By Gregg A. Masters, MPH
Amidst the relentless noise, fear mongering, hand wringing and incessant misrepresentation of both the legislative history as well as decades of development of sensible health policy context for competing models of managed competition or healthcare market reform, J.D. Kleinke in a recent New York Times Opinion piece titled ‘The Conservative Case for Obamacare‘ essentially clears the air once and for all.
For those of you without the time to scan right now, let me cite two key observations. But first, please be mindful that J.D. Kleinke is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a former health care executive and the author of the novel “Catching Babies”, and not some fringe liberal dwelling in a pseudo think tank pumping ideological fuel into the health reform disinformation rant. J.D. notes:
The core drivers of the health care act are market principles formulated by conservative economists, designed to correct structural flaws in our health insurance system — principles originally embraced by Republicans as a market alternative to the Clinton plan in the early 1990s. The president’s program extends the current health care system — mostly employer-based coverage, administered by commercial health insurers, with care delivered by fee-for-service doctors and hospitals — by removing the biggest obstacles to that system’s functioning like a competitive marketplace.
So much for the ‘Government takeover’ enshrined in Republican town hall talking points designed to to stir the pot and focus grandma’s attention on the inevitable death panels in her future.
J.D. further observes the likely source of the vigorous opposition to the Heritage Foundation inspired ‘individual mandate’ included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act aka ‘Obamacare’, as a market driven alternative to the Clinton administration’s ‘American Health Security Act of 1993, aka ‘HillaryCare’:
In the partisan war sparked by the 2008 election, Republicans conveniently forgot that this was something many of them had supported for years. The only thing wrong with the mandate? Mr. Obama also thought it was a good idea.
All I can say is ‘thanks J.D.’. I now wonder whether Matt Holt was projecting on your future when he tweeted:
Matthew Holt @boltyboy
JD Kleinke’s resignation letter from AEI