My friend Walt, who inhabits the world of finance but maintains a social conscience, sent me an article and a note reminding me that key portions of the healthcare bill were, in fact, Republican ideas. In fact, the totality of the healthcare law as enacted closely tracks healthcare proposals offered in the 1970s by President Nixon, offered in the 1980s and 1990s by senior Republicans in Congress, and enacted into law in Massachusetts under a governor whose name I cannot remember, who stood next to Ted Kennedy celebrating passage of the state law that became the model for current federal law. Isn't it strange that Republicans now demonize plans that were originated by Republicans?

Don't get me wrong. I think the healthcare law makes healthcare somewhat better. I give credit to Republicans for having the courage to tell mothers of very sick children that their very sick children should not have insurance coverage. This is a sick Republican idea, but it does reveal where Republicans stand. What they call the magic of the market would win, and what Democrats call children we should love and care for would lose, in what comes closer to a death panel for grievously ill children than anything Sarah Palin ever criticized from Democrats.


I would have preferred FDR-care, JFK-care, or LBJ-care, which would look something like single-payer healthcare, the highly successful Canadian system, Medicare for all or a strong public option. What did become law was far from perfect. What Republican pollsters and media don't tell you is that of those who want the law changed or repealed, many of them want stronger and more progressive laws and not more windfall profits for insurers or Big Pharma, as Republicans propose.

My point today is that the healthcare law we got was very close to what Richard Nixon, Bob Dole, countless Republicans, a number of GOP think tanks and a governor of Massachusetts, whose name escapes me, all favored.

Is this far-right radicalism, special interest cravenism, or mass Etch-A-Sketchism by the current Republican Party? The answer is all three, because:


As Barry Goldwater said, in your heart you know I'm right.