Arnold Kling:

Keep this in mind when someone tells you that other countries have shown how to reduce the cost of health care. No other country is as fanatical as we are about doing cancer screening. My guess is that it is not the magical efficiency of single-payer health care that holds down spending in other countries. Instead, they have chosen not to budget for cancer screening to the extent that we have.

If we adopt a single-payer system here, my guess is that we will not cut back on cancer screening. If anything, we may do more of it.

This reasoning does not sit well with me. I have been skeptical of economics attempt to boil everything down very obvious incentives but one does have to ask – why does America choose to do more cancer screening?

Perhaps, its because its not immediately clear that screening costs come from the public purse.

The coarse, real world observation is that public services seem less well funded than private ones.

The Hansonian explanation is that one cannot signal status by buying expensive public goods.

If Health Care became publically funded doesn’t that at least suggest it would become starved for funds.

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