Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who advised McCain on healthcare in 2008, and Avik Roy, who advised Romney on healthcare in 2012, want to reform Obamacare:
The great irony of Obama’s triumph … is that it can pave the way for Republicans to adopt a comprehensive, market-oriented healthcare agenda. The market-oriented prescription drug program in Medicare has controlled the growth of government health spending. Similarly, conservatives can use Obamacare’s important concession to the private sector — its establishment of subsidized insurance marketplaces — as a vehicle for broader entitlement reforms.
While most Americans view their healthcare system as “free-market,” Switzerland actually has the most market-oriented healthcare system in the West. It translates into universal coverage and low entitlement costs. Swiss government entities spent about 3.5 percent of gross domestic product on healthcare in 2010, compared to 8.5 percent in the United States.
Aaron Carroll raises an eyebrow:
Do they know that the Swiss health care system has an individual mandate? Do they know that the Swiss health care system has arguably more regulations, such that they can’t even charge a 25 year old and an 80 year old a different price (like you can in Obamacare)? Do they know that the Swiss health care system regulates drug prices and fees for lab tests and medical devices? Do they know the most someone can pay for insurance in Switzerland is 8% of income (which is less than Obamacare allows)?
Holtz-Eakin and Roy’s piece was and is primarily political, and doesn’t really have much to do with any facts or policy. They both (and many others) have overstated the case against the ACA for quite a while in my mind; that doesn’t mean I don’t read their stuff. And Holtz-Eakin was Senator McCain’s chief health policy advisor and Avik was an advisor to Gov. Romney. Given all this, the main content of the piece was reform of Obamacare v. strident ideological language arguing against something without offering an alternative that has been the norm for most opponents of the law for the past 34 months. So, even though my first thought was “Switzerland! I thought you guys hated mandates” I am personally glad to welcome them down from the ledge.