Matthew Holt

Pawlenty sounding Bush-like on health care

AHIP is in town (as in San Francisco) and sadly that means I’m juggling the office and conference going. So altough I made the odd party I missed former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty (who apparently was paid $30K to speak). However, Politico’s Kate Nocera seems to think he got a bit of a tough reception from the insurer crowd which by and large is going to enjoy the ACA and has set its course on making hay from it. But whether or not repealing ACOs and the experiments with Medicare financing are really going to happen (and they’re not) I was though struck by the final quote about exchanges: ‘And Pawlenty dismissed the importance of the state exchanges the law will create to provide consumer choice. “We already have an exchange: It’s called the free market,” Pawlenty said.’ Pawlenty shows himself to be a complete idiot on the Mark Pauly scale here. (Pauly is the Wharton professor who thinks that the individual insurance market works fine because it’s more or less OK for 80% of the people in it). But doesn’t this remind you of another not-too-bright former Republican governor? Remember who said this in 2007?: “I mean, people have access to health care in America. After all, you just go to an emergency room.” Let’s hope for logic’s sake alone we don’t end up with Pawlenty in the White House, as it could be a repeat of 2001-8 all over again.

Categories: Matthew Holt