Thursday, April 24, 2014

Take Two Minutes to Become an Expert in Single Payer

So claims a two minute video posted on Vox. Wouldn't it be nice to learn about an issue as complex as single payer in just two minutes?

Ya. But, this video doesn't cut it. Indeed, this video is best described as a blatantly pro single payer commercial thinly disguised as an "objective", educational video. A couple of the classic fallacies and falsehoods that are common among supporters of single payer are there:

1.) Single payer is popular, therefore it is good. A very bad argument that I responded to here.

2.) Low administrative costs mean single payer is efficient. Another bad argument that I responded to here.

Also no mention of some of the major problems with single payer being implemented in the USA:

1.) How differing cultures may make single payer much harder implement and more inefficient here in the USA than, say, Sweden.

2.) How the federal government has a tough time finding top tier managerial talent despite the need for it. I talked about this here.


To be fair, there was a brief mention that some single payer systems may struggle with waiting times, but, according to the video, this was only because those governments wouldn't raise taxes enough. Of course.

Single payer is a complex issue. To me, the arguments against implementing single payer in the USA are much, much stronger than the arguments in favor. But, I would suggest that anyone do lots of research (including cases for and against) before forming an opinion. One two minute video is hardly sufficient.


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