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Can’t Tell the Conservatives and Liberals Apart Without a Program

Something a little bit more light-hearted for you this Saturday evening … although the phenomenon it uncovers, which Ed Kilgore discusses here, is worth giving some thought to.

Six of these recent quotations are by right-leaning organizations, individuals, or interest groups … and six are by left-leaning ones. See if you can tell which is which! Answer key is in the first comment to this post.

1. “The debate before us today is not whether insurance market reforms are needed. […] The critical policy questions are whether the current legislation can bend the cost curve and result in a sustainable system. While the bill makes important improvements in access and takes steps towards cost-containment, it lacks accountability to ensure that costs are brought under control.”

2. “The latest Senate health care bill […] does too little to guarantee that uninsured Americans will actually be able afford the coverage they’ll be required to purchase.”

3. “[If] there is no government-run option, the public will have no choice but to pay their premiums to private insurers. Yes, that’s right. The Democratic party is on the verge of enacting a requirement, enforced with federal tax penalties, which would effectively require hard-working Americans to hand over even more of their wages to profit-hungry, private insurance companies.”

4. “The most consequential health care legislation in the history of our country […] shouldn’t be determined by one vote-margin strategies -– surely we can and must do better.”

5. “Real reform would significantly lower costs, improve the delivery of health care and give all Americans a meaningful choice of coverage. The current Senate bill accomplishes none of these.”

6. “The first rule of medicine is, “Do no harm.” […] Unless Democratic leadership steps up to fix this misguided proposal, our only recourse will be to kill it.

The fundamental failing of the newest Senate proposal is that it requires individuals to purchase health insurance, but does nothing to […] stop spiraling health costs from eating up an ever-increasing percentage of our national productivity.”

7. “There is an enormous, rising tide of populism that crosses party lines in objection to the Senate bill.”

8. “The Senate Democrats’ legislation is a Medicare-cutting, tax-hiking, no-real-reform, 2,000-page monstrosity opposed by the majority of the American people.

The only winners would be Big Government, Big Pharma, and Big Insurance.”

9. “And we know Americans are outraged by what’s happened in this debate: a bill that was supposed to lower costs, lower taxes, and lower premiums will actually raise all three — making existing problems not better, but worse.”

10. “The health care bill […] bizarrely forces millions of people to buy extremely inadequate products from the private health insurance industry — regardless of whether they want it or, worse, whether they can afford it. […] In other words, it uses the power of government, the force of law, to give the greatest gift imaginable to this industry — tens of millions of coerced customers.”

11. “Two hundred billion dollars in new insurance premiums per year. And $463,000,000,000 in taxpayer subsidies over the next 10 years. That’s how much health insurance companies could reap […] That’s because [the bill includes] an individual mandate — a requirement that every American purchase health insurance or be fined — a policy that candidate Barack Obama opposed but that President Barack Obama supports.”

12. “The real risk is that this will impact middle-income workers the most who have been crushed by the economy. They don’t need an additional burden.”

Nate Silver founded and was the editor in chief of FiveThirtyEight.