The House Democrats just released their health care reform bill and its preliminary CBO scoring. While it has many very good proposals, it uses the worst and most cowardly way to make reform appear cheaper. The bill technically cost around $1 trillion over ten years, but that is basically a lie. It will really cost a trillion over seven years, because there is no reduction in the number of uninsured until 2013.
I consider the very slow roll out to be both a big moral and political disaster. This is not change you can believe in. This is change you will need to wait half a decade for.
Morally it completely undercuts the Democrats argument that our health care system is in crisis. It is salt in the wounds for all the Americans' who's stories of high costs and medical bankruptcies were used to push for reform. For the next four years they will see no relief and thousands of more will suffer their same fate.
Politically it is also incredibly stupid. The silly accounting trick might help get a “cheaper” bill passed, but it will but it could be equally (or more) damaging than failing to pass any reform at all. Voters will not expect the system to be fixed right away, but they will expect there to be some serious improvement before 2013. When there are MORE uninsured by the 2010 and 2012 elections then there are today, it will be terrible for the party. I can already picture the Republican attack ads.
The American people are demanding health care reform now. Not health care reform that we will only start going into effect some time in Obama's second term. Democrats better have a plan to spend up its implementation or else they will pay a huge price for failing to deliver.