Yes, that Freedom Works; the original financier of the tea party started by the likes of Dick Armey and Ari Fleischer. Besides Karl Rove's American Crossroads, Freedom Works was quite possibly the most consequential political donor organization for both the 2010 and 2012 election cycles.
Whether it was a bait and switch, or it was prompted by a sudden pang of conscientiousness - OR - it was merely the incoherent ramblings of a guilt-ridden conservative, the vice-president of public policy for Freedom Works, Dean Clancy, told a C-Span caller on Sunday morning's Washington Journal (YouTube) that TRICARE, the Department of Defense's healthcare program that currently provides good healthcare for more than nine million active duty uniformed personnel (and their dependents) would work much better than the Affordable Care Act.
As reluctant as I am to ever give a Republican even a modicum of credit for a good idea -- which is not all that difficult due to the demonstrable fact that Republicans rarely if ever come up with a good idea -- in this particular instance, I kinda have to.
The advantages of TRICARE would be significant. To begin with, the long-established healthcare program enjoys a lot of popular support. And from what I understand it operates along the same lines as would a single-payer system. Virtually everyone would get coverage and costs in general would come down substantially.
I'd be very interested to know how TRICARE stacks up against single-payer in general.
ThinkProgress has the story and a relevant part of the transcript:
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 appeared on Washington Journal alongside Lori Lodes, the senior vice president for campaigns and strategies for the progressive Center for American Progress Action Fund.
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.
More from the article.
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.Well, it's been almost 48-hours since Clancy made this statement and so far no walk-back that I'm aware of. Kinda surprising really. I can't believe this guy hasn't been taken to the proverbial woodshed by now.
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.