(I apologize to anyone who actually knows Latin for the likely-illiterate title.)
The United States was headed towards an entitlement cost crisis before today’s vote. The United States is still headed towards an entitlement cost crisis. If Greg Mankiw is correct, the Democrats have used up some of the more obvious — and politically palatable — means to control costs in (say) Medicare and Medicaid; on the other hand, if HCR was defeated for good this evening, we might have concluded that entitlement reform was Off The Table for, say, the next fifteen years or so… and run ourselves into the same position as Greece.
Perhaps I’m grasping at straws, but I refuse to entertain defeatism. If it does nothing else — if, for example, the Senate bill’s plans to subsidize health insurance for six to forty million people who’d otherwise be unable to get it turn to the same illusory ratshit as Obama’s plans to provide legislative transparency — the HCR bill sets a precedent that we can in fact mess with entitlement programmes like Medicare when we perceive a looming crisis.
Either way, I’m going to wait a few weeks ’til we’ve figured out what our congresshitbags have inflicted upon us before I cook up a full batch of haterade.