Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Is Universal Healthcare Possible In US?

We have been consumed by the nonsense spouted by the GOP primary candidates.  There is a real debate in the Democratic primary between Clinton and Sanders.  Paul Krugman came down on the side of Clinton who claims that universal healthcare is not politically possible.  He would prefer the type of universal healthcare that Sanders supports but he explains that the opposition to such a plan is too formidable to overcome.  The entire healthcare industry, which is many times more expensive than any other healthcare industry in world, would fight tooth and nail against a system that would lower prices.  Moreover, we would have to say no to some treatments in which the benefits are much lower than the cost.

Dean Baker argues that Krugman is correct.  The political opposition would be formidable.  He thinks that we should encourage the debate and not be consumed by the art of the political possible.  We pay a high price for patent protections which enable monopoly pricing;  there are less expensive ways to pay for the R&D that is needed to provide innovative products. 

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