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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Republicans -- Don't Think Small on Health Care!

. . . Blow this opportunity and there may never be another one.
by Herman Cain: When I ran for president, the most appallingly dumb thing I heard someone say did not come from a Democrat, or from a member of the news media. It came from a fellow Republican, and a pretty conservative one too.

Discussing my 9-9-9 tax proposal, former Sen. Rick Santorum scoffed at the idea with this one, simple, astonishing statement: “That will never pass.”

If anything ever exemplified the backwards mindset of Washington, that was it. It mattered not at all whether it was a good idea or a bad idea, or whether it would help or hurt. Santorum, who is certainly no liberal, thought the Washington establishment would be uncomfortable with the idea and would reject it.

End of story, as far as he was concerned. There’s no sense fighting for truly revolutionary ideas that can solve the nation’s very difficult problems. Instead, we have to just focus on things that “can pass.” I understand the supposed wisdom that politics is the “art of the possible,” but great ideas and great leadership can make things possible that were once thought to be impossible.

Rick Santorum once went to Washington with big conservative ideas. But he obviously got co-opted pretty quickly by the Beltway mindset, and by the time he ran for president, he no longer even thought it was worthwhile discuss outside-the-box ideas, since, hey, they wouldn’t pass.

I bring this up now because a Republican-controlled Congress and a Republican-controlled White House are about to tackle health care, and there will be a temptation to take the Santorum approach in developing the replacement for ObamaCare. This would perfectly fit the Beltway mindset, which wants to achieve “consensus” as easily as possible in order to avoid any drama or media storylines about Republican dysfunction.

The easy way to go would be to water down ObamaCare – maybe lighten up on the mandates change the structure of the exchanges – but otherwise leave it in place for fear that the public will revolt against the loss of some of its free stuff. They could pass this easily, send it to Donald Trump for his signature and announce to the world that they had checked off the ObamaCare repeal box.

And that would be a huge mistake. The fundamental idea of ObamaCare is economically absurd, and it’s resulted in the soaring premiums, narrowed service choices and collapsing insurance markets we see today. Keeping the essentials of ObamaCare but trying to “tweak” it to make it work better will not make things better. It will maintain the premise that health care is ultimately government’s to run, and when there continue to be massive problems, it will give the Democrats the opportunity to claim that everything was fine until Republicans were put in charge.

And if Democrats are able to use that argument to return to power in 2020, they will consolidate all government control of health care by socializing it completely. Everything – the hospitals, the doctors, the payment scheme – will be run by the government. If Republicans don’t get this right in 2017, that’s what they’re setting up.

No, they need to go bold. They need to make it easier for patients to make their own choices about their care – by using their own money. They need to get third parties out of the relationship between providers and patients to the greatest extent possible. They need to separate difficult risk pools like the poor and those with pre-existing conditions from the health market at large – so those in the mainstream market can much more easily afford to pay for basic care, while obtaining insurance against unexpected large expenses without losing everything in the process.

Liberals always insist free-market economics don’t work in health care. Liberals are wrong. They’ve been saying this for decades even as they themselves put the obstacles in place that prevent a free health market from really being tried.

Republicans have to replace ObamaCare with a true market system that will really change health care for the better. It will be harder to pass it. But it will get the best results for the American people. Republicans are going to own the ObamaCare replacement no matter what it looks like, so they might as well pass something that actually works.

And they should know: If they blow this, they may never get another chance to do it right.
-----------------
Herman Cain is a conservative radio host of CainTV, a 2012 GOP presidential primary candidate with over 40 years of experience in the private sector as an analyst for Coca-Cola, an executive at Pillsbury, a regional Vice President for Burger King, and CEO of Godfather's Pizza. Cain served as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and a supervisory mathematician for the Dept. of the Navy.

Tags: Herman Cain, conservative, radio host, CainTV, Health Care, Republicans, Don't Think Small To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
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