Krugman Comes Out
By Arnold Kling
I like Ted Kennedy’s slogan “Medicare for all.” It reminds voters that America already has a highly successful, popular single-payer program, albeit only for the elderly.
So that is Paul Krugman’s health care plan. Medicare for all.
There is no actual evidence that the elderly receive better care, or more cost-effective care, or more egalitarian care than people under 65. Particularly interesting is the data that the U.S. spends about 40 percent more per capita on health care for the elderly, just as we spend about 40 percent more per capita on health care for those under 65. Where in the data is the much-vaunted efficiency of Medicare?
Krugman thinks that health care policy is a morality play, in which those who favor national health insurance where white hats, and that their opponents are “special interests.” That is not a viewpoint for which economic analysis is necessary or sufficient.