Ezra Klein asks, why Mike Huckabee wants to waste money on Medicare
What is comparative-effectiveness review? There are two answers to this question. The right answer, and Mike Huckabee’s answer.
Mike Huckabee’s answer is that comparative-effectiveness review is the seed from which “the poisonous tree of death panels will grow,” which is, if not a sensical image, at least a vivid one.
So at the moment, the Republican Party’s position is that Medicare and Medicaid cannot use studies measuring the effectiveness of different medical treatments when deciding what to cover or not cover. Another way to say that is they’ve decided against saving money by making better decisions about what to buy. Their remaining options are to save money by paying doctors and hospitals less than things currently cost, or to save money by giving seniors and Medicaid recipients less than they currently need. With smart rationing off the table, dumb rationing is all we have left.
However, I think they are missing the larger picture. Mike Huckabee wants Medicare to “waste money” because Mike Huckabee does not actually believe in limited government, is a fan of the welfare state and an unabashed believer in the wonders of modern medicine.
Via McClatchy a quote that strikes me as a good summation of Mike Huckabee
He always talked against taxes, but he wanted all these spending programs," former Democratic state Rep. Boyd Hickinbotham said. "So he’d treat taxes like a rotten egg. He’d hold his nose, but he liked being able to spend the money.
Movement Progressives should stop and think for a moment about what is happening in America before they go and AEI themselves. That’s when a formerly innovative and insightful group fails to recognize that they have won the war of ideas, can’t stop lashing out at old enemies and subsequently turns into a
bastion of harpies shell of its former self.
Right now Mike Huckabee is leading the Republican field. His principle opponent still cites Universal Health Care as his signature achievement. This is not an encouraging sign for the supporters of smaller government.
Huckabee might have signed a no new taxes pledge but where is Mike Huckabee’s heart? Is it drowning government in a bathtub along side Grover Norquist? Or is it better expressed in this passage from his book, from Hope to Higher Ground
I listened to countless young couples pour out their souls as they struggled to get their marriages in survival mode when confronted with overextended debt, sudden and unexpected unemployment and loos of income, or the anxieties of having a child with severe disabilities.
My experiences helped me to better understand that good government is not about policies, but about the people whose lives are going to be touched.
Mike Huckabee isn’t cynically trying to trick voters into abandoning the welfare state. He is trying to convince folks, not least among them himself, that you can have a bigger better welfare state with conservative Christian principles.