Basically, for me, it all boils down to public choice theory. Once we've got a comprehensive national health care plan, what are the government's incentives? I think they're bad, for the same reason the TSA is bad. I'm afraid that instead of Security Theater, we'll get Health Care Theater, where the government goes to elaborate lengths to convince us that we're getting the best possible health care, without actually providing it.
McArdle goes on to criticize British National Health, without informing us why we would be obliged to copy its flaws. She states it will destroy drug innovation because private drug firms develop government NIH employees' theories into actual treatments. She does not tell us why the government can't do this as well. Since they don't do it they can't do it, McArdle says. It's an excuse for the elite to gain more control over the masses, she warns, a laughably dishonest and shamefully fear-mongering argument from someone who calls herself one of the elite.
But the most interesting part of the post--by far--is her peculiar statement about herself.
At this juncture in the conversation, someone almost always breaks in and says, "Why don't you tell that to an uninsured person?" I have. Specifically, I told it to me. I was uninsured for more than two years after grad school, with an autoimmune disease and asthma. I was, if anything, even more militant than I am now about government takeover of insurance.
That's great, but just because McArdle wants to go without insurance unless someone else is paying for it doesn't mean everyone else feels comfortable doing the same. For eight years we asked how people can support policies that actually harm them. Here in this post we can see how. Ignore the fact that we are the only major industrialized nation without national health care, that we spend twice what others spend on health care, that the lack of health care kills 100,000 people a year in the US, that McArdle herself needed national health care. Just ignore it. Dismiss the connections your employer has to drug companies. Ignore them too. Decide that the issue is an academic matter, a public choice theory, and not a policy that can actually help people. Ignore your critics as well. They don't understand you and say mean things. Ignore it all, because the only thing that counts is being on the right side, the side with money, the side with power.
Megan McArdle didn't go to one of the most expensive prep schools in the country to be left behind with the riff-raff, and don't you forget it. And she doesn't care who gets hurt by her efforts to belong, even if one of those people is herself.