31.8.09

GOOD QUESTION. Jules Crittenden:
Someone please remind me why some guy’s death means we have to get saddled with something he never managed to sell in life.
Geoff Garin offers one possibility.

Democrats did not get their way on the creation of the Medicare prescription-drug benefit, but on that, too, Kennedy decided that something was better than nothing, even though seniors were required to buy their coverage through private companies and Medicare was prevented from negotiating with the pharmaceutical companies for the best prices.

Kennedy gave Bush a victory rather than sending the Republicans to their Waterloo because he believed the result was more important than short-term politics. If Republicans really want to honor the senator's memory, they should stop using him as an excuse for the failure of health-care reform and instead start living up to his example.

That argument, however, presupposes that a result is desirable for its own sake, immediate and long-term consequences notwithstanding.

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