Sunday, July 20, 2008

Health Care, Medicare, and the Two Towers

Paul Krugman reviews -- and rebukes and reprimands -- Tyler Cowan's recent piece on health care:

The basic facts on health care are clear: government-run insurance is more efficient than private insurance; more generally, the United States, with the most privatized health care in the advanced world, has a wildly inefficient system that costs far more than anyone else’s, yet delivers no better and arguably worse medical care than European systems ... we don’t have a Medicare crisis, we have a health care crisis.
That last part -- "we don't have a Medicare crisis, we have a health care crisis" -- can't be repeated enough. And because of that, it's the truth most assiduously obscured by the right-wing opponents of genuine health care reform. They work tirelessly to dupe people into believing that Medicare is the problem, when in fact Medicare's problems are a symptom of a larger problem: that in the USA we spend far too much and receive far too little for that spending.

The deception pays too well to let go, so the armies of Mordor -- otherwise known as the health care lobby combined with the political right -- are facing a grim election and bracing for a big fight, and Publius at Obsidian Wings suggests this visual:

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