Health Care: Obama, McCain, Hanson, and Utopia
By Arnold Kling
One-third of medical costs go for services at best ineffective and at worst harmful. Fifty billion dollars will jump-start the long-overdue information revolution in health care to identify the best providers, treatments and patient management strategies.
It is amazing how rapidly Robin Hanson’s view, that we consume too much health care, has gone from outlandish to mainstream. We’re all Masonomists now.
The authors’ main point is that the Obama health policy is better than McCain’s. They write,
Sen. McCain, who constantly repeats his no-new-taxes promise on the campaign trail, proposes a big tax hike as the solution to our health-care crisis. His plan would raise taxes on workers who receive health benefits, with the idea of encouraging their employers to drop coverage.
They are referring to a proposal to end the tax deduction for employer-provided health benefits and replace it with an individual deduction. At least one of the authors was for this idea before he was against it. In his often-cited utopian health care plan, DeLong wrote,
No deduction for employer-paid health expenses.
It is not clear to me which candidate’s plan would bring us closer to DeLong’s utopia.