Somehow an idea gets accepted—by this writer included—that seems true, but isn’t. Here’s one: Support for a wholesale overhaul of our health care system is higher than it’s ever been. Wrong. It’s far less than the last time we had this level of debate in 1993—and indeed, support for a complete revamp is under 50%. From the Pew Poll:
Most Americans believe that the nation’s health care system is in need of substantial changes. Four-in-ten (41%) say the health care system needs to be completely rebuilt, while 30% think it needs fundamental changes. About one-in-four (24%) believe that the health care system works pretty well and needs only minor changes.
But there is less support for completely rebuilding the health care system than there was during the early stage of the Clinton administration’s unsuccessful effort to revamp health care. In April 1993, a majority of Americans (55%) said the health care system needed to be completely rebuilt. As discussion of Clinton’s proposals progressed, support for completely rebuilding the health care system declined. By June 1994, just 37% said the health care system needed to be completely rebuilt.
And this is before the debate really begins—assuming they let us have a meaningful debate with all the RUSH! RUSH! RUSH! RUSH!.
Still, the Pew Poll should be a storm warning to the Obama Administration. We all know what happened in 1993 because Hillary Clinton foolishly overreached the election mandate, and it appears President Obama failed to learn the lesson. People want changes—I sure do—but not the massive spending and” destroying the village in order to save it” approach coming out of the White House and Congress.
I still like the Medicare Drug plan as the model, but in any event, make it basic, keep it simple, and allow private companies to sell nationally instead of locally. Don’t try and control every I-dot and T-cross of the practice of medicine, don’t try to use health care reform as an excuse to accumulate power, don’t impose rationing or utilitarian ethics. Otherwise, the opportunity for positive reform will go the way of Hillarycare.