Monday, June 20, 2011

Common ground on health care?

A nice column from Greg Mankiw pointing out obvious (outside the beltway) things like the conceptual equivalence of taxing X and subsidizing not X and of "means testing" and progressive tax increases.

We disagree a bit, I think, on the "death panels". I think money that the government takes by force from taxpayers should only be spent on treatments that pass cost-benefit tests. Individuals, or insurance companies not spending government money, should, of course, be free to spend money on other things.

And there should have been some mention of the fact that really, in their hearts, everyone knows that medical care should not be tax preferred. That (with some competition from the WW2 price control legacy of having insurance run through employers) is surely the most idiotic aspect of our current setup.

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