Saturday, March 27, 2010

Is David Frum Right?

Partly. Frum has criticized the GOP for adopting a Nyet! strategy on healthcare, supposedly fomented by the Radio Talkosphere. Frum noted that the version of Obamacare that was signed is very similar to Massachussetts' Romneycare, so the GOP was a trifle hypocritical in their opposition.

Frum is right to claim that a Nyet! strategy was wrong, but it wasn't wrong for Obamacare. That mess will end up at least as bad as Romneycare, where costs are skyrocketing. But the GOP did fail to understand after the 2004 election that the healthcare problem was a nasty boil that would be quickly coming to a head (yuck, sorry about that). Republicans could have moved a free-market, small government-oriented package of solutions in 2005 (something like the McCain plan of 2008) that would have forced the Dem's hand and preempted the crypto-socialist "solution" that we are now stuck with.

Why was this approach not pursued? Perhaps it was because the GOP believed, as Democrats would have hoped, that such a proposal would have been transmogrified into the Middle-Class Black-Tar Heroin of a massive government entitlement. But the risk should have been taken; at least Republicans would have controlled the process. Ultimately one should ask those visionary ex-leaders of the former GOP House majority, Tom Delay and Dennis Hastert, and George Bush, father of the disasterously underfunded Medicare drug program.

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