Megan McArdle: Scrap Expansion of Medicare Because is isn’t Profitable

The Atlantic’s resident idiot libertarian explains that allowing 55 year olds into Medicare is a bad idea because it wouldn’t be profitable:

What is a Medicare buy-in going to do if the check gets lost in the

mail, or someone forgets? Insurance companies cut you off.Medicare

is going to have a hard time telling some nice sixty year old woman

that oops, they’re not going to treat her cancer after all because she

didn’t make the payment deadline. If they operate like any other

government agency–pay off your arrearages and we’ll restore

service–they’ll hemorrhage money as people figure out that the

sensible thing to do, unless you’re already sick, is to buy in for one

month, and then “forget” to mail in the rest of the checks.

Hmmm. So expanding a wildly popular and successful program by allowing people to buy into it is a bad idea because some people might skip payments? Firstly, this is entirely speculative. Megan is pulling this out of her backside without any proof whatsoever. Secondly, so what? When will people like McArdle get it through their thick skulls that medical care isn’t always about profit? We can hemorrhage money into the banks and the military in the name of stability and security, but heaven forbid the government loses a bit of money on curing sixty year olds of cancer.

What a strange, cold and mechanical world McArdle lives in.

Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.