You hear some Republicans saying that Democrats running for Congress aren’t really for anything — they’re against the administration, but offer few concrete proposals of their own. That’s partly true. The Democrats, wisely, aren’t offering many new ideas or alternatives, unless you count gestures like raising the minimum wage and adopting the rest of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations.
But that doesn’t mean the Democrats are bereft of ideas. They actually have lots of them, and simply choose not to share them with the voters at this time. One big idea the Democrats continue to hold is the need for government control of healthcare. As Democrat control of government increases (if it does), expect them sooner or later to start pushing this idea hard again.
And don’t bet against “sooner.” The state of our current health care system has many Americans worried, especially folks my age and older who are relying more and more on that system. And Republicans, constitutionally, have trouble talking about health care issues in ways that consistently appeal to American voters. Thus, the Democrats have reason to believe that the politics of the issue coincide with their abiding desire for government control.
Today, the American Spectator hosted a lunch that featured four European health care policy analysts — two from England, one from Sweden, and one from Switzerland. Collectively, they made a powerful case against various forms of government controlled/regulated health care systems. That case includes the fact that Europeans (and Canadians) must wait much longer than Americans for cancer diagnosis (the time between when the physician raises the concern and when the relevant specialist is visited and testing is done), and then for treatment. Wait times for surgery are also often intolerable. One thing most Europeans don’t have to worry about is waiting for is a second opinion — in many instances, they’ve lost the right to obtain one. Thus, it’s not surprising that public opinion studies in England show radical dissatisfaction with the system there. Only 20 percent, for example, are satisfied with waiting times.
Democrats like Hillary Clinton consider it a national embarrassment that, virtually alone among western nations, we don’t have a government-mandated and government-controlled system to provide health care to all Americans. The only thing worse than not having such a system would be to have one.
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