I came back from our Civitas luncheon yesterday, upset because the panelists largely ignored the bulk of the healthcare results of the DecisionMaker Poll, which I thought were far more important than all the speculating D.G. Martin and Tom Fetzer did on McCain, Clinton, Obama and the mobocratic winds of presidental politics.
Apparently someone felt the same way I did when Fetzer remarked that healthcare is just too "complicated" an issue to get any traction in the election — despite the fact that affordability in healthcare is the #1 concern among NC voters:
GOP political consultant Tom Fetzer at the Civitas Institute poll luncheon today said health care is too complicated to be a deciding issue in elections. It can’t be summarized in 30 seconds.
Let’s try 10 seconds:
No employer, insurance company, or government bureaucrat knows better than you about your family’s health needs. You should have the right to purchase health care and health insurance as you see fit, without governmental restrictions or penalties.
I’m open to suggestions to strengthen the pitch.
I wouldn’t change a thing.
If I was stumping, I might only add some preliminary rhetorical questions — making the elevator pitch the punchline:
1) Why don’t you have the right to buy less expensive insurance in other states?
2) Why do employers get a tax deduction to buy employees insurance, but you get no tax deduction to buy your own insurance?
3) Why are North Carolinians forced to pay for 47 coverage items like drug abuse treatment and providers like chiropractors — when they could choose which items they need and pay less?
4) Why don’t we know much of what anything costs in this state if we wanted to buy healthcare out-of-pocket?
5) Why are we paying to put more and more people on Medicaid, when we could offer subsidies to buy health insurance at a much lower cost to taxpayers.
6) Why isn’t N.C. doing anything about malpractice awards, which drive up costs for everyone?
7) Why does the party in power in this state want our healthcare decisions to be controlled by government?
8) Why does the party in power in this state have no interest in making the health insurance market more competitive, and thus less expensive?
9) Why does NC punish the individual and group markets with costly, burdensome regulations, when that’s only about 40 percent of the insurance market?
10) Why is the state trying to put middle class kids on Medicaid, when parents can afford insurance, and when doing so only drives up insurance costs for everyone else?
OK, OK. Maybe I’m proving Fetzer’s point to a degree by offering this laundry list of grievances. It does get complicated. But Coletti’s point is simple: the healthcare "market", such as it is, is messed up because government has turned it into an expensive, complicated Rube Goldberg machine that has nothing to do with consumer choice and everything to do with bureaucratic, employer, special interest and insurance company control. Government must get out of the way to empower the consumer again. That is your right.