John Goodman of the National Center for Policy Analysis unveils for National Review Online readers an alternative to Obamacare that claims to combine the best elements of reform proposals from the right and left.
The proposal I suggest would achieve four remarkable things: It would be more progressive than Obamacare, because it would involve more distribution from higher- to lower-income households. It would provide genuine protection for people who have a preexisting condition, as opposed to the bait-and-switch promises of Obamacare. It would provide genuine access to care for everyone, as opposed to leaving 30 million uninsured, as Obamacare does. And it would work in practice, primarily because it would confine the role of government to setting a few simple rules of the game, leaving individual choice and the marketplace to do the heavy lifting.
I call this reform a “consensus reform” because it draws not just on such right-of-center think tanks as the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, and the American Enterprise Institute but also on such left-of-center think tanks as the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, and various scholars including President Obama’s former and current economic advisers, Peter Orszag and Jason Furman. It takes the best ideas these folks have offered and combines them with an important principle: No plan designed by those at the top can ever work unless people at the bottom have an economic incentive to make it work.
Further, the ideas presented here are consistent with the health-care plan John McCain endorsed when he ran for president and with health-care-reform legislation introduced by Senator Tom Coburn, Representative Paul Ryan (Wis.), and other Republican members of Congress. So it could easily be adopted as the Republican alternative to Obamacare.