Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Top Tea Party Activist Accidentally Supports The Idea of Single Payer To Replace Obamacare

Well, this was amusing. Dean Clancy, vice president of public policy at Freedomworks (one of the major sewage collection facilities that birthed the Tea Party) went off script on C-SPAN the other day.

Someone called in to talk about TRICARE, the Department of Defense's health care program, and how the U.S. as a whole should adopt something similar to that. Here's how the conversation went:

CALLER: Good morning. I have looked at all the insurance companies all over the world and the governmental plans all over the world and it comes back to one item that sticks out that would work for everybody, employers, retired people, people who have a small business, people who have low insurance and high insurance. That is TRICARE. TRICARE is what would lower everything and increase everything as far as services and there is not a doctor who doesn’t know about TRICARE. [...]

CLANCY: TRICARE is an employer provided insurance for Pentagon employees and their families. I think it is fairly popular with them. It may have some problems, but in general it works better than Obamacare is likely to do. Employer provided insurance works pretty well, in fact Congress has the best employer provided insurance in the country, it’s the gold standard.

Well, I don't necessarily disagree with Clancy, but I'm pretty sure Clancy would disagree with Clancy. It somehow appears to have slipped his mind that TRICARE, is way more freedom killing than Obamacare. Pretty sure Lefties would love to have something like that implemented for everyone.

Later on, after seemingly realizing what he endorsed, Clancy tried to back peddle like crazy:

I was confused, misremembering Tricare as being like the popular and relatively market-based FEHBP, when in fact from your description Tricare is a bit like ObamaCare. 
There we go. Turns out TRICARE was garbage after all. I particularly like the next part:
I did a little refresher research after the show and discovered that Tricare is actually extremely unpopular with its members. (Try gooogling "I hate Tricare" for fun.) I should have remembered that, since one of my colleagues at FreedomWorks grew up in a military household and spits at the word, "Tricare."
Well, I guess that settles that. Sure, I suppose it would have been slightly more helpful to cite some, you know, surveys or studies that measured such things, but I guess getting the opinion of someone who already sides with you ideologically is good enough, I suppose. The other day I met someone who hated The Avengers, so looks like that's gonna bomb for sure now.

Also, his praise for the FEHB (the health care plan for federal employees) is quite baffling, because, as Think Progress points out, it's very similar to the way Obamacare operates:

Clancy also endorsed the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program, which is a federally-run exchange of private insurers similar to the marketplaces that will open on October 1 as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

He then finishes off with this:
My point, which I stand by, was that employer based health care is more efficient and popular than government-run health care is likely to be. True patient-centered care, if we can establish it, will be even better still.
So to summarize, he was originally trying to demean a government operated program (Obamacare) by praising an even more extreme government operated program (TRICARE) because he accidentally confused it with a different government operated program (FEHB) which turns out is nearly identical to the government operated program he was originally bitching about to begin with (Obamacare). 

Got that?

In any case, I suppose Clancy deserves some credit for at least acknowledging that the Dept. of Defense falls under the banner of "government", unlike a certain someone...

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