There have obviously been a lot of lies told about health care reform this year, including lies about its provisions, costs and benefits, But as William Galston notes today in The New Republic, there’s a growing temptation among reform advocates to prevaricate a bit too, particularly via the sorts of accounting gimmicks that made the Bush administration notorious. The real problem, says Galston, is the risk of self-deception about the true costs of health reform:
This may strike some readers as a detail, or worse, as a diversion. I don’t think so. We’re already facing an unsustainable fiscal future. The least we can do is to honor the political version of the Hippocratic oath and do no harm. That’s what President Obama has promised. Serious legislators shouldn’t use accounting tricks—such as pushing deficits outside CBO’s scoring windows–to sidestep this pledge.
Yeah, we’ve had enough of that from the bad guys.