Cheer up, folks!
There's a big victory for a smaller government that you’re not celebrating.
The subtext of my earlier post, "Conservative Health Policy: A Quick Look at The Wins We Celebrate," was the observation that many of the policy wins right-of-center folks celebrate — Health Savings Accounts, Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Part D to name a few — aren’t necessarily policies most of us would eagerly vote for.
If you buy the premise, you’ll have to admit it naturally leads to some pretty interesting questions. Have we been so ineffective that we mostly opposed what we now call our wins? Or, is it perhaps more that, for one reason or another, we’re not celebrating the wins we’ve had?
If you ask me, there’s a good bit of truth to the latter.
Major wins like the Hatch-Waxman Act and Operation Warp Speed are significantly under-rated in our circles. Worse, they sometimes fly under the radar altogether. The good news is that a major such win, “the most notable reversal of a government expansion since the welfare reforms of the 1990s”, according to my recent Reason piece, is happening as we speak:
“A few months have passed since most states restarted redeterminations in June and July. While it's still early—the unwinding is expected to take 12 to 14 months—the data that's come in already defies the Higgsian prediction: 10.6 million people have been removed from Medicaid, an unprecedented number and orders of magnitude greater than any previous episode in its history.”
I’m aware that the pandemic-era halt to redeterminations wasn't meant to be permanent and that the pandemic is long gone. Read the whole thing and see this:
If you’re still not convinced, ask yourself what have you heard more: complaints of North Carolina's expansion, adding coverage to around 600,000 people, or celebrations of the unwinding?
Yes, we may be losing the war over the size and scope of Medicaid, but we sure seem to be winning this battle. So cheer up, folks. You're not as ineffectual as you think.
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