Yesterday, Dr. Arthur Laffer appeared on several media outlets to promote the report he produced for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, “The Prognosis for National Health Insurance.” While most of the coverage has been positive and fact-based, one of his interviews has been mischaracterized by some to imply he does not understand that Medicare and Medicaid are government programs.

One such example of this appearing online:

Economist Laffer on CNN: “[J]ust wait till you see Medicare, Medicaid … done by the government”

What Dr. Laffer actually said on CNN:

“I mean, if you look at the unfunded liabilities of Medicare and Medicaid and the projections going out as to what these costs will be, I think she’s grossly underestimating the type of costs you’re gonna see from these programs. I mean, if…if you like the post office and the Department of Motor Vehicles, and you think they’re run well, just wait till you see Medicare, Medicaid, and health care done by the government. I mean, the single provider I think is a real problem Judy, and I know we have a disagreement here, but…”

When taken in context with his repeated references to government programs like Medicare and Medicaid throughout the interview, as well as throughout the report, this mischaracterization is extremely unfortunate.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation commissioned Dr. Laffer’s report to start a fact-based dialogue about effective health care reform. We believe that current health care reform proposals currently being considered in the House and Senate not only fail to solve the crisis, they worsen it. Dr. Laffer’s research clearly points out several indisputable facts that the current proposals based on President Obama’s policies would:

– add $285 billion to the federal deficit by 2019;- increase national health care expenditures by an additional 8.9 percent; – raise medical price inflation 5.2 percent above what it would have been otherwise; – slow U.S. economic growth in 2019 by 4.9 percent less than doing nothing; – impose an additional $4,354 financial burden on every man, woman, and child in the U.S.; and- still leave 30 million Americans uninsured.

In the end, it’s the research that matters.