Friday, November 18, 2011

Catron On Aaron and Rationing

In the 11/18/2011 American Spectator, David Catron discusses "A Rationing Advocate to Head Social Security Advisory Board?"

From his article:
Henry J. Aaron, the President's nominee for Chair of the Social Security Advisory Board... is an unapologetic admirer of Great Britain's notorious socialized medical system, the National Health Service (NHS). Why? Because NHS administrators unabashedly practice the dark art of health care rationing.

Aaron, a Senior Fellow in Economics at the Brookings Institution, is unable to imagine any route to cost control that doesn't involve government coercion. In a 2005 Brookings white paper titled "Health Care Rationing: What it Means," he represents the NHS as a system that has come to grips with what he sees as the inescapable necessity for rationing. Predictably, he rejects any alternative involving the market: "The key to efficient market outcomes is that prices reflect costs of production. The market for health care does not operate that way." In other words, Aaron believes health care is a unique universe in which the market mysteriously fails to function and therefore can't be relied upon to contain costs. It never seems to have occurred to him that the market's alleged failure might be the result of government meddling...
(Read the full text of "A Rationing Advocate to Head Social Security Advisory Board?")

At least now they're being explicit in their calls for medical rationing.

Curious how just a short while ago, opponents of ObamaCare who warned that it would lead to rationing were accused of hyperbole and paranoia.

(Note: I'm pro-choice on abortion. But the references to abortion politics in this piece are tangential to the author's primary point.)