Ezra Klein: Our government’s partial role is pricier than the whole of government-run systems.


By Joe Campbell
February 1st, 2010

Ezra Klein:

We don’t have a government-run system. But our system is so expensive that our government’s partial role is pricier than the whole of government-run systems.

I’d love to see conservaties grapple with this issue – rather than try to deflect it with unsourced claims that our health care system is simply the best in the world.

It’s also worth pointing out that Republicans, conservatives, or others defending America’s health care system as the “best in the world” generally use facts that suggest our system is best for those with the money to buy the best. So, for example, if a foreign despot needs treatment for cancer, he’ll come to America. If you have similar financial resources, you too can buy this world-class treatment.

Most other attempts to defend our status quo are simply about deflecting claims. For example, someone might claim that poor people do get treated – with or without insurance – and that they don’t get a lesser quality of care. (Studies have demonstrated that they do – but that’s a different topic.)

The point that Ezra Klein makes here is scarcely understood by most Americans – as they insist that the government stop wasting money, and decry cuts to Medicare.