[July 10, 2007 @ 3:12 pm] David Catron

Ezra Klein has a piece in the Washington Monthly in which he predicts failure for state-initiated “universal health care” reform:

The history of state health reform initiatives (and there’s quite a history) is a tale of false hopes and great disappointments … Universal care advocates must be realistic about that, and think hard about how to convert the energy in the states into a national solution before the current crop of novel experiments fail—because fail they almost certainly will.

For once, Klein is right. Typically, however, he misses the point. Rather than drawing the obvious conclusion that socialized medicine, like socialism in general, contains intrinsic flaws that render its eventual failure inevitable, he sees the probable collapse of these state programs in purely tactical terms:

If high-profile efforts like those in Massachusetts and California can’t be properly implemented, or are launched and then collapse, they’ll become powerful weapons in the hands of protectors of the status quo.

And how would these fiendish “protectors of the status quo” use their “powerful” weapon?

After the demise of Washington State’s plan, for instance, the Heritage Foundation published an article stating that the program “gave state legislators around the country an experimental taste of how a Clinton-style health care plan would work—or fail to work. The result was higher costs, burgeoning bureaucracy, and micromanagement.”

In other words, these soulless minons of the “health care industrial complex” would tell the truth. Have they no shame?!

If Klein and other advocates of socialized medicine would spend less time avoiding the obvious realities of government-run health care and more time exploring workable solutions to the problems bedeviling American medicine, they might actually make a useful contribution to health care reform.

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