When conservatives began pushing the comparison between the war in Iraq and the Affordable Care Act, I thought it might be some kind of perverse attempt at humor. Alas, they were serious -- National Journal ran this odd piece this week.
In fact, the legacy of the Iraq war to Republicans during the Bush administration offers a useful reference to how the implementation of Obama's health care law could play out politically for his party. [...]In both examples, the presidential sales pitch ended up being overhyped, with promises made that couldn't realistically be achieved.
The Bush administration lied, manipulated intelligence, and created a public appetite for an unnecessary invasion. On the other hand, the public demand for reforming our dysfunctional health care system existed before President Obama was even elected, and the Obama administration built on that demand with honest assessments.
The Bush administration launched a war that cost thousands of lives. The Obama administration passed a health care law that will save lives.
The Bush administration's invasion of Iraq was paid for entirely through deficit financing, asking future generations to pick up the tab. The Affordable Care Act is fully paid for and dramatically reduces the deficit in coming years.
The Iraq war is seen by the public as a terrible disaster. The Affordable Care Act isn't popular, but it's filled with provisions that enjoy broad public support.
The war dragged down the reputation of the United States around the globe. Health care reform made the United States look smarter and more compassionate in the eyes of the world.
The similarities appear to be well hidden.