John McCain’s Contingencies article about health care and already been getting attention for the part where he promises to deregulate health care to make it just like the deregulating banking system. But Brad DeLong wisely notes that there’s actually more laughable stuff than that in the article.
For example, McCain wisely observes that lifestyle habits are a crucial element of public health “The final important principle of reform is to rediscover our sense of personal responsibility to take better care of ourselves and our children.” But then he blames the absence of such information on . . . political correctness:
Parents who don’t impart to their children a sense of personal responsibility for their health, nutrition, and exercise–vital quality-of-life information that political correctness has expelled from our schools–have failed their responsibility.
Pining for the good old days you could call African-Americans “colored” and teachers weren’t afraid to say that Big Macs aren’t very healthy? What kind of nonsense is this? Meanwhile, it would be interesting if McCain actually had a policy proposal to improve public health education in the United States. That sounds like a worthwhile goal, and I’d like to hear politicians’ ideas about doing it. But McCain has no such policy. He just calls for “well-informed American families making practical decisions to address their imperatives for better health and more secure prosperity.” But that’s not what’s happening — what we need are ideas to change things.