A top conservative leader endorsed a government-run health care program similar to single-payer during an appearance on CSPAN’s Washington Journal on Sunday morning, telling a caller that TRICARE — the Department of Defense’s health care program for more than 9 million active duty uniformed personnel and their dependents — works even better than the Affordable Care Act.
Dean Clancy, the Vice President of Public Policy at Freedom Works, an organization that vehemently opposes President Obama’s health care law and advocates for eliminating most government regulations in the health care system, admitted that the government program is “fairly popular” with military members:
CALLER: Good morning. I have looked at all the insurance companies all over the world and the governmental plans all over the world and it comes back to one item that sticks out that would work for everybody, employers, retired people, people who have a small business, people who have low insurance and high insurance. That is TRICARE. TRICARE is what would lower everything and increase everything as far as services and there is not a doctor who doesn’t know about TRICARE. [...]
CLANCY: TRICARE is an employer provided insurance for Pentagon employees and their families. I think it is fairly popular with them. It may have some problems, but in general it works better than Obamacare is likely to do. Employer provided insurance works pretty well, in fact Congress has the best employer provided insurance in the country, it’s the gold standard.
The DoD initiative, which like Medicaid, contracts with private insurers, offers health care services “through both military and nonmilitary hospitals, clinics, and other providers.” Military retirees and their family members are also eligible for the TRICARE health benefit and over 75 percent participate in the government-run program.
Clancy also endorsed the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program, which is a federally-run exchange of private insurers similar to the marketplaces that will open on October 1 as a result of the Affordable Care Act.
He appeared on Washington Journal alongside Lori Lodes, Senior Vice President for Campaigns and Strategies for the Center for American Progress Action Fund.