Thursday, August 20, 2009

The American Choice: Swiss or Dutch-Style Managed Competition or Australian Two-Tier. So Why All the Right-Wing Blather about Canada?

The winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Economics, Paul Krugman, has again hit the nail on the head in his NY Times op-ed column, "The Swiss Menace". Krugman points out that (1) most of the talk about the UK and Canada is misleading; and (2) it's also besides the point, because really all that Obama is trying to do extend basic public sector care a la Australia and/or mandate more private insurance a la Switzerland or the Netherlands. So why all the talk about Canada? Because right-wing propagandists are aware of how ignorant most of their fellow citizens are about Canada, and are selfish and unethical enough to take advantrage of that fact.

As Krugman nicely (and bluntly) puts it,

"So where does Obamacare fit into all this? Basically, it’s a plan to Swissify America, using regulation and subsidies to ensure universal coverage. "

"If we were starting from scratch we probably wouldn’t have chosen this route. True “socialized medicine” would undoubtedly cost less, and a straightforward extension of Medicare-type coverage to all Americans would probably be cheaper than a Swiss-style system. That’s why I and others believe that a true public option competing with private insurers is extremely important: otherwise, rising costs could all too easily undermine the whole effort.
But a Swiss-style system of universal coverage would be a vast improvement on what we have now. And we already know that such systems work. "

"So we can do this. At this point, all that stands in the way of universal health care in America are the greed of the medical-industrial complex, the lies of the right-wing propaganda machine, and the gullibility of voters who believe those lies."

No comments: