The debate over the health law showed that there is deep political opposition to Medicare cuts -- even if such cuts are the single most important step toward bringing down the country's long-term deficit. In theory, many voters (and politicians) are in favor of reducing the deficit. In practice, they don't like having their taxes raised or their benefits reduced.
That's why Mark McClellan, the former head of Medicare who is now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told me that he thought the best strategy might be for private insurers to take the lead on using medical research to make coverage and payment decisions -- as Aetna and Cigna have begun to do.
1. He seems to say that cutting health care spending means reducing spending on medical procedures with high costs and low benefits. I agree with that.
2. He seems to say that this is difficult to do politically, so that the private sector should take the lead. I agree with that.
My snarky comment is this: explain to me again why government is the solution to soaring health care spending.