Thursday, September 24, 2009

Republican Recovery on Health Care

One salubrious side effect of the current debate has been the emergence of an energized GOP with a new generation of original thinkers:

*South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, who previously described health care as "Obama's Waterloo" that will "break him," now observes that the debate is putting American troops at risk in Afghanistan.

He tells an interviewer that "the war in Afghanistan and our economy are our two biggest issues but he’s working on other issues such as healthcare and he’s putting off the decision on Afghanistan which I think puts our troops at risk.”

*House Minority Whip Eric Cantor offers an imaginative solution for the uninsured. To a town hall questioner with a relative who needs a cancer operation but has no way of paying for it, Cantor suggests a 21st century Scrooge option: "there are charitable organizations, there are hospitals here who do provide charity care if there’s an instance of indigency."

*Senate Finance Committee Republicans, who normally oppose government spending, are warning older Americans that Democrats are determined to “make Medicare solvent by basically slashing all [provider] reimbursements so they don’t treat Medicare beneficiaries” and "that Medicare Advantage beneficiaries will lose benefits" if insurance companies stop making enormous profits from the Bush-sponsored program, which Sen. Jay Rockefeller describes as "stuffing money into the pockets of private insurers" without providing "any better benefits to anybody."

As the debate drones on, one thing is clear: When the President accuses his political opposition of having no ideas of their own, he is doing an injustice to the ingenuity of the rising stars in the Republican Party.

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