I love Richard Epstein. He seems to know everything about everything. Here, he proves his mettle with a debate with Judith Feder on nationalized health care.
Via the UChicago Faculty Blog, H/T Andrew L. on Facebook:
While agreeing with Feder that the system needed drastic fixes, Epstein differed stridently on what was required. Arguing that “cartel-like restrictions,” mandates, and subsidies in government programs like Medicare had caused healthcare’s woes, Epstein said that the current model of a system like Medicare was not tenable when extended to the broader population: “If all you’re going to try to do is to give everybody the same level of protection that you give to current Medicare recipients, you’ll not be able to finance it with any of the devices that she’s talking about.”
One of the primary problems, Epstein said, was that potential competitors to existing insurance firms lack free entry into local markets, resulting in insurance monopolies. He argued that Obama should pass legislation to correct a “deeply anticompetitive system,” but predicted that the administration would instead “buy off all the interest groups with corrupt bargains” and introduce taxation and cross-subsidy programs that “will bankrupt the nation.” The public health plan option, Epstein continued, would be run by a “bunch of blithering incompetents…. What you’re watching here is a grotesque concatenation of every bad left-wing liberal policy in the last 40 years, and the time has come to stop it.” Epstein prescribed instead a series of “mid-level rationalizations” involving medical malpractice and price restriction issues, as well as the application of contract law.
Bravo Professor Epstein!
October 24, 2009 at 1:33 pm
Couldn’t agree more. Epstein is not only one the country’s leading legal scholars (still being the most frequently cited living law professor last time I checked). Now that Hayek, Friedman, Nozick, and–in a way–Posner are gone, I’d say he is also the country’s greatest living libertarian philosopher.
November 2, 2009 at 10:16 am
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