David Broder says that it’s unfair to deny health care to some Americans via the “opt-out” public option:
To take but one example: If health-care reform with an opt-out provision were to become law this year or next, one of the first states you might expect to exempt itself would be Texas. Republicans control the governorship and both houses of the Legislature, and the state had no trouble rejecting candidate Barack Obama.
But Texas is also a state with glaring differences among its residents. There are millions of the poor, of Hispanics and African Americans who give their votes to Democrats. Are the Democrats running Washington prepared to say to them (and residents of who knows how many other states): Sorry about this, but you don’t get what the rest of us get?
Broder is saying is that if the Democrats go for an opt-out public option because they can’t pass a public option without opt-out, and then the Republican governor and legislature of a state (say Texas) choose to opt out, then it’ll be the Democrats’ fault when people in Texas don’t get health care. Don’t you see? Liberals forced Republicans and conservative Democrats to oppose a robust public option, and they will be forcing Republicans in Texas to opt-out of health care reform. Republicans in Texas will, of course, not be at fault for denying health care to their constituents.
Sometimes counterintuitive arguments are counterintuitive because they are really dumb.