Liberal solutions don’t try and force the individual into a governing role he or she is not equipped to assume.
In other words, the hoi polloi are simply too stupid to make their own health care decisions, so their betters in government must do the heavy intellectual lifting.
Andrew Sullivan responds by pointing out the obvious fact that, even if these bureaucrats are “the most honest, decent, and committed public servants in the history of the nation,”
They’re still going to be subject to a variety of outside incentives … Those bureaucrats may not be elected themselves, but they’ll be appointed by elected officials.
And those elected officials will be under increasing pressure to impose health care rationing in the name of “cost control”:
Concerns about costs also lead to regimes like the one in Britain, where the NHS has been known to make medical treatment conditional on patient behavior.
As an alternative to such soviet-style managment of the health care system, Sullivan advocates opening up health insurance markets, linking to this excellent post by Peter Suderman.
At the heart of Sullivan’s position is his confidence that the average patient is intelligent enough to make his own health care decisions. Klein’s position exposes the contempt that he and other “progressives” have for “the people.”
Sullivan is right and Klein is, as usual, wrong.