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Pre-existing Nonsense

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

Paul Krugman thinks it wrong that health insurers don’t cover pre-existing conditions (“Health Reform Myths,” March 12).  Apparently, he believes that each market participant should ignore the value of what she gets in exchange for what she gives.

I wonder if Prof. Krugman has thought through the implications of his belief.  I propose a bet to test the soundness of his thinking.  Let’s flip a coin.  If it lands on its edge, I pay Prof. Krugman $1; if it lands either heads or tails, he pays me $1,000,000.

If he genuinely believes that health-insurers should ignore pre-existing conditions, then surely Prof. Krugman won’t allow the pre-existing condition of the coin’s shape to prevent him from accepting my bet.

Donald J. Boudreaux


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