A libertarian argument for Universal Catastrophic Coverage

This is the sort of discussion we should be having. Universal Catastrophic Coverage would be an interesting start.

Republican attempts to reform the U.S. healthcare system have fallen short, yet again. Sen. John McCain, who cast the deciding vote against the last-ditch version of repeal-and-replace put forward by the Senate leadership, told his colleagues,

We must now return to the correct way of legislating and send the bill back to committee, hold hearings, receive input from both sides of the aisle, heed the recommendations of nation’s governors, and produce a bill that finally delivers affordable health care for the American people. We must do the hard work our citizens expect of us and deserve.”

More tinkering won’t do it. It is time to get serious about keeping the promises GOP leaders made at the very outset of the debate over healthcare reform—not just to repeal Obamacare, but to replace it with something that provides “coverage protections and peace of mind for all Americans—regardless of age, income, medical conditions, or circumstances,” while ensuring “more choices, lower costs, and greater control over your health care.” There is no point in making a new push for healthcare reform without putting some bold new ideas on the table.

Universal catastrophic coverage (UCC) would make an excellent centerpiece for the next round of healthcare reform. In fact, UCC is not even particularly new to the conservative playbook. Respected thinkers like Martin Feldstein, who would go on to serve as Ronald Reagan’s chief economic adviser, promoted the idea already in the 1970s. In 2004, Milton Friedman, then a fellow at the Hoover Institution, also endorsed the concept. UCC would make healthcare affordable, both for the federal budget and for American families. And because it would throw no one off the healthcare roles—not 22 million people, not 2 million, not anyone—it offers a realistic chance of the bipartisanship that polls show both the Republican and Democratic rank and file want.

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 And the author is from the Niskanen Center, a libertarian think tank that belies the usual claptrap seen with most libertarian think tanks. They not only acknowledge AGW but want a carbon-tax to deal with it.

They ant to increase immigration, especially from refugees. Also against government surveillance, curtailing military spending, and is for a universal basic income.

It takes a pragmatic view to liberty, recognizing that becoming more like Denmark or Canada might be a good thing because those countries enjoy more liberty than we do. Thus why they wrote that there was a “case to be made that Sanders has been the most libertarian candidate in the presidential race.

Some of these are pretty good ideas and why I tend to listen to those from the Niskanen Center than most Randian followers of libertarianism, whose allegiance to theoretical structures have little connection with reality. 

As John Rogers wrote:

There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

Libertarians would do well to be less ideological and more pragmatic. IMHO.

Image: DonkeyHotey

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