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Has anyone else noticed that two of the conservative responses to health care reform are directly opposed to one another?

I know, it’s not exactly a revelation that conservative ideas tend not to work if you try to hang onto more than one of them at a time, but this struck me as the sort of thing that could lead to a real deer in the headlights set of interview questions.

On the not-quite-so-far-out there right wing, you find the calls for "greater competition" in health insurance.  In practice, what this means is permitting insurance companies to sell policies across state lines.  I will assume that I don’t need to explain to a DKOS audience why that would be a bad idea as policy.  (Think "race to the bottom", "South Dakota" and "credit cards.")  Nonetheless, this is one of only two ideas regularly proposed to get at the health care mess from a conservative perspective.

A little farther out on the right, we find the "tenthers" who support a strong form of Federalism, insisting that the federal government does not have the power to impose a public option or other solutions onto reluctant states.  The governors of Texas and Idaho have both shown some support for this position.  Several State legislatures have taken up bills to attempt to opt-out of a public option if one is included in the final bill.

The cognitive dissonance happens when you put the two together.  The only way for interstate insurance policies to become legal would be for the federal government to mandate that all states accept polices written under every other states' regulations.  So, the conservative position is that the Texas can’t be forced to accept regulations written in Washington D.C., but Texas can be forced to accept regulations written in Pierre, SD.  This, of course, even though Texans can at least vote for some members of Congress but have no say whatsoever in what goes on in the statehouse in South Dakota.

I’d love to see someone ask Rick Perry how he thinks that would work.

Originally posted to rrouda on Sat Feb 20, 2010 at 04:57 PM PST.

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