Does Texas Lt. Gov. Dewhurst Have a Soft Spot for Socialized Medicine and Individual Mandates?
Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is vying for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by outgoing Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. And a regular part of his stump speech for that seat is his stated-opposition to Obamacare. However, those who listen closely notice that, while he says he opposes Obamacare, he praises the outcomes of similar socialized medicine systems in Europe, Canada, and elsewhere.
For example, in a recent interview with the Waco-Tribune Herald, Dewhurst said: “We have the best hospitals and best doctors, yet our national outcomes are inferior to the Europeans, the Scandinavians, the Canadians, South Koreans, Australians and Japanese.” This statement seems tantamount to saying we have the best doctors in our capitalistic health care system, yet we cannot achieve the outcomes being achieved via socialized medicine. To put it mildly, that is a strange statement for a senatorial candidate who's promising to be tough on Obamacare to make.
(For the record, in seeking an explanation for this statement, I contacted members of Dewhurst’s campaign, but they did not provide an explanation.)
Dewhurst also has a habit of name-dropping to add gravitas to his views on health care. And one name he drops regularly is health-policy advocate Guy Clifton, a former Houston-area neurosurgeon. For example, Dewhurst points to a “years long collaboration” between himself and Clifton, yet he never tells the whole story—which is that Clifton is a proponent of Obama’s individual mandate.
And I haven’t even mentioned Dewhurst’s travels to Paris, where he praised the outcome of socialized medicine there.
The bottom line—If Dewhurst wants to be taken seriously when he speaks against Obamacare, he first needs explain why he thinks our current health care system is inferior to socialized medicine, and then he needs to explain why he keeps palling around with a proponent of the individual mandate (Guy Clifton).
Until then, it will remain hard to take him seriously when he speaks against Obama’s plan.