Sarah Palin’s Plan

Sarah Palin has an editorial in the Wall Street Journal outlining her plans for health care. Cynics claim that she used a ghostwriter–that rumor should be easily debunked by comparing the syntax of that post to her other spoken and written statements. I await her vindication.

What stands out in the short piece is a surprising suggestion. Dismantling Medicare.

Instead of poll-driven “solutions,” let’s talk about real health-care reform: market-oriented, patient-centered, and result-driven. As the Cato Institute’s Michael Cannon and others have argued, such policies include giving all individuals the same tax benefits received by those who get coverage through their employers; providing Medicare recipients with vouchers that allow them to purchase their own coverage; reforming tort laws to potentially save billions each year in wasteful spending; and changing costly state regulations to allow people to buy insurance across state lines. Rather than another top-down government plan, let’s give Americans control over their own health care.

Now, there’s nothing in her editorial about insurance reform, except a passing acknowledgment that it might be a good idea but no concrete proposal to make it happen. And she wants to cut seniors from Medicare and hand them a voucher–to find affordable insurance in a market that is under-regulated and profit-driven. Will this work with the Town Hall people?

I talked to some younger people at the Town Halls who thought that anyone who made the ‘bad choice’ to be uninsured just had to take the consequences. If they had not been Christians I would have suspected them of Social Darwinisim. But the older people were very clear in their message–’hands off our Medicare.’

Are they going to sign on to ex-Governor Palin’s plan to cut them loose from a government program to try their luck at reading the small print of unregulated, for-profit insurance plans? They have a lot to lose if they do. I think that’s why, needing a harder sell, she continues to claim that Medicare is about to start a Department of Death Panels. It would take serious scare tactics to get seniors to give up a program that works in favor of a gamble on which plan will accept them, be affordable, and be there when they need it.

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11 responses

  1. Well, I am waiting to hear Tonya Harding weigh in on the subject. She would just as credible as Palin.

  2. “Cynics claim that she used a ghostwriter–that rumor should be easily debunked by comparing the syntax of that post to her other spoken and written statements.”

    No one speaks the same way they write, so comparing one’s spoken word to their written word is futile.

    You can see extensive writing by Palin here: http://www.facebook.com/notes.php?id=24718773587

    I’d like to see any of those who claim she doesn’t do her own writing to come up with anything she has written that demonstrates any other style (Twitter doesn’t count).

    And finally, the passage you highlight is not a dismantling of Medicare, but simply an additional choice within Medicare.

  3. Actaully it IS Tonya Harding who is ghostwriting for Sarah. Makes Sarah sound more credible.

  4. Nancy-for Halloween I think the Sarah Palin mask has great potential for you-she’s your ultimate boogeyman(uh,woman).

  5. Glen, I hate to be inaccurate, so I went to Cato.org and got this–

    “Under the latter option, Medicare could give each senior a voucher with which to purchase health coverage. Seniors could supplement the voucher with their own funds if they want more generous coverage. If seniors choose, the voucher could fund a health savings account as well. Congress could adjust the size of vouchers according to health risk. Giving seniors with more expensive health conditions a larger voucher would prevent insurers from avoiding those with high medical bills.

    Better yet, Congress could give seniors ownership over their Medicare benefits from day one. Feldstein, Saving and Rettenmaier have all proposed allowing workers to place their Medicare payroll taxes into a personal- retirement health savings account. They argue this would allow the power of compound interest to help prefund Medicare’s future liabilities. Such a reform would also guarantee that future politicians cannot revoke seniors’ health benefits.”

    I have two problems with this right off. First of all, if people make ‘bad choices’ for example putting their savings into a mutual fund and having a health emergency when the stock market tanks–should we just put them on an iceberg?
    Second, the government is going to give these seniors a hunk of tax money, and then they have to choose an insurer from a poorly regulated market, or else Medicare will have to be watching these insurers like hawks. Why is it better to introduce a middleman into a system that now does a pretty good job of keeping administrative costs down?
    I’m just about the age to be handed a hunk of money and told to find myself some insurance. With inflation, and a for-profit health industry I’ll be in a very insecure place, unlike my parents who are part of the huge pool of over-65 Medicare recipients. Is it a death panel if you just shut off the heat in the winter and close the hospital door?

    1. Bravo again. Cogent points. I see that some feel that the private financial and insurance markets aren’t getting enough gravy from the seniors.

