Health Debate Redux

It’s kind of the social policy equivalent of one of those “triple witching hour” days in finance: the confluence of the second-year anniversary of the enactment of the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act of 2009, along with Monday’s begnning of oral arguments in the Supreme Court on a constitutional challege to the Act, plus the beginnings of the general election phase of the 2012 election–all point to a period of major public focus on what is now known, for better or worse, as ObamaCare.

The conventional conservative case against ObamaCare–an odd combination of arguments over public opinion, constitutional law, and deepest budget wonkery–is made today by Charles Krauthammer in his usual pompous manner:

Rarely has one law so exemplified the worst of the Leviathan state — grotesque cost, questionable constitutionality and arbitrary bureaucratic coerciveness.

The only major argument his column left out was the claim that ObamaCare would herd senior off to the grave via “death panels.”

The case for ObamaCare can be as simple as the idea of universal health insurance, and as complex as today’s WaPo piece by Sarah Kliff on how the law is changing the delivery of health services in ways that may boost quality while curtailing costs, as its architects (which famously include a generation of conservative policy wonks and politicians like Mitt Romney) always claimed.

If you love arguing and fighting over health care policy, the week ahead is your March Madness.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.