In October 2013, a program entitled “Health Care from the Pulpit” was introduced by Enroll America, a non-profit organization whose purpose is to increase enrollment in services provided by the Affordable Care Act among the previously uninsured. They intend to bring churches of different faiths together to “be engaged in the education and outreach efforts around the Affordable Care Act open enrollment period.”
Programs like “Health Care from the Pulpit” have existed for centuries and in a number of national contexts. The greatest example occurred during the spread of the smallpox vaccine in France in the early 19th century.
Instapundit’s op-ed on the problems at Veterans Affairs hospitals reads like a plug-and-play template for libertarian commentary: “The cleanup will be, basically, impossible. That’s because the VA is government health care.” He goes on to argue that the unacceptably long wait times, deceptive record keeping, and undeserved executive bonuses at VA facilities are due to a lack of free-market competition: there’s no bottom-line issue, so managers mismanage with impunity.
This would be a more compelling argument if the free-market alternative—the real-world one, not the theoretical one used so often to bash (real-world) government work—actually performed consistently better, and actually had a better system for accountability.
Last week, Christian social justice activist Ron Sider declared that he is quitting AARP because it's opposing changes to Social Security and Medicare that he finds reasonable: proposals that would ask more from wealthier seniors.
There are alotofideas out there for shoring up Medicare and Social Security, ideas that should be given serious consideration. And I agree with Sider on several points.