I guess I should have expected this from the Los Angeles Times, but I’ll admit to being just a bit shocked all the same.
Reporting on the GOP alternative health care proposal, Janet Hook writes:
Unlike the Democrats’ strategy of trying to provide near-universal coverage and force other major changes to the insurance system, the Republican approach is an incremental one that would do far less to reduce the ranks of the uninsured. It would instead give priority to controlling healthcare costs.
The GOP bill is an amalgam of market-oriented measures that would limit medical malpractice lawsuits, expand the use of tax-sheltered medical savings accounts, let people shop for insurance outside of their own states, and make it easier for small businesses and hard-to-insure people to get coverage. The ideas reflect conservatives’ suspicion of sweeping new programs, federal spending and additional regulation.
Unlike the Democratic plan, it does not include subsidies or other provisions that would make coverage more affordable to people of modest means.
Do you see that? Ms. Hook acknowledges that the GOP plan gives priority to controlling health care costs, she mentions some of the measures that would help control costs, then reaches the completely incomprehensible conclusion that the plan contains no provisions that would make coverage more affordable. Because apparently the only way to make things affordable for people is to “include subsidies.”
Ms. Hook demonstrates either a staggering ignorance of free market principles or an unreserved willingness to pimp the entitlement mentality. But I’m not ruling out the possibility that she’s very, very stupid.
Simple things like “when it costs less to provide goods or services, they can be offered at lower prices,” and “healthy competition drives prices down.” Really, these are things I learned in junior high school. For the presumably college-educated Ms. Hook to exhibit such abysmal ignorance is yet another sad testament to the state of our educational system.
Unfortunately it doesn’t end with Ms. Hook and her ill-informed readers. Watching the debate on H.R. 3962, I was struck by the number of Democrats who were willing to stand up and demonstrate the same ignorance of fundamental economic principles in a public forum as they variously described the GOP amendmendment as “adding more to the deficit” than their own proposal or “not doing anything” to bring down costs.
Of course, I’m being charitable when I call House Democrats ignorant; the other option would be to call them out as liars.
P.S. Wouldn’t reducing the cost of health care coverage “reduce the ranks of the uninsured?” Just askin’.