July 10, 2007 2:59PM

Anti‐​Universal Coverage Club in National Journal

The Anti-Universal Coverage Club was written up in National Journal (subscription required) just nine days after it was launched.  The article notes that former Medicare trustee Tom Saving is among the club's members.

It also notes that the club is "at odds not only with liberals but also with some conservatives."  For example, it quotes Galen Institute president Grace-Marie Turner on why she does not plan to join:

It's perception. If people think we're against having everyone have health insurance coverage, what kind of statement is that?

Turner is right about those opposed to "universal coverage" facing a perception problem.  In my experience, the health policy community is characterized by:

  1. A pervasive opinion that the best way to protect people's health is for government to pursue health insurance coverage for all, and
  2. A common perception that if you do not support universal coverage, you are an uncaring person

Another word for #2 is prejudice.  Which is bad enough by itself.  But if #1 is incorrect -- and there is ample reason to suspect that it is -- then #2 commits another sin by preventing people from questioning #1.

Turner values freedom and thinks that markets outperform government.  If such people believe that #2 is too difficult to overcome, that makes it even more important that the Anti-Universal Coverage Club challenge that prejudice.