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October 24, 2013 1:01 PM Looters and Slaves

By Ed Kilgore

I hope you don’t mind that I’m not going to pay a lot of attention here to House hearings on Obamacare implementation. Sure, if they add any significant information to what we already know, I’ll try to address it. As Greg Sargent observes this morning, the recent history of Republican-led House investigations doesn’t breed much optimism on that front.

But there is a fundamental problem with taking these investigations seriously that goes beyond the House’s track record, or even the GOP’s opposition to the Affordable Care Act. The investigators will mostly be composed of men who look at the potential enrollees in the Obamacare exchanges and see two classes of people. One is composed of slaves—the folks who would be happily living without health insurance or with some minimal HSA/catastrophic coverage package, if not for the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate and basic coverage requirements. And the other is composed of looters, the “losers” who can’t get or can’t afford health insurance without living off the good health and personal responsibility of the slaves.

Given that perspective, there is simply nothing these pols can honestly say that reflects regret over healthcare.gov’s failures, or a desire to fix them. I supposed they could spend the whole time complaining about the cost of setting up a screwed-up system, but I’m not sure you can overturn a national health reform law with the domestic equivalent of $500 toilet seats.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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