Bismarck and Healthcare Insurance: DeLong and DeShort of It

Brad DeLong at The Health Care blog makes these assertions:

  • Bismarck created the world’s first national health insurance system 130 years ago because he wanted to make the German people healthier.
  • The rationale for national health insurance in the U.S. today is the same as it was for Bismarck.
  • People can’t pay for expensive care without health insurance and without health insurance they can’t get health care.
  • “So, unless we adopt the view that those without ample savings who fall seriously ill should quickly die (and so decrease the surplus population), a country with national health insurance will be a wealthier and more successful country.”

Hmm. It’s hard to know where to start.

[Cross-posted at Psychology Today and John Goodman’s Health Policy Blog]

John C. Goodman is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, President of the Goodman Institute for Public Policy Research, and author of the Independent books Priceless, and A Better Choice.
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