Third-Party Statism




” Most developed nations have a public health-care system and a private health-care system — of variable quality, to be sure, but all of them far simpler to navigate than America’s endlessly mutating fusion of the worst of both worlds. Obamacare stitches together the rear ends of two pantomime horses and attempts to ride it to the sunlit uplands. Good luck with that. But we should remember that this disaster has been a long time incubating. The Democrats’ objection to the pre-Obama “private” health system is that Americans wound up spending more than any other country for what they argued were inferior health outcomes. But the more telling number is revealed by Avik Roy elsewhere in this issue: In 2010 (in other words, before Obamacare), U.S. government expenditures on health care were higher than those in all but three other countries in the world. Quick, name a European social democracy full of state-suckled wimpy welfare queens: France? $3,061 per capita in public-health expenditures. Sweden? $3,046 per capita. Belgium? $3,000. In 2010 the United States spent $3,967 in public-health expenditures per person — more than anywhere on the planet except Norway, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. I am confident that, under Obamacare, we’ll be outspending even the Norwegians. But in reality our so-called private system was a public system in all but name.”