Better check with our next President, Ken: he's having none of your negativism. Said President-Elect Obama at today's press conference to announce his economic team:
So I am extraordinarily pleased that Melody Barnes, one of the most respected policy experts in America, will be serve as my director of domestic -- the Domestic Policy Council, and that she will be working hand-in-hand with my economic policy team to chart a course to economic recovery. An integral part of that course will be health care reform, and she will work closely with my secretary of Health and Human Services on that issue [emphasis mine; President-Elect Barack Hussein Obama, press conference, Chicago, 2008.11.24].
Obama mentioned health care reform as a key part of economic recovery in response to a subsequent question as well. Health care reform is totally on Obama's radar... and it has to be.
Some folks may wonder how we find the money to pay for health care reform in addition to an economic recovery package. They miss the point: Obama is telling us that we need to pay for health care reform as part of our economic recovery. Ken is wrong; there is no better time than right now, this crisis, to make health care more affordable for every American.
A few hundred billion to pay for check-ups, pills, and heart operations—hey, sounds better than handing that money to gamblers on Wall Street.