I became aware of J.D. Kleinke from a post about abortion at The Health Care Blog almost two years ago. I later learned he is the author of several books, one of which with the clever title, Catching Babies. Anybody who wants to slog around in the abortion debate is invited to read that post and comments (although the comments begin running off the rails about half way down, so don't let that take too much reading time).
NY Times published a timely opinion piece by Dr. Kleinke yesterday that needs to be part of the ongoing arguments about PPACA. The Conservative Case for Obamacare spells out those market-driven, free-market principles embedded in the legislation. Even if force-fed to Republicans most would react like those with eating disorders with self-ionduced vomiting. But denial of his points won't make them any less accurate. Here is the opening...
IF Mitt Romney’s pivots on President’s Obama’s health care reform act have accelerated to a blur — from repealing on Day 1, to preserving this or that piece, to punting the decision to the states — it is for an odd reason buried beneath two and a half years of Republican political condemnations: the architecture of the Affordable Care Act is based on conservative, not liberal, ideas about individual responsibility and the power of market forces.
This fundamental ideological paradox, drowned out by partisan shouting since before the plan’s passage in 2010, explains why Obamacare has only lukewarm support from many liberals, who wanted a real, not imagined, “government takeover of health care.” It explains why Republicans have been unable since its passage to come up with anything better. And it explains why the law is nearly identical in design to the legislation Mr. Romney passed in Massachusetts while governor.
The core drivers of the health care act are market principles formulated by conservative economists, designed to correct structural flaws in our health insurance system — principles originally embraced by Republicans as a market alternative to the Clinton plan in the early 1990s. The president’s program extends the current health care system — mostly employer-based coverage, administered by commercial health insurers, with care delivered by fee-for-service doctors and hospitals — by removing the biggest obstacles to that system’s functioning like a competitive marketplace.
Read the rest and decide for yourself.
I noticed Dr. Kleinke is now a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. As recently as two years ago I would have held that against him, me being an unreconstructed Sixties Liberal and all. But something has changed over the last couple of years. I can't decide if I am changing or the respectable old digs of the Grand Old Party have finally discovered that nut cases from the Extreme Right have infiltrated their ranks. They are only a few perilous steps short of having racists and others from the lunatic fringe getting keeping the upper hand in their base.