In 2003, Congress created a "Citizens’ Health Care Working Group" to gather from the citizenry ideas on how to fix America's health care sector. This past Friday, the group released interim recommendations worthy of the Clinton Health Care Task Force:
It should be public policy that all Americans have affordable health care
This and other of the recommendations contained here call for actions that will require new revenues... We recommend adopting financing strategies...such as enrollee contributions, income taxes or surcharges, “sin taxes”, business or payroll taxes, or value-added taxes that are targeted at supporting these new health care initiatives.
One need not be an advocate of socialized medicine to see that America wastes gobs and gobs of money on health care, which is one of the reasons that health care is so unaffordable. And these people think we should spend more? The group does recite the usual incantations about how the government should use electronic medical records, evidence-based medicine, et cetera to improve efficiency. But it does not pretend that such efforts would obviate the need for new taxes to achieve its goals. Nor does it consider that such a tax burden would hamper the economy's ability to deliver on the group's promises. Nor does the group seem to have any comprehension of the enormity of the task of making "affordable health care" actually happen. (For more on that point, see the introduction to Healthy Competition.) The public can read the group's interim recommendations here and comment on them until August 31.
Kudos to the Left. They seem to have successfully hijacked this panel -- despite the group having a chairman from the business community and one member who is a cabinet official in the Bush Administration.