Thursday, September 09, 2004

A Health Care Plan for Geniuses Only

Madame Heinz Kerry displays her deep understanding of economics (from an AP story):
Teresa Heinz Kerry says "only an idiot" would fail to support her husband's health care plan.

But Heinz Kerry, the wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, told the (Lancaster) Intelligencer Journal that "of course, there are idiots."

Kerry's proposal includes health care subsidies for children, the unemployed, small companies and more; and government assistance to insurers and employers that keep premiums for workers down.

...She says, "Only an idiot wouldn't like this."...
Only a genius (a Paul Krugman, for instance) would believe in a free-lunch plan like Kerry's. Who will pay for the subsidies? Is "government assistance" like manna from heaven? What happens to the incentive of workers who are forced to pay premiums for other workers through higher taxes? How will "free" or subsidized insurance help to reduce the cost of health care? And what about "moral hazard"?