In the grand scheme of things, Donny Deutsch's radical prescription for health care might not count for much. Just a former-ad-man-turned-pundit spouting off. But let's consider. Deutsch is well-off and presumably harbors no electoral ambitions. He is free to say whatever's on his mind. And he is immersed in the liberal media-political culture. Is Deutsch giving voice to the radicalism that Obama/Pelosi/Waxman harbor but dare not fully express?
Appearing on Morning Joe today, Deutsch offered a two-part plan for health care:
- Make the rich pay for it: "I'm an extremist. I'm for redistribution of wealth."
- "Outlaw tobacco."
DONNY DEUTSCH: I'm an extremist. I'm for redistribution of wealth. And basically there's no reason why people making over a million bucks a year can't pay nine-thousand bucks a year in extra taxes to save lives.
And a bit later . . .
DEUTSCH: The real hard answer is outlaw cigarettes and save $100 billion a year and that pays for health care.
That predictably appealed to Mika Brzezinski, a Big Mommy government fan who'd like to confiscate everything from coffin nails to curly fries.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: There you go: that's my answer.
DEUTSCH: You want the real hard answer? We still sell a product that we kill ourselves with.
BRZEZINSKI: Thank you.
DEUTSCH: Outlaw tobacco tomorrow, you solve the health care problem.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Actually, you don't solve the health care problem.
DEUTSCH: You pay for it. $100 billion--that's what cigarettes cost in health care.