AND NOW THE FINE PRINT – AT 8:31 P.M. ET: We all know that the European Union has had to bail out Greece, home of democracy, the Olympics and good salads. But the bailout comes with stipulations, some of which might, uh, interest us here. Investors Business Daily, in an editorial, outlines the terms:
Greece was told that if it wanted a bailout, it needed to consider privatizing its government health care system. So tell us again why the U.S. is following Europe's welfare state model.
The requirement, part of a deal arranged by the IMF, the European Union and the European Central bank, is a tacit admission that national health care programs are unsustainable. Along with transportation and energy, the bailout group, according to the New York Times, wants the Greek government to remove "the state from the marketplace in crucial sectors."
This is not some cranky or politically motivated demand. It is a condition based on the ugly reality of government medicine. The Times reports that economists — not right-wingers opposed to health care who want to blow up Times Square — say liberalizing "the health care industry would help bring down prices in these areas, which are among the highest in Europe."
Of course most of the media have been largely silent about the health care privatization measure for Greece, as it conflicts with their universal, single-payer health care narrative.
COMMENT: Catch the last paragraph. This is the first I've read about the health-care recommendation applied to Greece. If any of you read about it anywhere else, please let me know. I think the IBD editorial is correct – the mainstream media is playing it down because it conflicts with their own agenda.
Maybe we should contemplate the Greek experience before we launch Obamacare. If Republicans take control of Congress in the fall, that may well happen.
May 14, 2010