Was just reading Paul Krugman’s Friday column. I couldn’t bear to stick with the health care summit for it’s entire epochal length, so I missed the dialogue below when it was spoken by Lamar Alexander. Here’s Krugman:
What really struck me about the meeting, however, was the inability of Republicans to explain how they propose dealing with the issue that, rightly, is at the emotional center of much health care debate: the plight of Americans who suffer from pre-existing medical conditions… But what’s the Republican answer? Mr. Alexander was strangely inarticulate on the matter, saying only that “House Republicans have some ideas about how my friend in Tullahoma can continue to afford insurance for his wife who has had breast cancer.” He offered no clue about what those ideas might be.
I had remembered an Obama-Alexander exchange on premiums where Alexander said, “Costs will go up under your plan,” the president said, “prove it,” and Alexander said, “Let me get back to you on that,” so I thought, “He really didn’t do that twice, did he? And everyone missed it?” But yeah, he did. Here he is in the midst of listing “our step-by-step plan for reducing health care costs.” Access for people with preexisting conditions is the sixth out of six items:
Number six, House Republicans have some ideas about how my friend in Tullahoma can continue to afford insurance for his wife who has had breast cancer. Because she has a preexisting condition, it makes it more difficult to buy insurance. So there’s six ideas.
This reminds me a bit of Nixon campaigning on his secret plan to end the Vietnam war, or Senator Joe McCarthy’s list of 29, um, that is 32, no 21.7, er, that is 256, I mean 12 Communists in the State Department that he never did show anyone because it didn’t exist. House Republicans have “some ideas.” Well, great. I’ve got some ideas about flying cars, perpetual energy devices, and a way to teach cats calculus. They are far too complex and creative for me to share them with you, but trust me, I HAVE them!