Cross-posted from State House Call.
If you don’t already subscribe to “Healthy Competition,” an e-mail letter from the Cato Institute, you should. (You can do so at the institute’s health care portal.)
Here’s an excerpt from the most recent letter:
Cato senior fellow Michael Tanner takes a look at the poll numbers for a new government-run insurance plan in Townhall. Essentially, while Americans sort of like the so-called “public option” when the question is phrased the right way, they’ve made it clear that they would hate the actual results. “We would effectively be on the road to a single-payer health care system, with the government in complete control of one-sixth of the U.S. health care system and some of the most important, personal, and private decisions in our lives. Down that road lie massive new taxes, huge budget deficits, and ultimately government rationing of care. That is not what the American people are telling pollsters they support.”
In the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Tanner argues that in spite of President Obama’s rhetoric, the legislation before Congress will indeed cut Medicare, not simply root out waste, fraud and abuse. Both Medicare Advantage and traditional Medicare will feel the pinch. Even if a health care bill doesn’t pass, however, Medicare cuts are inevitable. The programs unfunded liabilities are just too great. “The fact is, no matter what they say, Democrats are going to cut Medicare and so are Republicans,” Tanner writes. “Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a politician, from either party, with the courage to tell us the truth?”