Thursday, June 11, 2009

Health Care in the Failed Bush Administration

One thing interesting about Obama's health care town hall was that Obama made a partisan attack on the Bush administration a central theme of the meeting. The time frame of our health care malaise was the Bush Administration.

This was an interesting attack in that the Bush administration saw two of the largest expansions of Federal controlled health care initiatives in American history. The Bush Administration passed a prescription drug bill and a massive increase in the CHIPS health care program.

Both efforts were truly bipartisan. The Democrat's only complaint was that the programs were not larger.

Obama is correct that the big centralized programs of the Bush era did little more than dramatically increase costs. The attack is interesting in that Obama's one sided conversation on health care has no answer except to further central health care.

Obama's framing the debate as an attack on the failed administration of the torturer George W. Bush reinforces themes of the Change Campaign. However, it might eventually back fire in that the attack marginalizes the progressives of the Republicans. Consequently the decision to frame the debate as an attack on Bush and the neocons makes Obama's plan a decisively partisan plan.

Obama's claim that the Bush administration, with its historic bipartisan increase in CHIP and prescription drug coverage, might wake people up to the fact that Obama's partisan expansion of Federal control of health care is similarly flawed.

The effort to marginalize the progressives in the Republican Party might pull a large number of the neocons back into the Democratic Party. On a strategic note, it will empower the liberal voices in the Republican Party who reject the big government schemes of both the left and right in favor of liberty.

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