  6. One wonders at the the selectivity of charges of the ignorance, “ghost writers,” or superficiality of some and not others, especially since Bush the younger has left the scene and retired to Crawford. Ms Palin seems to receive most of the abuse these days, yet the vegetable intelligence of Ms. Boxer, Ms Pelosi or the clown for the ages, Mr. Biden, is given short shrift. I was amazed to learn, for example, that Mr. Bush the youner had a higher GPA at Yale than the wind surfing, ketchup and bean wed Senator Kerry, or that Mr. Gore seems not to have done well in college science courses, that the recently late Mr. Kennedy, the liberal icon, was tossed out of college for cheating on a math test, although he seems to have passed a driving test, and one glance at the lack of content in Mr. Obama’s use of words makes one very fearful that the glibness seen has not much intellect behind it. It was after all, Mr. Obama, removed from his needed, ghost written teleprompter words, who said, “I am not sure if I have visited 56 or 57 of our 59 states.” Now that is truly a sign of almost magical ignorance. In another speech I listened to, our leader, seeking to gain the environmental vote, said, “we need to do away with all forms of carbon.” The capstone of a ignorance in a recent Obama speech listened to was, “we need to reduce the length of time drug companies can keep their patents, so we can get more genetic drugs.” Yes, he said genetic drugs. Hopefully, the drug companies will comply and we can get our “genes” fixed, or perhaps Mr. Obama meant our “jeans.” Out here on the ranch, we do end up with many pairs of jeans that need mending. With this level of “capability” and intellect at the national helm, we should all be fearful.

    I seem to recall that the last President who seems to have written all his speeches, public comments, letters, etc., was Abraham Lincoln. The last President who really wrote all the books with his name on them, was Teddy Roosevelt. Mr. Lincoln apparently was able to scratch some 250 or so words on the back of an envelope on a train heading to a cemetery dedication at Gettysburg that reverberate even today. But that was before palm pilots and ghost writers.

  7. Numbers have meaning. A quick check, and there may be exceptions, indicate that a billion is a thousand million and a trillion is a thousand billion. The proposed socialization of medicine will cost about a thousand billion dollars, hmmmm. The debt under Mr. Obama’s “guidance” will escalate to 9000 billion dollars and bergaps as high as 13,000 billion dollars. This means that my 1-year old gradaughterwill at age 18 owe about $136,000 dollars just in time to statrt college….hmmmmm

    Many medical insurance companies are not for profits…no profit, zero profit., hmmmm

    The average margin for the medical insurance companies is apparently 3.6%, thats 3.6 cents of every dollar of revenue and that means 96.4 cents are payments out and overhead, hmmmmm

    Congress grants itself 5% raises every year, hmmmmm

    Computer softwear margins are 20-30%, hmmmmm

    only numbers.

  8. So do you think it’s a good idea to encourage older people who are needing more care and living on a fixed income to cancel their Medicare and choose a private insurance provider?
    If so, do you support any government oversight of the plans they choose? Do you support any medical care at all for seniors who make ‘bad choices’ and pick a lousy plan? And if the plans are going to need this much oversight, do we need a middleman?
    Should my generation, in our fifties, take a tax cut and take our chances that the insurance industry will be so reformed by the time we retire that we won’t miss Medicare?

    1. The white House has just agreed to verification of citizenship status to access routine care.This may be enough to break the logjam.
      Without verification it’s like saying no one can drive without a license,but then prohibiting the police from checking for a license when they stop a car.This will also be the acid test for all you leftists who claim that the bill prevented illegls from being part of the system.If you find verification objectionable,then the agenda becomes clear.It was my one major problem with the bill.

  9. Sorry about the delay, but been out in the field. One suspects that we need to define what terms like, “the insurance industry” actually means. It is a very complicated industry and treating the not-for-profit part, the same as the for-profit part seems less than appropriate. Similalry the current not-for-profit coops need special treatment. Then too, many colleges, for example, self insure through a medial broker at rather economic rates to members. Again, the median for the forprofit part of the industry is just 3.6%, much less than many other “indistries.”

    Similary, it seems silly if not nutsy to develop a new debt burden of $9-13 trillion (9-13,000 billion), when 83% of people surveyed with insurance said they were satisfied with their insurance. In the end it looks like about 40 million people are without insurance. Of that number, apparently 15 million are illegal aliens who should not be in the country in the first place, and who are NOT entitled to live off the payments of Americans for their medical issues. Another 15 million are 25 or younger and do not want inusrance–they have the “I will live forever” false viewpoint, or are folks making $75,000 or more a year and chose not to have insurance. The remaing 10 million or so folks cannot purchase insurcance because of a lack of funds. But, current social welfare programs are available, or can be enhanced to get them insured/covered for medical costs. In a nation of 338,000,000, the vast majority of folks are doing not too badly, the numbers seem to indicate.

    There is no need and greater potential harm and economic disaste that awaits by still another great leap to the left by this most ineffective and absurd administration in decades, rivaling that of Mr. Carter.

    But then, I am just a geologist and an old fossil.

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