Senate Health Care Bill: How the Right and Left Reacted

The political news cycle is fast, and keeping up can be overwhelming. Trying to find differing perspectives worth your time is even harder. That’s why we have scoured the internet for political writing from the right and left that you might not have seen.

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From the Right

• Philip Klein in Washington Examiner:

“For opponents of Obamacare evaluating the proposal, the question boils down to whether to place more emphasis on the spending in the coming years or in the promised reforms in the next decade.”

Mr. Klein is dissatisfied with the health care bill put forward by Senate Republicans, writing that the proposed legislation “reads less like an Obamacare repeal bill and more like an Obamacare rescue package.” He argues that, in the short term, the bill “spends a substantial amount of money to prop up Obamacare’s failing insurance markets” and funds Medicaid expansion until 2021. He sees no reason to believe “that the long-term spending reforms will ever see the light of day.” Read more »

• The Editors in National Review:

“From a conservative perspective, the chief selling point of the bill is Medicaid reform.”

The editorial board at National Review isn’t thrilled with the Senate Republican health care bill, either. Calling it a “flawed” bill, they recommend a number of improvements — including accelerating “the phase-in of Medicaid reform” — which might ensure its passage. If the bill remains as is, they write, “it is likely to die, and it will be difficult to mourn the loss.” Read more »

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• David Harsanyi in The Federalist:

“At some point conservatives are going to have to take a page from Democrats and occasionally embrace incrementalism.”

“Pragmatism is no sin,” Mr. Harsanyi reminds readers, urging conservatives to take advantage of the chance to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The Senate bill’s imperfections pale in comparison to the mandate that Republicans have to repeal the “persistent failures of Barack Obama’s signature achievement.” Republicans were elected, he argues, to undo the health law, and they should act fast because this “might be the last chance to do anything.” Read more »

• Henry Olsen in The Washington Post:

“What is more important, saving money or saving lives? Senate and House Republicans may be surprised to learn that for their idol, Ronald Reagan, this was never a question at all.”

Mr. Olsen is the author of a book on President Reagan’s political philosophy. In trying to channel the 40th president’s potential attitude toward federally subsidized health care, he cites Mr. Reagan’s remarks to the Conservative League of Minneapolis in 1961: “As one conservative let me say any person in the United States who requires medical attention and cannot provide it for himself should have it provided for him.” Read more »


From the Left

• Zoë Carpenter in The Nation:

“The question is whether the GOP legislation improves on Obamacare and current coverage. It doesn’t come close — unless, of course, you happen to believe that we provide too much help to the poor and elderly, and not enough tax cuts to the wealthy.”

Ms. Carpenter agrees with some of her counterparts on the right when she argues that the Senate health care bill doesn’t repeal the Affordable Care Act. But she comes to a different conclusion, writing that “it just makes Obamacare worse.” Moreover, she argues, the Senate bill’s plan to phase out Medicaid is even more cruel than what was proposed in the House bill “because it affects people who are currently enrolled in the expansion, not