Huckabee Takes Kerry’s Idea

Ezra Klein quotes Mike Huckabee:

I want to see improvements in health care, too. But I think a better way to honor Ted Kennedy would be to ensure that every American has access to the latest private health care, as good as what senators receive

Matthew Yglesias likes the idea:

What’s interesting is that though you sometimes hear conservatives toss this kind of line off, they never really bore deep down and try to formulate it into a plan. But you could really do this. Senators don’t get private health care from magical fairies, they’re enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program just like lots of other people. Indeed, the federal government is the largest employer in the United States. This is a form of government-provided health insurance that just happens to be provided exclusively to civilian workers in the federal government. But it could be provided to more people.

Actually this was the major point in John Kerry’s health care proposal in 2004–opening up the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program to everyone who wants to buy in. Would Republicans like Huckabee go for it? No, back then they described Kerry’s plan as a “government take over of health care.”

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