Megan McArdle has some thoughts:
Robert Wright notes that “we already ration health care; we just let the market do the rationing.” This is a true point made by the proponents of health care reform. But I’m not sure why it’s supposed to be so interesting. You could make this statement about any good:
“We already ration food; we just let the market do the rationing.”
“We already ration gasoline; we just let the market do the rationing.”
“We already ration cigarettes; we just let the market do the rationing.”
And indeed, this was an argument that was made in favor of socialism. (No, okay, I’m not calling you socialists!) And yet, most of us realize that there are huge differences between price rationing and government rationing, and that the latter is usually much worse for everyone. This is one of the things that most puzzles me about the health care debate: statements that would strike almost anyone as stupid in the context of any other good suddenly become dazzling insights when they’re applied to hip replacements and otitis media.
It doesn’t help that there is so much economic ignorance out there (not to mention in my comments section).
[Update a few minutes later]
Glenn Reynolds has some further thoughts:
Also, the market doesn’t deny you a hip replacement or a pacemaker because someone in government thinks your political views are “un-American.” Given the cronyism and thuggery we’ve seen with the bailouts, etc., I’m not confident this would hold true under a government health program. And I’m absolutely certain there would be a special track for insiders and favorites.
So am I.
[Late morning update]
Five leftist myths about health-care reform.
[Update a few minutes later]
Caught in the act: a blatant lie by Barack Obama about his support for single payer. Just how stupid does he think we are? And how clueless is he if he thinks that we can’t find this kind of thing on the Internet?
[Update before noon]
The people are seeing through the snake oil:
Thirty-two percent (32%) of voters nationwide favor a single-payer health care system where the federal government provides coverage for everyone. A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 57% are opposed to a single-payer plan.
Fifty-two percent (52%) believe such a system would lead to a lower quality of care while 13% believe care would improve. Twenty-seven percent (27%) think that the quality of care would remain about the same.
Forty-five percent (45%) also say a single-payer system would lead to higher health care costs while 24% think lower costs would result. Nineteen percent (19%) think prices would remain about the same.
…Data released earlier today shows that 51% of voters fear the federal government more than private insurance companies when it comes to health care decisions. Forty-one percent (41%) have the opposite fear.
We’re not as stupid as they want us to be.