Herman Cain laid out his health care vision during an address to the Congressional Health Caucus this afternoon, and it boiled down to this: in order to protect the best health care system in the world, we must repeal the Affordable Care Act, deregulate the insurance industry, and let the free market find insurance coverage for everyone. During a question an answer session with members of Congress, Cain applied his easy-to-understand health care solution to Medicare and suggested that that he would lower spending in the federal program by shifting the responsibility of providing health care to seniors to the states — which are already struggling with growing health care costs in the Medicaid program:
CAIN: Much of the over-regulatory burden that’s imposed by Medicare is driven by the fact that the bureaucrats don’t trust states and hospitals, I do. I would rather error on the side of trusting the states, and maybe five of them won’t get it right, but that the other 45 are going to get it right and we all will benefit. So we have to restructure how Medicare is administered, how the dollars are spent.
It’s unclear if Cain is referring to any specific proposal, although several states have passed “compacts” that would theoretically exempt them from the federal eligibility and benefit rules in the Medicare program and allow them to join other states in establishing their own Medicare rules. Congress would be required to approve these arrangements.