Against “A Capitalist Case for Health Reform”

Originally posted at on September 25, 2013

Recently, John Green—one half of the Youtube duo “vlogbrothers”, along with his brother Hank—has embarked on a video series discussing health care reform in the United States in light of the dawning of the Obamacare era. The most recent instalment is titled “Bigger Pizza: A Capitalist Case for Health Care Reform”. Watch the video here:

Unfortunately, the only capitalist case to be found for health care reform is in the title of the video only.

The video starts off well enough with a general defense of capitalism, which led up to the cheeky line that “Free markets create free pizza” (although he made a couple of unnecessary caveats, namely that innovation usually comes at the expense of the increased destruction of the environment, but that’s another issue for another time), because if we imagine the wealth of society as a large pizza, free markets—through constant and unbridled innovation—increase wealth, and therefore increase the size of the pizza. John then says “the only way to get that free pizza is to make the world safe for innovation and competition.” This is very true. He follows this up with “Our current health care system sucks for facilitating this.” This is also very true. However, from this true point he dives into the unfortunate depths of absurdities. Continue reading “Against “A Capitalist Case for Health Reform””