When conservative opponents of health care reform aren’t talking about death panels, they’re talking about Europe. Their argument usually goes something like this: The Affordable Care Act will make our health care system like more like the ones across the Atlantic. And that would be bad: People will wait longer for treatments, pay more for it, and/or get inferior results. Reality is, well, a little different. And I have some first-hand perspectives on this.
This week, two more "Climategate"-related investigations trickled out, and—no surprise—both of them knocked down (yet again) the long-running charge that climate scientists are engaged in some sort of massive fraud. Mainstream climatology is still holding up under scrutiny. (Well, either that or the climate conspiracy runs far, far deeper than anyone thought.) But that said, there were a few twists and complications in the two reports, and they're worth looking at in some detail.
"You can’t really have reform without a public option," former governor Howard Dean, a prominent public-option advocate, said recently. "If you really want to fix the health care system, you’ve got to give the public the choice of having such an option." Promising as this sounds, it seems increasingly likely that the public option will be a liberal dream deferred. Republicans and conservative Democrats, panicked that the government plan will squash competition and the medical industry as we know it, are slowly killing the idea.