I had hoped that Paul Krugman would make giving up his jeremiads on universal health care one of his New Year’s Resolutions. No such luck. Indeed, time had barely run out on 2006 when the New York Times ran one of his most embarrassingly ill-informed efforts to date. So let’s get 2007 off on a better note with an adequate fisking, shall we?
Krugman writes, “The U.S. health care system is a scandal and a disgrace.” Although Krugman is overstating his case, I would agree that our health care system has some serious problems. While I would argue that the reason is government mismanagement, I’m guessing Krugman thinks government is the solution. In the next sentence Krugman writes, “But maybe, just maybe, 2007 will be the year we start the move toward universal coverage.” Surprise.p>Anyway, Krugman continues: br> /p>
In 2005, almost 47 million Americans — including more than 8 million children — were uninsured, and many more had inadequate insurance.br> What a distortion! First, note how Krugman infers that lack of insurance is due largely to denial of coverage by private insurance companies. But does Krugman have any evidence of that other than the anecdotal presented in the L.A. Times article? Well, no, because lack of insurance is due to many factors and surveys that have looked at the matter have found about five percent of the uninsured are denied coverage due to poor health.
Apologists for our system try to minimize the significance of these numbers. Many of the uninsured, asserted the 2004 Economic Report of the President, ”remain uninsured as a matter of choice.”
And then you wake up. A scathing article in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times described how insurers refuse to cover anyone with even the slightest hint of a pre-existing condition. People have been denied insurance for reasons that range from childhood asthma to a ”past bout of jock itch.”
Furthermore, the Economic Report of the President (pdf) does not minimize the problem of the uninsured by dismissing it as a “matter of choice.” Indeed, the report notes that there are many reasons why people are uninsured, including those who are temporarily uninsured (four months or less) or have access to public programs like Medicaid but have not signed up (see page 197). Of course, treating the President’s report fairly would undermine Krugman’s argument for government-run health care.p>Next, br> /p>
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?