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Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Posted by Jake
Thomas Sowell: 'Universal health care'

Congressman Dennis Kucinich, pushing for government-provided health care, spoke with obvious disgust of the "profits" of the insurance companies and provoked a burst of spontaneous applause from like-minded members of the audience. Insurance companies, like every other kind of institution, have to earn money in order to keep functioning. So does every individual who was not born rich. But some people react to the word "profit" with automatic responses, like Pavlov's dog.

Now, I am not quite ready to compare Kucinich to one of Pavlov's dogs (although with his stunning management of Cleveland this comparison in purely economic understanding might be apt). But I do think that Sowell's argument holds water. Profit in the health care industry is not the enemy, and it can be a friend. I think George Will explains most clearly why:

His [Kucinich] big idea Saturday night was to "get the profit out of health care," which certainly would change the incentives to provide health care.

Translation: Sorry Dennis, the world don't run on dreams. It runs on money.


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