Friday, February 27, 2009


Learning To Live With Govt. Health Care?

The Manhattan Institute's David Gratzer outlines where conservative should make their stand on what appears inevitable -- a health-care system run by the government (or at least parallel with the current system).  

Gratzer rightly notest that ground has seriously shifted on the issue in the fifteen years since Clintoncare blew up in Bill and Hillary's faces.  The odds of something getting through a Democratic Congress and a president who clearly won more than 50 percent of the popular vote are much greater. Given that, here's what Republicans should try: 
First, draw a line in the sand. If there is any lesson to be learned from the economic-stimulus package, it’s this: A few votes count. The key for Republicans will be to make those votes actually amount to something more than trimming at the edges.


Republicans can compromise on some things; they can’t allow new public programs for everyone.

Second, remind Americans of why we care. No one would deny that America’s health-care system is unsatisfying. But acknowledging the obvious doesn’t necessarily mean that a sweeping White House plan is the right approach. Democrats may care about this issue, but their passion blinds them: They understate the deep problems with Medicaid and Medicare; they are eager to embrace expensive new entitlements; they dismiss the incredible shortcomings of socialized medicine in countries like Canada.


Third, provide alternatives. Americans want solutions, not just criticisms. We need to point Americans to the road less traveled in health reform: individual choice and competition. It’s possible to allow the unemployed and the self-employed more options in health insurance, not by expanding Washington’s reach, but by allowing people to purchase health plans across state lines. We favor better quality of care, not through the creation of a government committee, but by empowering patients with better information.
Conservatives and Republicans must decide pretty soon whether the best way to expend their energy is screaming and yelling to little avail -- and have no input on the final result -- or try to create the least-awful legislation by demanding a seat at the table. 

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