Thursday, January 05, 2012

Bryan Caplan tears apart Jonathan Gruber's graphic novel on health care reform

Jonathan Gruber is a major player in the health care wonk games and has recently written a graphic novel ( aka comic book) on health care" reform", an area in which he has written and worked extensively. See here for GMU economist Bryan Caplan's detailed shredding of that work.

I have blogged before on the paper by a MIT economist see here which "startled" the health care wonk world with the data driven observation that when folks have access to a government financed health care programs ( ie. Medicare) the demand for health care services increases about that which occurred when folks paid for those services with their own money.

On that issue Caplan says the following:

Gruber explains the basic facts about health care costs: they're rising, and government picks up much of the tab. But he almost totally neglects the connection between the two. Medicare and Medicaid vastly increase demand for health care. There's no denying it. Imagine how much more affordable health care would be if these programs had never been adopted - or if they were abolished.

Let's see if I get it.People tend to spend other people's money with less prudence that when spending their own. I think Milton Freeman might have made that point.

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