This gem is from an opinion piece published on CNN.com by a former Republican staffer turned lobbyist. The subject is what the Obama administration can learn from the way Republicans were able to pass the Medicare prescription drug benefit:
Under the leadership of Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert, a veteran of many health care battles, and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, himself a physician, Republicans were able to get critical interest groups, including the usually left-leaning AARP and well-funded trade association PhRma, to join forces in support of the reform effort.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, by truly heroic efforts Mr Hastert and Mr Frist managed to get the AARP to support a massive new benefit for seniors and, unbelievably, the pharmaceutical industry to support massive government subsidies for prescription drugs. One wonders how on earth they were able to pull off such a herculean feat.
Of course, the President has in fact already lined up support from both the AARP and PhRma. However, support from AARP members remains somewhat equivocal since funding for the plan relies on several hundred billion dollars in efficiencies (cuts) to Medicare. If only he would follow the Republican example and drop even the pretense of making the plan fiscally sustainable perhaps all would be well.