The other day, Sarah Palin cited my work in an oped for the Wall Street Journal. So when the Democratic National Committee savaged her for it, ABCNews.com asked me for comment. Here's an excerpt from George Stephanopoulos' blog:
"Instead of poll-driven 'solutions,' let's talk about real health-care reform: market-oriented, patient-centered, and result-driven," wrote Palin. "As the Cato Institute's Michael Cannon and others have argued, such policies include giving all individuals the same tax benefits received by those who get coverage through their employers; providing Medicare recipients with vouchers that allow them to purchase their own coverage; reforming tort laws to potentially save billions each years in wasteful spending; and changing costly state regulations to allow people to buy insurance across state lines."
Cannon, the Cato expert referenced by Palin, has not had any direct contact with the former Alaska governor or any of her advisers.
He did, however, come to her defense on the Medicare issue.
'Vouchers would not make seniors less secure, it would make them more secure,' Cannon told ABC News. 'Everyone agrees that Medicare cannot go on spending as much money as it does now. The voucher idea allows individual consumers to make their own decisions about what they need and what they don't need.'
'Giving Medicare seniors a voucher is the most rational, the most humane way to contain Medicare spending,' he added.
Asked about the DNC's charge that Palin's proposal would leave seniors with pre-existing conditions vulnerable, Cannon, the director of health policy studies at Cato, called it 'pure uninformed demagoguery.'
Cannon says that under proposals he has developed, bigger vouchers would be given to people with pre-existing conditions as well as to people with low incomes.
Actually, I think what I said was that DNC communications director Brad Woodhouse was engaging in pure ignorant demagoguery. But whatever.
The DNC is even running an ad claiming that Republicans are trying to "cut" and "kill" Medicare, presumably with vouchers. Never mind that President Obama proposes to "cut" (i.e., slow the growth of) Medicare spending too.
If Republicans were smart -- hey, where are you going? -- they would be running ads that say:
President Obama wants government bureaucrats to decide whether seniors get health care. Republicans are fighting to control health care costs and preserve seniors' ability to make their own health care decisions and choose the benefits that they value most. Support Medicare vouchers!
For more on reforming Medicare the right way, click here.