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.