Click here for a guide to following the health care reform story online.
The reality of it is, this single-payer program known as Medicare is a very good example of what we should not have happen with all of our health care. The reality of it is, how many times have we been at the trough of bankruptcy and no money for the Medicare program, where Congress is running around like chickens with their head cut off, trying to figure out how to fix a program that they've already mismanaged? So now you want to do that, Congressman, on a larger scale? You want to include all of us. You're talking about taking our senior population, and expanding it to all of the population? Government cannot run a health care system. they've already shown that. Trust the private markets to do it the right way.
To summarize: Medicare is a terrible government program. It should therefore be inviolate.
Update, Aug. 28: You have to wonder whether Steele is starting to wish he'd never brought this subject up. In an Aug. 27 interview with National Public Radio's Steve Inskeep, Steele tied himself into knots trying to explain his true feelings about Medicare:
Q: It sounds like you don't like Medicare very much at all. ...
A: No, I'm not saying that. No, Medicare—
Q: But you write in this op-ed that you want to protect Medicare because it's politically popular. People like Medicare.
A: No, no, no, no, no. Please, don't—
Q: That's why you're writing to protect Medicare.
A: Well, people may like Medicare, and liking a program and having it run efficiently is sometimes two different things. And the reality of it is simply this: I'm not saying I like or dislike Medicare. It is what it is.
Eventually the interview degenerated into a Marx Brothers routine, with Inskeep playing Groucho and Steele playing Margaret Dumont:
A: [S]ure, there are issues in the insurance market that we can regulate a little bit better and that we can control better to maximize the benefits to the consumers. That's something that, yeah, we can rightly reform and fix. If the—
Q: Wait a minute, wait, wait. You would trust the government to look into that?
A: No. I'm talking about the—I'm talking about private—I'm talking about—
Q: Who is—
A: Citizens. I'm talking about—
Q: You said that's something that should be looked into. Who is it that should look into that?
A: I'm talking about those who—well, who regulates the insurance markets?
Q: That would be the government, I believe.
It's well worth listening to the whole thing.