What People Really Want

You might want to take a look at Carl Cannon’s post at RealClearPolitics on American public opinion on Medicare For All:

Health care has emerged as the top policy issue for American voters, according to a new poll containing detailed data suggesting that any political party ignoring this topic – or misreading the public’s mood on it – does so at its own peril.

With the political discourse in Washington and in the national news media dominated by Russian hacking, President Trump’s business dealings and possible impeachment, the new survey asks respondents to rank the policy issues they consider most important to America’s future. In a list that included five other topics — the economy, the environment, education, foreign policy, and immigration — health care came out on top by a significant margin: 36% of Americans ranked it first, and 26% listed it as their second choice. Only the economy (26% ranked it first, 25% second) was close.

I found his post reasonable. The bottom line is that many Americans think that health care is too expensive, something needs to be done, and Medicare For All might be that something.

They’re right on the first two points. Health care, whether in the form of insurance premiums or deductibles, has been eating up their raises for decades and the costs are rising faster than their incomes.

In the absence of a commitment to cost control I’m skeptical that Medicare For All would save most Americans any money and, as I’ve pointed out before, I do not believe that serious health care cost control is politically possible in the United States. I don’t think that just kicking insurance companies out of the picture will free up enough money.

I also think that the political goal that some have, establishing health care as a right, is folly. IMO there’s an irreconcilable conflict among affirmative rights, rights of self-determination, and property rights, a conflict that can’t be resolved by good intentions or a slogan.

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