05 October 2008

Propaganda ~ Sarah Palin Channels Ronald Reagan

Paul Krugman points out the ironic historical reference Palin made in her closing remarks in the debate the other evening. Since we just yesterday socialized the risk assumed by wealthy traders in various exotic financial instruments, it seems pathetic and hypocritical to be invoking the dangers of socialism. Just last night my friend Susan and I watched this FRONTLINE special about various ways of providing health care across several advanced capitalist democracies. It makes clear that the U.S. is an astounding outlier on this policy dimension. None of the systems the report discusses is perfect. But neither is ours and, arguably, ours is significantly less perfect than any of our competitors. We can expect more propaganda like this old Reagan campaign.

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Blogger Len said...

Mr. Johnson,
I thought that the "Frontline" special made the point that our system seemed to have most if not all of the aspects of all the other health care plans in the other countries?
Len Kowitz

05 October, 2008 08:30  
Blogger Jim Johnson said...

Actually, it contrasted the various features of our institutional arrangement for delivering health care to those in several other countries (Germany, the UK, Japan, Canada ...) and point out (1) that they all have lower costs of providing care and (2) they all have better outcomes measured in (admittedly gross) terms of life expectancy and infant mortality.

The other countries had some dis-satisfaction on the part of patients/consumers, but so do we. (For instance, here you need to wait on specialists and elective surgery although you'd never know it. And here you need to get on the right roster of physicians as dictated by your insurance company, although nobody mentions that either since we get to "choose.") People in the other countries seemed to find it astounding that anyone would be driven into bankruptcy by health care bills whereas that happens commonly here. the people who seem least happy in other countries are doctors.

06 October, 2008 21:10  

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