Health Care

Public Plan Poll

David Kopel of Volokh points to this troubling poll in the National Journal:

Left-leaning (18 votes) Right-leaning (12 votes)
Excluding it would be a deal-breaker: 72.2%
I want it, but inclusion is not essential: 27.8%
I oppose it, but exclusion is not essential: 0%
Including it would be a deal-breaker: 0%
Excluding it would be a deal-breaker: 8.3%
I want it, but inclusion is not essential: 0%
I oppose it, but exclusion is not essential: 25%
Including it would be a deal-breaker: 58.3%
Unsure (volunteered): 8.3%

Only 58.3% of conservative bloggers consider a public plan to be a “deal-breaker”?  I’m a little bit unclear what that phrase is supposed to mean, but I assume it indicates a proposal so noxious that conservatives would simply refuse to cooperate with its passage.

Here’s a quote from a conservative who is “opposed” but doesn’t consider it a deal-breaker:

“Public insurance can be available for those who want/need it, but it should in no way take away choices from individuals for private insurance.” D.S. Hube, The Colossus Of Rhodey

A public plan is socialized medicine by inches.  It is probably impossible to guarantee both that public insurance be available and that it not interfere with private choice “in any way”.  Either the public plan will be allowed to go bankrupt if it runs out of money (and won’t be available), or it will be subsidized and price out the private market (limiting choice).  As Kopel explains:

“The government insurance program would inevitably benefit from taxpayer subsidies, making it less expensive, in the short run, than independent plans. Over time, the independent plans would be driven out of business, and even before then, many employers would force their employees into the government program. As private competition is eliminated, the imposition of Canadian-style rationing becomes feasible.” David Kopel, The Volokh Conspiracy

I’m not sure that conservatives understand what they are up against.  They need to be opposed to this, and united in their opposition, if they want to have any chance of stopping the redistributive state’s next advance.

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