WHAT DO CONG. PAUL RYAN, GOVERNOR/SECRETARY MIKE LEAVITT, GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY AND PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA HAVE IN COMMON?
A: Each understands just enough about health care, health policy and health reform to be capable of agreeing on how best to reform and implement Obamacare. They also know from experience you can’t get it right unless you are willing to provide the political leadership essential to ridding health reform of its disabling political partisanship.
Much is made on the right of Paul Ryan speeches on consumer directed health care, private Medicare, and repeal of Obamacare. But the insightful exchanges between President Obama and Ryan during the run-up to the passage of the law, especially the unusual day-long meeting in Blair House in February 2010 between Obama and the congressional Republican and Democratic leadership is most revealing to this point. As HHS Secretary to President George W. Bush’s second term, former Utah Governor Leavitt’s understanding of health reform is better than Ryan’s and his meticulous approach to planning the department’s priority goals and objectives day-by-day earned him his current job overseeing transition to a Romney presidency.
Ryan and Leavitt will strategize what can be “cast in stone” in the remainder of the campaign including the debates about “repeal and replace.” They both know, as Obama does only too well, that much of the leadership of our nearly $3 trillion medical industry desperately wants an end to the acrimonious and often illogical public debate over Obamacare. They need national policy that can be counted on long-range. That’s particularly true of the policies that drive economic security for the majority of Americans whose access to health care is currently dependent on tax-paid public insurance subsidies. Public tax or public insurance subsidies upon whom an entire private health care insurance and health care delivery system depends.