strange proposals for health care
David Gratzer writes:
Here’s free advice for President Obama.
- Learn from HillaryCare. Attempts to pass big, sweeping changes to American health care without a bipartisan majority are doomed (like HillaryCare in 1994) or hopelessly delayed (like Medicare in 1965). The public plan option, in other words, is a loser. So lose it.
- Fire your advisors. No one can doubt that President Obama is a gifted individual with a sense for the concerns and fears of the American people. But are his aides on this file? They have managed in under six months to box their boss into an expensive, divisive and liberal policy position. Quick: name a single Republican enthusiast for the public plan option?
- Embrace a Republican plan and Republican advisors. President Obama has years to reform American health. Why not start with an important but meaningful step in that direction? He can do that by picking a Republican plan with Republicans sorting out the details, thereby ensuring both bipartisanship and results. Senators Bennett, Coburn, and Burr have all offered up intelligent (if different) plans for reforming American health care that would reduce the number of uninsured – just as the President wants. And who should the President be calling in the middle of the night? Dr. Mark McClellan, who ran CMS under President Bush, implemented a meaningful expansion to Medicare, without running over budget.
I don’t quite understand that last piece of advice. How exactly does embracing the minority party’s plan ensure “bi-partisan” support? How does appointing Republican advisers ensure anything other than a backlash from his own party? Doesn’t this stretch the bounds of compromise just a tiny bit? This is to say nothing about Obama’s plan vs. the plans of Bennett, Coburn, and Burr. It is only to say that sometimes, when it comes to free advice, you get what you pay for.