Krugman on health care: "Choices Must Be Made"
Indeed. And some choose to suppress discussion of single payer and shill for the Ds and Obamacare, and some choose to advocate for a policy that saves lives and money. Krugman's lead:
Arguably the most important thing we can do to limit the growth in health care costs is learning to say no [pesky old people!]; we cannot afford a system in which Medicare in particular will pay for anything, especially when that’s combined with an industry structure that gives providers a strong financial incentive to engage in excessive care
"Pay for anything" is, of course, and very shamefully for a Nobelist let alone a self-professed liberal of conscience, a straw man. The real question should be this: Is there an "industry structure" that can be proved to save hundreds of billions of dollars a year, and which provides better health care outcomes? Why yes, there is, although again most shamefully, Krugman suppresses it. What could that "industry structure" be?
Dr. Elizabeth Rosenthal chose to travel to a country that's about 300 miles north of Manhattan* and investigate personally. She writes as follows:
Although some of us thought we were coming to the “promised land” of single-payer health care, where everyone has access to high-quality care regardless of ability to pay, our Canadian counterparts were much more blasé about their egalitarian, publicly financed system. They took it for granted. They don’t know anything else and are mainly focused on what is needed to improve it.
One thing that became clear to us is that figuring out what works and what doesn’t work, and how to make a change, is much easier to do in a unified system like Canada’s. We also saw that the single-payer system in practice is not as simple as we thought and that there are still political realities to deal with that control the funding and who gets what part of the pot.
There are still inequities in the system. There is a shortage of physicians and there can be long waits for elective procedures and non-urgent doctor visits. For most Canadians the cost of drugs, dental care and some psychiatric services is not included in the basic package provided by the government. The benefits vary somewhat by province.
But Canada’s medical outcomes are excellent; urgent needs get urgent care; and Canadians live two years longer on average than we do. Problems like medical bankruptcy are virtually unknown. The overwhelming majority of Canadians, when polled, say they’d prefer their system over ours any day.
We learned that doctors in Canada earn a good income not much different from most of those in the United States. Although most have a good quality of life with adequate free time, some are overworked and a few can’t find positions due to lack of facilities in some specialties. But few Canadian physicians emigrate, and in fact each year since 2004 more physicians have returned to Canada than have moved abroad.
Canadians were totally perplexed as to why Americans have put up with our faulty and expensive system for so long. It was hard for me to explain this as I cannot understand it myself. Although polling shows that two-thirds of American are in favor of Medicare for all, their voices are not heard in the media nor in the halls of Congress. On the contrary, our legislators are now debating whether to end Medicare are we know it.
I can give one explanation, at least: A liberal with one of the biggest bully pulpits in the country -- indeed, in the world -- has chosen to suppress a health care policy that would save $350 billion dollars a year and improve health outcomes. Yes, we all have choices to make...
Rosenthal's the one who should be on the Op-Ed page, and not Krugman. Why not give the country a make-good and turn the column over to her for a week, Professor?
NOTE * To be fair, this country about 330 miles north of Princeton, NJ.