And to think they were making cooking videos together only a few years ago:
In my chat today, a reader asked me to respond to Megan McArdle’s lengthy case against national health insurance. The problem is that, well, there’s not a lot to specifically respond to. In 1,600 words, she doesn’t muster a single link to a study or argument, nor a single number that she didn’t make up (what numbers do exist come in the form of thought experiments and assumptions). Megan’s argument against national health insurance boils down to a visceral hatred of the government. Which is fine. Megan is a libertarian. That’s, like, her journey, man. But her attack on national health insurance seems a lot more about libertarianism than it is about national health insurance.
Megan has two primary concerns. The first is that national health insurance would succeed in reducing health-care costs, and that would limit the rewards available for medical innovation (drugs, devices, etc), which would in turn reduce medical innovation and prevent future generations from enjoying wonder drugs. “If you worry about global warming,” she writes, “you should worry at least as hard about medical innovation.”
Second, national health care gives elites license “to wrap their claws around every aspect of everyone’s life.” Her primary example is obesity. Megan believes that national health insurance will give the government license to decide that we can never really want a second chocolate eclair. She also believes that the real reason most every epidemiologist in the country is worried about obesity is because they hate, and are disgusted by, poor people.
McMeghan does not deserve to be taken seriously. What bothers me most about the whole MCMEGHAN IS A SERIOUS THINKER stuff is that it stems not only from the strange respect the Atlantic imprimatur inexplicably yields, but also from the soft sexism of lowered expectations. She’s a young woman, and she can long blog posts from a glibertarian persepctive! Whoop dee doo.