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Bobo In Fantasyland

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If Paul Ryan wants to strip health care from millions of people to help pay for massive upper-class tax cuts, David Brooks’s job as he conceives of it is to defend him. As you would expect, his collection of implausible abstractions, random anecdotes, and complaints that Ken Arrow isn’t really hip anymore in defense of the proposition that markets in health care work fail to mention — let alone grapple with — the fact that every other liberal democracy 1)has less “market-driven” health care and 2)provides universal coverage for considerably less money.

But, really, you could just stop right here:

They’re probably going to agree to cover everybody Obama covered

Sure. And Julian Assange was indifferent about the outcome of the 2016 elections. But it gets better:

The Republicans are going to try to introduce more normal market incentives into the process. They are probably going to rely on refundable tax credits and health savings accounts so everybody can afford to shop for their own insurance and care.

Whoa, whoa, wait, what?

everybody can afford to shop

This is truly a masterpiece of bullshit. Your standard-issue hack would merely handwave about how Paul Ryan’s health savings accounts and massively underfunded leper colonies high-risk pools would magically cover as many people as the ACA. But Brooks preemptively praises Paul Ryan for giving consumers the opportunity “to shop” for health care. And, indeed, pretty much anybody will be able to go on the internets and look at some plans that meet the exacting standards South Dakota or Delaware have established for insurance quality. Now, whether you can buy any of these plans, or whether they would actually provide you meaningful access to health care if you did…that’s another question. But, hey, David Brooks once saw an ad for relatively cheap laser eye surgery once so I’m sure the market will be able to sort all of this out! You’ll probably be able to cancer treatments at the Applebee’s salad bar.

Needless to say, the freedom to shop is the merging Republican party line — the favored euphemism is “universal access.” RyanCare, in its majestic equality, will allow the rich and poor alike the theoretical opportunity to shop for health insurance plans. And when the result is millions of people being stripped of their health insurance and millions more getting much worse insurance, don’t worry — Ryan fluffers like Brooks and Cillizza will be just fine.

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