What Keeps Health Reform in the News? The Money!

To be sure health reform will not feature on the front pages (or the blogosphere equivalent) day in and out after it passes. In this I agree with Ezra Klein. He writes,

A year after the president signs health-care reform, the country will have largely forgotten about it. That’s not to say it won’t be mentioned in the elections, or argued over in occasional op-eds. But what keeps it on the front page? It’s easy enough to write about health-care reform when it’s dominating the congressional agenda. When it’s waiting to be implemented? Or when it’s being implemented, and the main effect is that 16 million people without political power now have health-care coverage? I don’t buy it.

To the extent we hear more about health reform it will be for one reason: the money. While the legislation may be internally balanced so it scores as deficit reducing, it will not be viewed as monolithic once it passes. It has both spending and savings. Could we keep the savings and gut the spending? Sure.

Who would do that, and why? Answers: Republicans, for tax cuts. While the former are out of power, that won’t last forever. And the latter are always popular. This reform will be attacked. Things may quiet down, but this is not the end of it. Money has a way of drawing attention and a crowd.

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