This is hilarious. When politicians don’t have a record to run on, that’s when you see them try to distract voters with crazy new initiatives and other bells and whistles. It never works. Reelection campaigns are always a referendum on the incumbent. Tom Corbett’s economic policies have dragged PA’s job growth down from 7th in the nation to the bottom of the pack. His environmental policies suck, and his education record is hated by parents across the state. That’s what this election is going to be about.
But to the extent that we’re going to be talking about Obamacare, it’s important that the Democratic candidates for Governor give us more substance on what they’ll do to implement it at the state level. One thing Corbett’s right about is that we don’t have to follow the national policy. Now, the Corbett plan is a horrible idea, that basically cuts insurance benefits in order to finance some extra rents for big chain hospitals. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t positive changes we can make.
The ACA does give states a lot of flexibility to do almost anything they want that cuts health care prices more than Obamacare. Can we get some more inter-regional price competition going between hospital chains and insurers? Can we speed the transition to the big hospital chains becoming insurers themselves? Can we steal Maryland’s reimbursement rates? There’s all kinds of progressive stuff that we could do to cut costs at state level more than Obamacare does, and the Democratic candidates who want to be in charge of implementation need to start telling us more about what they want to do.