Obama Holds White House Health Care Summit
President Obama hosted almost 150 elected officials, doctors, patients, business owners, and insurers on Thursday for a White House forum on health care reform. The Washington Post reports Obama "reiterated his intention to press for legislation this year that dramatically expands insurance coverage, improves health care quality and reins in skyrocketing medical costs."
Cato senior fellow Michael D. Tanner responds:
The Obama administration and its allies mainly seek greater government control over one-seventh of the U.S. economy and some of our most important, personal, and private decisions. They favor individual and employer mandates, increased insurance regulation, middle-class subsidies, and a government-run system in competition with private insurance. On the other side are those who seek free market reforms and more consumer-centered health care.
These differences are profound and important. They cannot and should not be papered over by easy talk of bipartisanship.
In a new article, Tanner explains why universal health care is not the best option for Americans seeking a better system:
If there is a lesson which U.S. policymakers can take from national health care systems around the world, it is not to follow the road to government-run national health care, but to increase consumer incentives and control.
To find out how the free market system can increase health care security, read University of Chicago professor John H. Cochrane's new policy analysis, which explains how markets can "provide life-long, portable health security, while enhancing consumer choice and competition."
Battle Over Washington DC School Choice Program Continues
Congressional Democrats are considering cutting the funding for a pilot education program that sends low-income children in Washington, D.C., to private schools through vouchers. The program serves as an example of how helpful school choice programs can be to children who are born into families that cannot afford to send them to good schools.
Adam Schaeffer, policy analyst at Cato's Center for Educational Freedom, says even the mainstream media is on the side of school choice this time.
In a recent study, Andrew J. Coulson, director of Cato's Center for Educational Freedom, demonstrates the superiority of market-based education over monopolies.
For comprehensive research on the effectiveness of charter schools, private schools, and voucher programs, read Herbert J. Walberg's book, School Choice: The Findings.
Cato Celebrates Women's History Month
The Cato Institute pays homage to three women during Women's History Month who unabashedly defended individualism and free-market capitalism early in the 1940s — an age that widely considered American capitalism dead and socialism the future.
In 1943, Isabel Paterson, Rose Wilder Lane and Ayn Rand published three groundbreaking books, The God of the Machine, The Discovery of Freedom and The Fountainhead, that laid the foundations of the modern libertarian movement.
On Rand's centennial, Cato executive vice president David Boaz highlighted the many contributions she made to liberty:
Although she did not like to acknowledge debts to other thinkers, Rand's work rests squarely within the libertarian tradition, with roots going back to Aristotle, Aquinas, Locke, Jefferson, Paine, Bastiat, Spencer, Mill, and Mises. She infused her novels with the ideas of individualism, liberty, and limited government in ways that often changed the lives of her readers. The cultural values she championed — reason, science, individualism, achievement, and happiness — are spreading across the world.