Not Treating America’s Healthcare System

Andrew Sullivan —  Oct 24 2012 @ 10:35am

Surowiecki tackles Romney's healthcare proposals:

[T]he truth is that, despite the rhetoric, Romney’s main concern isn’t to bring down over-all health-care costs. In fact, he has regularly attacked one of the Affordable Care Act’s most aggressive cost-cutting measures—the independent board that can make binding recommendations on how to cut Medicare spending. What he wants is just to have the government less involved in health care. Insofar as his plans would lower federal health-care spending, it’s not because of the power of the free market; it’s because a Romney Administration would simply have the government do less.

Romney would eliminate the Obamacare subsidies for health insurance. He would turn Medicaid into a block grant to the states and trim its annual budget, with the result that its funding would lag behind the rise in health-care costs. And, if he adopts his running mate Paul Ryan’s premium-support plan for Medicare, he would make Medicare recipients pay higher premiums. With these changes, the government would spend less, but only because it would provide less, and Americans would get less. It’s like saving on defense by protecting only two-thirds of the country.