Krugman, Noonan Agree: Just Build on Medicare

We already have a fine government option
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2009 8:25 AM CDT
Krugman, Noonan Agree: Just Build on Medicare
"Before departing in a cloud of cigarette smoke and martini fumes, FDR just might add, 'A second option, though lacking that special spark of deviousness, is the Wyden-Bennett bill.'" -Peggy Noonan   (AP Photo)

Everyone's suddenly allergic to letting the government into health care, but Paul Krugman has news: The government is already knee-deep in health care, he writes in the New York Times. It's called Medicare, and without it almost no one over 65 would be covered. You can also thank tax subsidies and government mandates for the fact that your employer-provided health care works at all. Obama’s just proposing some tweaks to make decent insurance available to everyone. “It’s as American as, well, Medicare.”

Peggy Noonan goes one step further in the Wall Street Journal, imagining what FDR would tell Obama to do. Just fix Medicare, the ghost advises. Talk it up every day, clear out the waste and fraud. “Then, at the end, get your Democratic majorities to make one little change—it’s now open to all. Do it in the dead of night if you have to, you've got the votes.” Then rename it “The National Health Service,” and presto, America has a single-payer system. (More FDR stories.)

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