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Rich Lowry's ideas are 'completely batty'

• Aug 9, 2018 at 2:00 PM

NOTE: The following letter to the editor was submitted by Tim Adam of Wakeman:

Rich Lowry's recent column headlined "The battle over socialism is joined," argues against the "Medicare-for-all" bill, which now has 123 cosponsors in the House. His argument rests on two claims, (1) that it's a "nokidding socialist policy," and (2) that it's "completely batty." In my view, he is wrong on both counts.

On the first claim: Socialism, according to Wikipedia, "is a range of economic and social systems characterized by social ownership and workers' self-management of the means of production." But Medicare is one of our social programs -- a government service that promotes the general welfare of the people. It seems a stretch to call that "socialism."

And on the second claim: Lowry calls Medicare-for-all "completely batty," mainly because of $32T more in federal spending over ten years, according to the study that Lowry references. But that spending just comes from transferring claims payment from the private insurance companies to our government. And Medicare-for-all's overall effect, which Lowry admits, is to save on medical costs ($2T over 10 years). However, Lowry doubts those savings would come about, because they would be opposed by "politically powerful" hospitals. But, as an argument, that is just defeatism.

Also, Lowry misses some main benefits of Medicare-for-all. For one, it increases businesses' freedom, because they would no longer have to provide medical insurance, and so could better focus on business. At the same time, Medicare-for-all increases workers' freedom, because they would be able to change jobs without worry of losing medical insurance. And the fact of being able to see a doctor without worrying how to pay for it -- that in itself would make for a healthier society.

What is Lowry's answer to our much too costly health care system that leaves many millions out? He urges Republicans to "continue to develop and push their own ideas to reduce health care costs." Those would be the same Republicans who are now falling over themselves to give away the store, before they are swept from office. So, there you have an idea that is "nokidding completely batty."

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