Unhealthy Distortions

by Don Boudreaux on August 17, 2009

in Current Affairs, FDA, Health, Myths and Fallacies

Here’s a letter that I sent on Saturday to the New York Times:

Paul Krugman writes as if distortions, exaggerations, and lies issue only from opponents of Obamacare (“Republican Death Trip,” August 14).

He’s wrong.  Let’s look, for example, at Moveon.org.  According to that pro-Obamacare website, “Right now, big corporations decide whether to give you coverage, what doctors you get to see, and whether a particular procedure or medicine is covered—that is rationed care.  And a big part of reform is to stop that.”

Talk about a distortion!

In fact, right now corporations offer a range of coverage options to sell to you.  You’re free to buy or not to buy.  “Big corporations” no more decide whether to “give” you coverage any more than “big corporations” decide whether to “give” you a flat-screen t.v. or decide what size t.v. is most suitable for you.  It’s your choice.  Unfortunately, the range of coverage choices is restricted by government mandates that require that certain medical conditions be covered by each and every health-insurance policy, and restricted further by government-imposed limitations on interstate competition among health insurers.

Donald J. Boudreaux

Space constraints prevented me from listing other government interventions that reduce consumer choice — interventions such as drug prohibitions and prohibitions on practicing medicine without a government-issued license.


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