Worthwhile Canadian initiative
This is the chart [it's a lot like this one from Corrente in 2009] that I think ought to dominate the conversation about public-sector health care spending in the United States, and yet it is curiously [BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!] ignored. The data show government health care spending per capita in the United States and Canada. The United States spends more. And that's not more per person who gets government health insurance, it's more per resident. And yet Canada covers all its citizens, and we don't. That should be considered shocking stuff, and yet [BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!] I rarely hear it mentioned.
Even odder [BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!] is that the most recent time I heard it mentioned was Valerie Ramey talking at the American Economics Association conference in San Diego and her conclusion was that this showed U.S. health care needs free-market reforms. The more straightforward interpretation, I would think, is that the U.S. needs to make its system more like Canada's. It's important to note that the example here is Canada. Not some radically different society. Not some far-off distant land. And the gap is actually growing.
.... Canada's public-sector health care system—conveniently called "Medicare"—is available to people of all ages, and thus has even more bulk purchasing power than its American analogue. That allows it to obtain services at a much lower price, which reduces spending.
... If we're going to have a national obsession around reducing government health care spending obligations, then it's insane to completely ignore the culturally similar neighboring country that spends less while covering more people.
It is indeed "insane." Unfortunately, the insanity implies that both legacy parties and everybody who is anybody in the Beltway, including Obama's enablers in the blogosphere, along with all the executives in health insurance industry, are insane. So there you are.