At one stroke here’s what this policy would accomplish. Every person in the state would have true health security; never again would a family be at risk of financial ruin due to illness. This outflanks Obamacare to the left, because, despite frequent White House hints to the contrary, Obamacare will still leave 20 million to 30 million Americans uncovered when the dust clears.
The GOP plan would achieve this goal more cost effectively than Obamacare would, because it includes more incentives for cost-conscious purchasing of routine services (while still assuring full protection in case of serious illness).
A senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and the host of the new podcast “This...Is Interesting,” Miller writes a weekly column for The Post.
It positions Republicans – for the first time in how long? – as addressing a major problem facing average Americans. And it does so in ways that confound the usual categories — covering everyone is “lefty,” but doing it via catastrophic is “righty” – showing how pragmatic a Republican policy can be.
The malpractice fix exposes a Democratic vulnerability. And when our GOP governor insists that every public official in the state carry the same coverage as citizens do (so there’s no question of “two-tier care”), you have, by my count, a “win-win-win-win-win” policy.
“Win-win” would be enough to pick the GOP up off the floor. “Win quintupled” starts to look like a road to salvation.
An initiative like this would be good for the country because we’re all better off if our two major parties offer serious competing ways to solve real problems. It helps no one but the Democratic party when crazed Republicans moan about “freedom” and “big government” without offering ideas that might improve health, schools, housing, jobs, wages, upward mobility and more.
All that remains is to pick the governor who can carry this off. New Jersey’s Chris Christie, Ohio’s John Kasich and Michigan’s Rick Snyder all have pluses (and minuses). But my choice is Susana Martinez of New Mexico — a state where one in five people lacks health coverage (a rate topped only by Texas, Nevada and Louisiana). Martinez is feisty, smart and down-to-earth, and as far from the Boehner-Cantor-Ryan Beltway crowd as you can get.
Oh, and her last name is “Martinez.” The Martinez plan could showcase the idea of states as laboratories (another conservative “win”) and prove a potential model for the nation.
No need to thank me, GOP. When you see people in pain, it’s a privilege to be able to help.
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