Health Strategy: Bait and Switch

The goal of single-payer advocates has never been a secret. Let government get control of the dollars, and then control costs by ratcheting down payments to providers, limiting access to technology, and rationing care. Trouble is, this eat-your-spinach approach doesn't sound palatable to voters. So UC Berkeley political science professor, Jacob Hacker, writing in a New Republic article, has an idea: spend vast sums of money on health reform as a way to buy off the opposition to liberal ideas. 

Hacker, an Obama campaign health policy advisor, argues the Clinton health reform plan was derailed 16 years ago because the convoluted plan was pitched as a way to reduce medical expenditures – causing the population to fear that access to medical care would be reduced and care rationed.  But Americans don't really believe society is spending too much for health care. They only believe that they personally are paying too much. 

Once universal coverage is fully implemented, Hacker says reimbursements to specialists could then be ratcheted down and additional savings squeezed out of the system through rigid practice guidelines and disease management. 

Comments (4)

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  1. drsam says:

    I think this is a pretty accurate prediction of things to come.

    This is pretty much the way they got the NHS disaster under way in Jolly Old England.

    If it worked there, surely it’ll work here in the colonies.

    I’m hoping these leftists will at least allow us to continue driving our cars on the right.

  2. Ken says:

    What cars? Do you think you are going to be allowed selfish pursuits like automobile driving. In the new regime, socially approved transportation will be subways and buses. All public sector, of course.

  3. Richard Walker says:

    At a briefing on January 16, Brookings scholar, Henry Aaron, apparently agreed with Hacker’s assessment. He said the motto of health reform should be” “spend now, save later”

  4. Ronda says:

    Isn’t this logic sort of like planning to lose a little on every sale but making it up on volume?