September 24, 2007 1:02PM

They Call Me Mr. Cynical

Or they will, after they read this

The author was pursuing the angle that, whereas in the past health care reform had been about altruism (the public wanting to help those in need), now it’s more about self‐​interest (workers, employers, etc. feeling like they themselves need help). 

I explained that health care reform is and always has been largely about self‐​interest, but self‐​interest of another sort:

Michael Cannon, the director of health policy studies at the Cato Institute, said he thought that self‐​interest had always dominated the discussion.

“From my vantage point, all of the special interests, they’re all out for themselves,” Cannon said. “The pharmaceutical companies want their enormous Medicare prescription drug program without any controls on it. Insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and physicians want government programs for the elderly and the poor to shower them with subsidies. Physicians and the insurance industry want more tax benefits for private insurance, because that works to their benefit.”

…all of which is making health care more expensive than it need be.

Regarding the altruism of the good ol’ days, the article unfortunately did not include my comments about the helpless millionaires who were enrolled in Medicare, nor about Medicaid, which actually targeted the poor and was added to the Medicare law as an afterthought.