"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Friday, November 09, 2007

A Moment of Honesty From Krugman!

The ineffable Paul Krugman today (NY Times) critiques the arguments against single-payer "reform" of the U.S. health-care system, by summarizing those arguments as such caricatures that his discussion itself truly is a caricature of itself. How does he summarize the arguments against single-payer socialism in health care? "No insurance, no problem." "It's the cheeseburgers." "2007 is better than 1950." "Socialized medicine! Socialized medicine!"

So there we have it: It's all eyewash. But now let us defer to the observations made not long ago by a prominent economist and observer of health-care reform policies: Under a single-payer system of health insurance, "the public sector... sooner or later [would] have to make key decisions about medical treatment... [and] health care---including the decision about what treatment is provided---[would become] a public responsibility."

And who wrote those words? None other than our friend Krugman, in an exceedingly rare moment of honesty (New York Times, December 26, 2005).

So: Once we agree that under a single-payer system health care services inevitably would be rationed, and that government bureaucrats would do the rationing, and that a number of other not-very-attractive effects inexorably would emerge, the arguments against health-care socialism begin to look a bit less trivial, don't they? What say you now, Professor Krugman?

1 comment:

Pascal Fervor said...

Lest it be overlooked -- as I've not seen it mentioned ever in discussions of this sort -- let me observe the looming censor single payer unshackles.

Better. I'll let Dymphna of Gates of Vienna Blog express this chill:

There is a law before the EU parliament now, expected to pass, that will prevent any blogger from saying something the EU government (not his or her own govt) finds offensive. There are also provisions for attempting to get around it by blogging from another country. A “citizen” of the EU is subject to its laws first. Nor will you be permitted to “guest blog” anywhere else. The punishment is draconian: found gulity, you will lose your job, your pension benefits will be removed, and neither you nor your family will be entitled to any medical treatment. [bold added by Pascal]

Oh pooh. By all means ignore this threat and never let the thought cross your mind again or the words ever exit your lips; for this humble commenter is merely an alarmist. Assuredly given our history and doctrines of fairness it can never happen here.