Caplan on Gruber

Jon Gruber has written a graphic novel.  This is from Bryan Caplan’s devastating review:

3. More generally, Gruber ignores almost everything government does to increase the cost of health care. There’s no discussion of medical licensing versus certification. There’s no discussion of the regulatory barriers to low-cost, high-deductible policies. There’s no discussion of medical liability. He mentions the high cost of “free” emergency room care, but fails to mention that this is a side effect of long-standing populist policy: government forces emergency rooms to treat people even if they certainly won’t pay.

4. There’s zero discussion of moral hazard – the unhealthy lifestyles that many people choose despite the risks. For Gruber, or at least Gruber the graphic novelist, bad health is something that “just happens to you.” Sigh. Insurance companies aren’t omniscient, but they could do a lot more to tailor rates to risks – if it were legal to do so. And maybe people would respond to those incentives by living healthier lives.

Entire review is worth reading.

Comments (8)

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  1. Paul H. says:

    That was a really great review.

  2. Greg says:

    Terrific review. Gruber deserves every stinging barb slung his way.

  3. Davie says:

    And with that, “comically bad” is given new meaning.

  4. Mustafa says:

    Caplan’s review raises some excellent critical points, but I don’t expect that the “long-standing populist policy” of forcing ERs to treat people even though they won’t pay to ever change.

  5. Larry C. says:

    I loved this review.

  6. Jeff says:

    Great review. Loved it.

  7. Buster says:

    What the Heck? A graphic novel on health reform??? That is arguably the stupidest think I’ve ever heard of coming from an academic (especially considering Gruber’s stature)!

    I can only imagine that a cartoon-illustrated book on public policy makes for a rather poor graphic novel. Is Karen Ignagni the villain (as she’s depicted here)? Are the evil health insurers her henchmen?

    I would think most academics would shutter at the thought of committee words to paper, with cartoon illustrations. I can only assume Gruber is still on the Administration’s payroll. During the health reform debate, he was trotted out by the Administration as an independent expert who supported the health reform legislation (while getting paid $300K by the Administration).

    Disclosure: I might have been less critical of health reform if I had been getting paid $300K to back the proposal but that didn’t happen.

  8. Linda Gorman says:

    A comic book on ObamaCare-style health care reform? At least the author chose an appropriate format.