David Brooks entertains/terrifies

June 16, 2009 in Politics

David Brooks has an op-ed tracking the hypothetical lifecycle of Obama's healthcare plan which I found entertaining because I was sure he was being sarcastic. How could I not, with choice bits like this:

You are daunted by the challenges in front of you until you remember that by some great act of fortune, you happen to be Barack Obama. This calms you down. You conceive a strategy.

But it doesn't go quite as planned:

But you won’t be able to honestly address the toughest issues and still hold your coalition. You won’t get the kind of structural change that will bring down costs long-term. In the scrum, Congress will embrace the easy stuff and bury the hard stuff.

Which is why you have MedPAC. That’s the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission that you want to turn into a health care Federal Reserve Board — an aloof technocratic body of experts that will make tough decisions beyond the reach of politics. You can take every thorny issue, throw it to MedPac and consider it solved.

In the end it turns out Brooks isn't being sarcastic at all; he views this outcome as a success. After all, the Fed has done such a great job, it would be foolish not to establish another one!

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