Yes, the Congressional Budget Office’s preliminary cost estimates for Senate plans were higher than expected, and caused considerable consternation last week. But the fundamental fact is that we can afford universal health insurance — even those high estimates were less than the $1.8 trillion cost of the Bush tax cuts.
The CBO numbers ($1.6 trillion) were also about half of the estimated long-range costs of the Iraq war.
Don’t get me wrong, I think that it’s very important that health care reform be fiscally responsible, but where the hell was all this consternation when we were invading Iraq (even at the time, some experts were estimating costs as high as $1.6 trillion — see James Fallows’ definitive “Blind Into Baghdad“)? Where was it when we were running $300 billion deficits during an economic expansion?
Liberals have often
claimed complained that our government has plenty of money for tax cuts and wars, but never enough for education and health care. And it’s easy to turn that into an a preachy slogan or bumper-sticker.
But at a certain point, everyone should admit that it is true.