Paul Krugman is shrill on the idea of controlling health care costs by rolling back Medicare:
It’s a mystery why anyone claims that shifting more people into private insurance is a good idea. Actually, no, it isn’t a mystery; it’s an outrage.
This is one situation in which I think it’s unfortunate that debates about the best way to organize public services get bound up with debates about redistributive taxation. The primary organizing principle of the contemporary conservative movement is the idea that it’s difficult for rich people to get a fair shake in tax policy debates, and someone needs to stand up for them. And obviously the need to finance a Universal Medicare program through taxation could become the vehicle for substantial redistributive taxation. But the point underscored by Krugman’s chart is that Medicare being a good deal for the vast majority of people isn’t dependent on the assumption that rich people will be picking up the tab. It’s simply more efficient to organize an insurance function with the largest possible risk pool.