As we head for yet another political clash over government debt, one where Republicans are threatening a government shutdown and the health of the financial sector in an attempt to defund social insurance programs -- Obama care in particular -- a few things to keep in mind.
First, the long-run debt crisis is, and always was, primarily about health care costs.
Second, and importantly, it is a problem "driven in large part by increasing costs in the private-sector delivery of health care goods and services." That is, it is not a problem that is caused by the government or unique to government sponsored health care programs.
Third, the evidence suggests that Obamacare is reducing health care costs.
Fourth, the social safety net -- the very thing Republicans want to scale back substantially or eliminate -- played a key role in limiting the severity of the recession. Without these automatic stabilizers, things would have been even worse than they were.