During his tenure in Massachusetts, Gov. Romney pushed through a comprehensive reform package that won praise from the people at the Heritage Foundation but, also, the people in Senator Edward Kennedy's office. Critics on the Left and the Right tend to oversimplify the plan. Nevertheless, it is heavy in government requirements and subsidies, and light on deregulation.
Romney's health-care advisers divide into two camps: the Massachusetts people and the uber-economists. Needless to say, the people who he's brought from his Boston days see little wrong with RomneyCare. He also is advised by two of the sharpest minds in health policy: Glenn Hubbard and John Cogan. Hubbard and Cogan co-authored (with Daniel Kessler) the best book written in this field: Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise. They favor deregulation, greater competition, tax reform, and host of other free-market ideas.
Romney, in other words, has two sets of advisers, pushing in two separate directions. In Florida on Friday, Romney announced some principles for reform. Wisely, he listened to Hubbard and Cogan. The outline doesn't have much in way of details, but the ideas are solid and worthy of serious consideration. Together, they offer a dose of needed medicine for American health care.
Voters will need to consider, though, why he didn't seek the counsel of Hubbard and Cogan years ago.
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