Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Health Care Driven GOP Victory in November

President Bush's military success in Iraq may cast voter attention back to domestic concerns which, even the war notwithstanding, are considerable. The economy. Immigration. Health care. Of course, these are inter-related.

The conventional wisdom is that a domestic focus means a Democratic victory. In 2008, that is not so obvious. When the Democratic candidate want to repeal the Bush tax cuts, giving us the largest tax increase since World War II, when gas is over $4 a gallon and the Democratic candidate opposes tapping into American sources of oil and natural gas, and when he wants to (in effect) nationalize the health care system further inflating the deficit, crippling the economy and deteriorating the quality of health care, and when the Republican candidate advocates the opposite of these stands, an opportunity presents itself for the GOP to win on an domestic agenda. In other words, McCain's ticket to the White House is (1) keep taxes low, (2) drill for oil, and (3) reform the health care system with a market-driven approach.

In this month's issue of The New Atlantis: A Journal of Technology and Society, James C. Capretta will give you a comprehensive, clear and not numbingly detailed summary of the history of the issue and of the plans coming out of the two parties ("Health Care 2008: A Political Primer").

Capretta sees the audacity of hope on the Republican side, if Sen. McCain would only realize it and explain it convincingly to the American people. He concludes, "...we may well be witness this year to the emergence of the next great conservative reform effort. Indeed, health care reform just might turn out to be what tax reform was in the 1980s and welfare reform was in the 1990s: a platform for a focused conservative effort to achieve through market forces and economic incentives what the left has failed to do through government." Yes we can!

James C. Capretta is a New Atlantis contributing editor and a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He also writes a health care policy blog, Diagnosis.

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