The Electric Commentary

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Tim Worstall reminds us that everything costs something:

When people talk about the cost of the health care system in the US they (rightly) note that money is spent on marketing and other overheads associated with raising the money to keep the system fed.

However, when they look at the costs of a single payer system, mysteriously, the costs of raising those funds disappear. Now the actual direct costs of raising tax money are not large. However, we know that all and any taxes distort behaviour, leading to there being substantial costs associated with any taxation.

Now this is only a question, not a statement, but is a single payer system actually any cheaper, once the deadweight costs of those taxes are taken into account?

(Also worth pointing out to those agitating for a single payer system in the US. The French system, the one that is generally rated as being number 1 globally, is neither single payer nor single provider. In fact, it is markedly less generous than either Medicare or Medicaid).


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