But I want it. Isn’t that enough?

As if I needed more reasons to not vote for Sen. Obama, here’s another:

“If I were designing a system from scratch, I would probably go ahead with a single-payer system,” Obama told some 1,800 people at a town-hall meeting on the economy in
Albuquerque, New Mexico.

I suspect this is nothing more than pandering, that Sen. Obama understands how ineffective – stupid, really – a single-payer system would be. He even concedes as much in the same event.

But Obama repeated that he rejects an immediate shift to a single-payer system. “Given that a lot of people work for insurance companies, a lot of people work for HMOs. You’ve got a whole system of institutions that have been set up,” he said at a roundtable discussion with women Monday morning after a voter asked, “Why not single payer?”

All of that is an inconvenient hurdle. And it would be too easy to acknowledge that the government influenced or directly caused a significant part of the twisted, dysfunctional system that employs many people. And presumably serves many people, not all of whom are dissatisfied with what the private insurers do, or what they would do if freed from meddling. So, yeah, it’s a responsible to suppress the urge play central planner, even if it’s just pandering. Especially if it’s just pandering.


His new marketplace would create a new government-run plan, like Medicare, to compete against the private plans.

The government should never compete with the private market. It is too easy, too inevitable that government will rig the game in its favor. There may be a claim of benevolent public good. We should have so little bad luck in a government market. More likely, politicians will reward naked rent-seeking for their own personal gain. Do we need to tally the examples?

As long as Sen. Obama pursues rhetoric like this, Sen. McCain’s possible strength in Virginia will not sway me into voting Democrat.

Link via Kevin, M.D.