Matthew Holt

Is much more than we think really possible?

On THCB today Maggie Mahar basically tells the health reform crowd to be patient. But two members of the unreconstructed left in other venues don’t agree. In the NY Times Paul Krugman says that deficit spending is OK, and correctly points out that Obama has a real mandate to fix the underlying problems of middle America (and yes that would include health care). And yes polling data shows that on balance America is as liberal now as it was in the 1960s. 35 years of blind-ish belief in conservatism is more or less over.

And if you want to see the optimist’s view on what Obama might do, Jonathan Cohn has a long article in The New Republic called Surgical Prep explaining why now is the time for health care reform and how the brass knuckles approach is being put together to get it done.

I’m not sure I’m there but let’s not underestimate how big a political win this was.

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Maggie Mahar

Matthew– Krugman didn’t talk about deficit spending to help the middle-class. This is what he said: “Helping the neediest in a time of crisis, through expanded health and unemployment benefits, is the morally right thing to do” The “Neediest” are not the middle class. They are the very poor and near-poor. The Democrats have announced that they plan to help them: expanding SCHIP and investing more in Medicaid. As for healthcare, Krugman said that we could go ahead with talking about and planning for universal coverage because: “even if quickly enacted into law (national health insurance) probably wouldn’t take effect… Read more »