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Europe, Health Care, and Power

By Matthew Yglesias on March 25, 2010 at 2:28 pm

"Europe, Health Care, and Power"

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Not being a WSJ subscriber, I can’t read this entire Max Boot piece, but the headline says: “ObamaCare and American Power: The lesson of Europe is that the U.S. can’t fund a health entitlement and maintain superpower status.”

Here’s what the OECD says about health care expenditures:

Expenditure on health 1

The Europeans actually have a larger share of their economy left over to pay for non-health items, including defense. What’s more, people have this weird tendency to understand European defense capabilities. The EU’s power-projection capabilities are meager compared to America’s, but enormous compared to Russia or China or anyone else. Last, if you restrict your attention to EU countries you’ll see that health spending is highest as a percent of GDP in France and that defense spending as a percent of GDP is . . . also highest in France.

But the issue of the day is “say mean things about the Affordable Care Act” and Boot’s specialty is national security, so like magic he’s produced a column about how the Affordable Care Act imperils our national security.

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