Health care reform will largely be the same way. It won't be any one specific piece of news that will drive the story. Instead, it will be the cumulative effect. That's why this confrontation between Bill O'Reilly and Congressman Anthony Weiner is so important.
O'Reilly tried to make the point that the IRS would be the one to enforce the penalty if someone refused to get health insurance. Weiner refused to acknowledge this simple idea. Charles Krauthammer was on O'Reilly days later. He said it didn't take a shrink to figure out why. We all don't like the IRS and so we'd all dislike knowing that they are getting any more power. That's exactly what this bill will do. It's a drip.
The second drip is the stream of corporations that say that health care reform will cost them more.
Major business groups want a provision of healthcare-reform repealed because it could cost American corporations up to $14 billion at a time when people desperately need jobs.
James A. Klein, president of the American Benefits Council, warns the same tax-law change that led AT&T to take a $1 billion charge last week represents "a serious mistake that is having negative and unintended consequences."
On Wednesday, Boeing became the latest company to announce a write down of value due to health care reform, deducting $150 million from its first quarter earnings.
This is also being challenged vociferously by Democrats. That's because the stakes are huge. It's the collection of these stories that forms the narrative of the drip factor. So far, the only drips are negative. It's the drips that will define health care reform now that it's passed.