The last time Democrats tried to reform health care, the insurance industry crushed them, spooking the public with its infamous "Harry and Louise" campaign. This time, it’s offering to help, along with doctors, hospitals, unions, and medical-device makers. “On the face of it, this is tremendously good news,” writes Paul Krugman of the New York Times. But “there’s every reason to be cynical about these players’ motives.”
These are the people who brought you the Medicare Modernization Act, which prevented Medicare from bargaining over drug prices. “Remember that what the rest of us call health care costs, they call income,” Krugman writes. But if they can really deliver serious cost control, it “would change everything, not just for health care, but for America’s fiscal future.” If President Obama hangs tough in negotiations, this could be fantastic news.