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Monday, July 16, 2007

Fighting a popular deception

Posted by: Jambo / 12:30 AM

Kevin Drum often makes the point that when you hear someone mention waiting time for hip replacements in Canada as an argument against single payer health care you know they're a shill. Paul Krugman today reminds us why:

On the other hand, it’s true that Americans get hip replacements faster than Canadians. But there’s a funny thing about that example, which is used constantly as an argument for the superiority of private health insurance over a government-run system: the large majority of hip replacements in the United States are paid for by, um, Medicare.

That’s right: the hip-replacement gap is actually a comparison of two government health insurance systems. American Medicare has shorter waits than Canadian Medicare (yes, that’s what they call their system) because it has more lavish funding — end of story. The alleged virtues of private insurance have nothing to do with it.

The bottom line is that the opponents of universal health care appear to have run out of honest arguments.

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