Michael Cannon believes that advocates of universal coverage are driven less by serious policy considerations than by a species of religious conviction. He provides the following quote from Jonathan Cohn as proof:
To believe in universal health care is to believe that we can do more and do better, all at once — that it is possible to have hospitals full of high technology and emergency departments with room for all comers; that it is possible for people to choose their doctors and have a say in their treatments; that it is possible to make the economy more free and more efficient; and that it is possible to do all of this for everybody, not just an economically or medically privileged few, in a way we can all find affordable.
Note how much emphasis Cohn puts on belief. Presumably, he thinks that the laws of economics will be suspended if enough people “believe.” Cannon provides another example of blind faith, this time from the Indiana official who oversees Gov. Mitch Daniels’ health care agenda:
Like other advocates for children’s health, I have an almost religious conviction that the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) is effective public policy . . . Although I have no empirical evidence to support the assertion that SCHIP is a beneficial and effective way to invest in children’s health, I worked to expand the program . . . I was not able to base this expansion on empirical evidence because their is none.
It is people like this who will be making national health policy if the voters are foolish enough to give the Democrats control over the Presidency as well as Congress. If that doesn’t make you nervous, you’re not paying attention.
Michael Cannon reminds me that the Indiana official mentioned above is not a Democrat. This highlights the unfortunate reality that Republicans are also susceptible to the lure of faith-based health care reform.
Nonetheless, I do think a Republican in the White House would keep us safer (though not absolutely safe) from the bad reform ideas that would inevitably emanate from the Church of Universal Coverage.