Embrace Obamacare?

Here’s an interesting post by James Pethokoukis at Ricochet.

If you posit that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is here to stay, then what? One possibility for advocates of consumer-driven health reform is to embrace the health care reform law. Like, really embrace it. To the max.

Obamacare for All.

Look, we need real reform to stem health care inflation and efficiently and sustainably modernize America’s social safety net along market-friendly principles. In a recent blog post, Avik Roy outlines a fairly simple and straightforward way of doing this.

1. Deregulate the state exchanges, while capping subsidies.

2. Slowly shift Medicare patients into the exchanges.

3. Let more people buy insurance on their own rather than through their employer.

4. Move Medicaid patients into the exchanges.

The result would be a more coherent system where more Americans would be buying health insurance on their own from private insurers competing hard for their business. More Americans would be acting as involved consumers. “Under an Obamacare-ified Medicare system,” Roy writes, “upper-income seniors would no longer be eligible for the program, saving trillions of dollars. And growth in Medicare and Medicaid spending would be defined by a sustainable growth rate, rather than a blank check.”

Read the whole thing. Wouldn’t it just drive the progressives nuts if Obamacare turned into a free market boon rather than the government payer system they’ve all been hoping for? Obama could kill the entire economy and get away with it, but if his signature health care law failed to destroy private insurance and bring about single payer he could go down in history as a rotten president after all. Heh.