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Jonathan Chait:

We know that Medicaid makes people happier and less poor. We have trouble proving its impact on their physical well-being because proof of the benefits of medicine remain elusive. Unless we want to stop thinking of basic medical care as a life necessity, and we don’t, the case for Medicaid remains unimpeachable.

So does vacation.

The United States has very high levels of income inequality, a very stingy welfare state, and is the only advanced economy that does not guarantee access to medical care. The Oregon study does not raise particular questions about the efficacy of Medicaid; it raises questions about the efficacy of medical care in general.

Of course, leave it to Chait to simply ignore that fact, again, that the U.S. at all levels spends almost $6.5 trillion on government, This is more than the entire GDP of China. If the welfare state is “stingy” (an awkward use of words, no?) it ain’t because the money ain’t there. I’m sure it’s all recalcitrant Republicans’ fault. So let’s review. We spend more than the entire country of China generates. Yet our roads are falling apart. Our public schools in the cities are failing. Our welfare state is stingy. Our military veterans cannot get needed services. The National Parks budget is stretched to the max. And so on. Does anyone else see the problem here?

One Response to “From the Sunday Pulpit”

  1. Harry says:

    I liked the part about medical problems going on mostly in our heads, where I doubt they are talking about the hippocampus, but rather whether psychologists, as opposed to psychiatrist MD’s, get paid the same under socialized medicine. Or whether Acorn advisers get paid commensurately as they advise new Medicaid recipients how to game the system.

    International readers of TUW might wonder about this dialogue, but until recently, one used to take care of oneself here in the US, which even now provides us with that opportunity to live free. Even before Franklin D. Roosevelt we have been a generous nation. We are great because of our devotion to liberty, which attracts the best people in the world to our country, all the time, every day.

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