Over the past year or so, I have given many talks around North Carolina talking about the need for health reform, my view that PPACA is a good start but that many harder steps will follow if we are to truly deal with costs, and the need to develop a plan for a long term sustainable budget. When talking in generalities, the vast majority of people nod and agree. Lo and behold, they hate all this spending! However, when you begin to talk about any policy that would have a chance to slow the rate of health care inflation, for example, people change their tune.
- Don't cap the tax exclusion of employer paid health insurance, I work hard for my benefits.
- Don't [pick one of many policies that could make Social Security solvent beyond 2039], that would mean a cutting of benefits/raising of taxes [hint: those are the two choices for Social Security reform]
- Don't begin systematically asking questions like 'does this improve quality of life?' 'does this extend life?' 'and how much does it cost per benefit?' in a program like Medicare, why that is rationing.
Update: Ezra Klein saying if you think PPACA slows costs too slowly, be for things that can change that.
More update: if you need a giggle break, here is Pat Toomey, being pushed to identify one thing he would cut (after waxing on and on about fiscal repsonsibility during campaign, etc.) identifying one thing federal study abroad funding.....total is $635 Million.....So, if we abolished that then the projected deficit next year would be about $1 Trillion, 199 Billion and 365 Million instead of $1 Trillion, 200 Billion. Maybe he is just pacing himself.....