Fox News Channel’s Steve Hilton, author of Positive Populism: Revolutionary Ideas to Rebuild Economic Security, Family, and Community in America, said Republicans must offer a “universal free market healthcare” plan to combat Democrats’ “Medicare for all” proposals.
Hilton joined Breitbart News Senior Editors-at-Large Rebecca Mansour and Joel Pollak on Thusday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight.
Mansour asked, “When I look at the healthcare issue, I’m quite concerned because I don’t see the GOP addressing the legitimate concerns of Americans. What do you think needs to happen here?”
Hilton replied, “I think you’re exactly right. The simple point you just made, which is it’s all very well for Republicans to just go on about how the Democrats are turning into kind of crazy socialists — and there are certainly things they’re saying that would justify that — but on this issue, which let’s remember, as you say, is the number one issue for voting in the midterms, let’s be clear, this is the reason that the Democrats now control the House.”
Hilton added, “So if you don’t like what they’re doing, if you don’t like all these investigations that we’re about to see and all the obstruction and all the rest of it, the reason for that is that the Republicans failed to offer anything positive on health care. This is really serious. We can’t just sweep it away. So I’m so pleased that you’re focusing on that. Just that fact itself is really important.”
Hilton recalled, “The thing that I always go back to on this topic is actually something that candidate Donald Trump said in the 2016 campaign, and it was something that really distinguished him from all the other Republicans running. So all the other [Republicans], they were coming out with the standard sort of line on a free market approach to health care.”
Mansour recited, “Free market, patient-centered approach. Those were the buzzwords.”
Hilton responded, “They were coming out with all that, and Donald Trump actually said something different. To be fair, he wasn’t super-specific, but he had a different message, and his message was — I play it regularly on my show to remind people — he was asked specifically [about] universal health care. That question was put to him on 60 Minutes. Trump said, ‘Yes. We’re going to take care of everybody.’ That was what he said.”
Hilton continued, “Now, you can criticize [Donald Trump] at the time for not having a plan to do that, but even the fact that he understood that that’s what people wanted was another example of him being more in touch with working Americans than the rest of the Republicans. So I go back to that. That’s the goal here. ‘We’re going to take care of everyone,’ in Donald Trump’s words.”
Hilton advised Republicans not to surrender the term “universal coverage” to Democrats.”
“Now, how are we going to do that?” asked Hilton. “The kind of aim, I think, in this whole area that we can definitely be critical of specific promises like Medicare for all and look at the costs and so on, and as you said when you dive into the details people might not be so positive about it, but I think there is one phrase out here that I think is really important and the Republicans should not cede to the Democrats, and that is universal coverage. The idea that everyone is covered, that everyone is taken care of, everyone has access to health care. That is a goal that everyone should share, and people think the Republicans don’t share that goal.”
Mansour stated, “Universal coverage does not have to be single-payer.”
Hilton remarked, “We should be aiming for universal coverage, and I think that’s the direction that Republican policy-making should take, but they seem to nowhere on this issue.”
Hilton warned of “centralization” and “concentration of power” associated with “Medicare for all” proposals.
“You’ve got organizations getting bigger and bigger and more bureaucratic and less responsive, and so on, so I think it’s exactly the wrong direction,” remarked Hilton. “So one part of this reform effort from Republicans has to be to decentralize the system. That’s why the competition — both in insurance and in the provision of healthcare — should be part of this story for Republicans.”
“In terms of funding, there’s no problem with funding. We spend twice as much on health care as the nearest other country per head. … Now, I know there’s an argument that a lot of that is because of medical innovation, the new drugs and treatments [developed] in America, and we’re paying for that, and other countries are benefits from that once the go generic. I understand that whole argument.”
Hilton went on, “But there’s certainly enough money around, at the moment. It’s not for wont of money. To the point of how we move forward politically, I think Donald Trump is crucial to that. The point about Republicans not being trusted is not just a sort of side point about the politics of this. It is the crucial point, because you’re not going to get anywhere in terms of actually winning the argument and then, frankly, winning elections and then having the ability to implement that policy unless you’re first trusted to do it.”
Hilton concluded, “If [Donald Trump] could go back to that position he took in the 2016 campaign and build from that, rather than what happened which is basically he gets elected and then hands the whole thing over to Paul Ryan, who comes out with the same kind of stuff that people have rejected and been frightened of for many years. That was the big strategic mistake.”
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