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Morning Bell: Mainstreaming Medicare
Posted By Conn Carroll On August 26, 2008 @ 9:21 am In Ongoing Priorities | Comments Disabled
DENVER — The air of excitement among progressive activists really is palpable here at the Democratic National Convention. Their supreme confidence that they will win the White House has been shaken a little, but they still believe Barack Obama will prevail and they are certain they will strengthen their majorities in the House and Senate. But as much as everyone here truly despises President Bush, they also refuse to credit him for all of their party’s recent electoral success. Such an argument would undermine one of their core beliefs.
As New York Times Paul Krugman  put it yesterday: “America is not a conservative nation and never has been.” Arianna Huffington  echoed Krugman’s assessment: “Everything that once was a left wing position, is now mainstream. We are the mainstream.”
So what are the mainstream policies the left wants government to deploy? Massive government central planning on a scale not seen since World War II , energy costs much higher than this summers high gas prices , government tracking of every U.S. citizen from cradle to grave , and government-run health care . Are these mainstream positions?
Rassmussen Reports is one of the most accurate pollsters in the country . Here are just some of their recent results on American attitude toward government: 56% of Americans believe the $170 billion stimulus package passed by Congress early this year has had no effect on the economy ; 54% of Americans believe the best thing the government can do is get out of the way by reducing regulation and taxes ; 62% of voters prefer fewer government services with lower taxes ; 60% say higher taxes hurt the economy ; and only 29% favor a national government run health care system .
Making the case that Obama’s first act as president ought to be a push for government-run health care, Krugman spun a tale about a senator visiting constituents who was told: “Senator, you need to to government out of Medicare.” For Krugman, this story proves how much Americans love big government-run health care programs like Medicare. But Krugman might want to revisit the story. If the story is true, the American in question obviously was unhappy with Medicare in some way and thought a smaller government role was the answer. After all, its not like Medicare runs well now. The system is rife with fraud  and Congress has repeatedly  shown  it is incapable of controlling the special interests that drive Medicare’s run away costs .
A better way for both Medicare  and health care reform for everyone  is with a national health insurance exchange that allows Americans to choose from a wide variety of health care plans, including fee-for-service and preferred-provider options (PPOs), health maintenance organizations (HMOs), and health savings accounts (HSAs). Obama says his health care plan is like this, but there is one huge difference: Obama wants a Medicare-like program to compete with the private plans. In other words, Congress would be both a player and the umpire in the health care game. Mainstream Americans know this a recipe for disaster .
Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News Blog from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org
URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2008/08/26/morning-bell-mainstreaming-medicare/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://www.foundry.org/tag/dnc08/
 Paul Krugman: http://www.foundry.org/2008/08/25/progressive-all-stars/
 Massive government central planning on a scale not seen since World War II: http://www.foundry.org/2008/08/25/bring-back-the-wpa/
 energy costs much higher than this summers high gas prices: http://www.foundry.org/2008/08/25/the-left-loves-high-energy-costs/
 government tracking of every U.S. citizen from cradle to grave: http://www.foundry.org/2008/08/25/government-tracking-from-cradle-to-grave/
 one of the most accurate pollsters in the country: http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2008/05/pollster-ratings-v311.html
 56% of Americans believe the $170 billion stimulus package passed by Congress early this year has had no effect on the economy: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/business/general_business/most_say_stimulus_had_no_impact_best_economic_policy_is_getting_government_out_of_the_way
 62% of voters prefer fewer government services with lower taxes: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/benchmarks/62_of_voters_prefer_fewer_government_services_with_lower_taxes
 60% say higher taxes hurt the economy: http://rasmussenreports.com/public_content/business/taxes/60_say_tax_hikes_hurt_economy
 29% favor a national government run health care system: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/issues2/articles/29_favor_national_health_insurance_overseen_by_federal_government
 The system is rife with fraud: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/25/AR2008082502157.html
 repeatedly: http://www.heritage.org/Research/HealthCare/Medicare/wm1330.cfm
 shown: http://www.heritage.org/Research/HealthCare/wm1959.cfm
 Medicare’s run away costs: http://www.heritage.org/Research/HealthCare/wm523.cfm
 Medicare: http://www.heritage.org/Research/HealthCare/wm565.cfm
 health care reform for everyone: http://www.heritage.org/Research/HealthCare/wm2024.cfm
 a recipe for disaster: http://www.foundry.org/2008/08/20/morning-bell-the-road-to-single-payer/
 a new $115 billion stimulus package: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121970803923071113.html?mod=hpp_us_whats_news
 The ruling prevents him from being treated as a criminal and deported from the country: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/08/25/MNKN12AFM3.DTL
 the United States announced it intends to deliver humanitarian aid: http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2008-08-26-us-georgia_N.htm
 North Korea announced that it has suspended the dismantlement of its nuclear program: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-norkor27-2008aug27,0,2556056.story
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