In Which I Am Sucked Into The Abyss

Paul Krugman suggests a purely state-run network of hospitals and clinics:

The public option would be required to spend significantly less per risk-adjusted recipient than traditional Medicare. And if it couldn’t provide care that seniors wanted given that restricted budget, it would have no takers and would close.

There are two elements to the strategy: first, that the government run a network of care facilities; and, second, that they be asked to execute the very specific strategy of offering a low-cost alternative.

Let’s say Krugman could wave his wand and make this happen. And it fails.

I’d have some questions:

1. Do we care about the investment (wasted capital) in this failed business? It’s a government entity, surely it doesn’t just get absorbed back into the system and put to another use.

2. Besides, how do we know if the strategy was doomed or if the execution was flawed? Is there a difference?

Why does Krugman think this is going to work? If it’s such a great idea, why hasn’t someone started a low-cost HMO? Why does the government need to start one? Why doesn’t Krugman start one?

(shaking my head)

I got sucked in to the health care debate.

I feel dirty.

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