A "person of some medical authority" (for those who are not regular readers, I work at a hospital, so fill in the blank of the limited number of positions this could mean) mentioned last week that he was not bothered by the insincerity of the central claims for the ACA being revealed as we went forward. "Everyone knew that. But they had to say those things to get it passed. It's one of the finest pieces of legislation in our lifetime. Not for what it is, but because of what it will lead to." Someone worried that it wouldn't work, and much of the system collapse. "So much the better," he said. "It will get us there quicker." He looked positively giddy saying this.
Of course, he often looks giddy, so perhaps I shouldn't hold it against him.
There were definitely voices in the run-up to the vote on the legislation who were quite upfront and vocal that they preferred single-payer...they thought this a barely-acceptable compromise...didn't see how this was going to accomplish what it promised. I thought they were at least honest. Perhaps my "authority" was one of those, and I am suspecting him unfairly of hypocrisy. But I've known him for 3 years or so now, and this was the first I'd heard of it.
I was reminded of the response to the Bill Clinton statements in 1998. He was accused of lying, but his defenders were adamant that it was all partisan attacks, that it couldn't be proven. Then it was allowed that he had lied about sex, but that was irrelevant to anything important. All the other accusations were considered unfounded.
By 2003 people's memories had changed. "Everyone knew he was lying. But he had to." There was often some laughter associated with this. Well of course, silly, if your goal is to stay in power then you have to do things like that. So it's okay to lie about...well, anything, so long as it's your liar and not theirs? Is there a Democrat today who doesn't acknowledge, and not even very sheepishly, that Clinton lied about a lot of things?
I wonder if we are going to hear this emerging gradually. Of course they knew you couldn't keep your health plan. We all knew that. (Laughter)
Please note that this discussion is entirely independent of whether the ACA is a good idea or not. It is method and basic honesty I am looking at here. It's troubling. In contrast, many people think Bush lied to get us into Iraq. But you don't hear any of his then-defenders now saying "Well, but he had to, or he never would have gotten the support he needed." If they were duped, they were honestly duped.