, and it’s going to fall like an avalanche on middle class Americans in coming years. That could mean an ugly 2012 election (read Sarah Palin).
So the President has to do what Letterman did: Refuse to pay.
I actually agree with Reich on one thing: in putting this health care thing together, this administration and its co-conspirators in Congress have worked too hard to pay off too many moneyed interests. He’s also right that giving these interests free rein in a controlled market will prove expensive, and will lead to a backlash.
Where I disagree is the solution. We need to have more competition and choice by individuals, which is the essence of John Mackey’s plan (which the left trashed, to its shame.) Make ’em work in a more competitive environment.
Perhaps invoking Sarah Palin will get the left off of its duff on this. Perhaps not.