One of the most annoying conservative tropes of the health care debate is the claim that we could easily solve the same problems with simple, painless, low-cost steps. (Mike Crapo: "What Americans really want is the kind of step-by-step reforms that Republicans have been advocating for years." Roy Blunt: "we believe we can come up with a plan where every person in the uninsured has access to insurance." And so on and so forth.)
It was pretty refreshing to see President Obama take this on yesterday:
At the Republican caucus, they held up -- they said, we've got a plan; it's going to provide everybody coverage at no cost. And I said, well, if that were true, why wouldn't I take it? My wife Michelle thinks I'm stubborn sometimes, but I'm not that stubborn. Okay, let me think. I could have everybody get health care coverage that's high quality, and it's free, which I'll bet is really popular. But I'm not going to do that. I'm going to go through the pain of really working through this hard process in Congress, getting yelled at and called a socialist, because I just -- that's how I roll. I'm a glutton for punishment. (Laughter.)
No, look, if this were easy and simple, first of all, somebody would have done it before. Seven Presidents have failed at this; seven Congresses have failed at this. If this was simple, it would have already been done. It's not.