The Democrats will win the vote tonight, but the Republicans won the debate. Their speeches were uniformly mendacious, but they were logical in form (though not in substance) and conveyed apparently sincere fears about the consequences of passing the bill. The Democrats rarely challenged the untruths, and their speeches were about as exciting as laundry lists, and about as passionately delivered. I was waiting for some Democrat to say:
Let me tell you what the opponents of this bill are voting for: for unrestrained increases in health insurance premiums, for leaving open the “doughnut hole” in seniors’ prescription drug coverage, for burdening American employers with health-care costs their foreign competitors never face, for allowing insurers to cancel insurance when someone gets an expensive disease, for threatening anyone who loses his job – including those who lose their jobs because they get sick – with loss of health insurance, for lifetime coverage caps that threaten even those with health insurance with bankruptcy, for denying health coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, and – finally – for continuing to allow banks to rip off tens of billions of dollars from the student loan program. If Members want to go home and explain that to their constituents, I wish them the best of luck. But I for one cannot find it in my conscience to support the perpetuation of a broken system.
So far, no such luck.