I receive the occasional email from Sarah Berk in her official capacity as the executive director of a group called Health Care America. (Disclosure: Sarah and I used to work for the same U.S. Senator.) Typically, these emails riff on the theme:
"Health Care America promotes common-sense policies that limit government control . . . in the U.S. health care system."
A recent example is an email informing me that "Health Care America has recently released two op-eds that explain why increased government-control over our health care system reduces consumer choice, quality and innovation."
So I'm always amused to find an example of government control that Health Care America thinks is just hunky-dory. And then another. And another. And yet another.
For example, Health Care America supports:
- Socialized drug coverage for seniors.
- Government barriers to trade that prevent Americans from purchasing prescription drugs from abroad.
- State laws that require people to purchase health coverage and that regulate health insurance in a manner reminiscent of HillaryCare: "The recent success of Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in creating a universal system using the private sector demonstrates that it is possible to reach bipartisan agreement on positive changes."
- Government control over charity care in general: "Health Care America believes in the social safety net that is funded by government."
- The nightmarish Medicaid program in particular: "the U.S. rightfully invests significant resources in the program."
- Expanding the State Children's Health Insurance Program. According to Health Care America's ad campaign: "SCHIP is a notable health care success story...Expanding SCHIP to allow states to cover custodial adults is one easy way to get more children covered by the program."
How does an organization come to adopt such a sharp yet selective distaste for government control? And with so many types of government control that it supports, why the strident anti-government rhetoric?