Senate Finance Committee
Now that Ron Wyden is in charge
Oregon's Ron Wyden is in charge now.
On the first day of the Senate Finance Committee's hearings on health care reform, Senator Jon Kyl, a fiery free-market fundamentalist, assailed reform as a "stunning assault on liberty." By day two, he had turned to the more prosaic task of reversing the bill's cuts in the Medicare budget. The elderly, Kyl fretted, "have reason to be worried that portions of this bill could affect their care." Note that neither health care experts nor even the AARP believes the cuts would hurt senior citizens.
My last TRB column was about the prevailing mode of centrist thought in American politics, which is mostly a way of lashing your own opinions to those of others rather than make any independent judgment. I wish I had written it for the next issue, because this last weekend offered up some especially comical examples. Olympia Snowe declared that President Obama should remove the public option from health care reform because “It’s universally opposed by Republicans,” and “therefore, there's no way to pass a plan that includes the public option.” But Snowe is a Republican!