"A Good While Longer, I Think"
A very strange Scott Sumner post says it’s unfair to accuse American conservatives of opposing universal health care, because Dutch conservatives like the Netherlands’ universal health care system:
Yes, some conservatives oppose any form of universal health care. But at this point would any conservatives/pragmatic libertarians prefer the US health care system we will have 5 years from now over the Dutch, Swiss, or especially Singaporean universal health care plans? And our “universal” plan will still have 20 million uninsured. So for how much longer can progressives claim that universal coverage is the issue separating the left and right?
The Obama plan is, in my view, sort of loosely modeled on the Swiss and Dutch systems. And it’s attracted no support whatsoever from conservative politicians. But the GOP leadership did release a health care plan, focused on deregulation of health insurance companies, that would do nothing to reduce the number of uninsured people. I think it’s perfectly fair to say that universal coverage is the issue separating the left and right. When I see conservative politicians getting behind some version of universal coverage—even something like Martin Feldstein’s plan to give everyone catastrophic coverage—then I’ll stop saying conservatives don’t care about helping the uninsured.