Health care author asks St. Francis student: Why not learn?
Michael Tanner has a message for University of St. Francis student Jennifer Martin: Allow the possibility of being wrong.
Tanner, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, is known for his prolific research on health care reform and social policy, and in fact it was criticism of one of his papers that prompted him to call out Martin on her demand for punishment of an adjunct professor.
Martin was assigned to read Tanner's 2008 article "The Grass Is Not Always Greener: A Look at National Health Care Systems Around the World," but she objected, taking to social media to call it “ideological garbage" espoused by a "conservative propaganda machine,” according to Greg Piper, an associate editor for The College Fix.
Tanner responded by questioning Martin's willingness to be open to new ideas.
“I am happy to debate the content of my articles,” Tanner told the Will County Gazette. “If she disagrees with it, or someone else disagrees with it, I am always happy to discuss what I think is wrong with it and why I wrote what I wrote. But, apparently, she wasn’t interested in debate. She just didn’t want to hear a contrary opinion.”
Tanner also asked why Martin would want to have her instructor punished.
“The whole idea of higher education is to expose ourselves to as many ideas as possible,” he said. “If I thought everything today that I thought 10 years ago, or God forbid when I was 21, I wouldn’t have grown much.”
The University of St. Francis did not return calls for comment by press time.
Tanner’s paper highlights national health care systems from a free-market libertarian perspective, arguing that a health care system shouldn’t be centralized by a single, national entity.
“The answer then to America’s health care problems lies not in heading down the road to national health care but in learning from the experiences of other countries, which demonstrate the failure of centralized command and control and the benefits of increasing consumer incentives and choice,” the abstract of the policy analysis reads.