Without a doubt, one of Mitt Romney’s hurdles for conservatives will be his support for a state government health care mandate in Massachusetts. But something immediately caught my eye while reviewing his presentation today. For those of you who read my stuff, can you guess what it is?
First step – review the presentation. It’s only a couple of dozen slides and you probably owe it to yourself to go through them.
When it comes to Massachusetts health care issues, we’ve written about the topic during the past few years. Click here for a listing that may include a few other posts not specific to Massachusetts’ legislation. I’m thinking the state was willing to implement the legislation thinking that in short order the federal government would step in and get involved in many ways. In short, a federal bail-out was in mind.
What if we handled health care exclusively at the state level? What would the results be? Blue states with a larger liberal population – like Massachusetts – might want a mandate that requires everyone has insurance. Some states may elect to completely stay out of health care. Some may select single payer.
Now back to the presentation, which I assume you’ve reviewed. What were the words that caught my eye?
Federalism. Laboratories. Competition.
Maybe the Romney campaign will soon be knocking on my door looking for advice since I’ve been writing about this same subject for what seems like decades.
Federalism is one of those topics people are not all that interested in talking about. I had a brief email conversation with Dan Mitchell at The CATO Institute and he too was struggling with finding a way to get people excited by the idea.
For a modern-day conservative, federalism really points to Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution and the 10th Amendment. Those references specifically limit the powers of the federal government and leaves other power to the states and the people.
You’d be surprised at how open I would be to letting the states and the people – state legislatures – make decisions on how to approach the health care issue. As Romney points out in his presentation, the states can be laboratories of democracy (my terminology has been “incubators of ideas”) and the competition between the states would be a constant motivator to come up with the best solution possible.
Of course, that solution may be different for different people represented in different states and that’s one of the reasons we need to remember we are the United States of America.
Here is a post on his speech today, and here’s more from the interwebs on Romney’s health care challenge and his presentation today…