The second worst failure in

    Bret Stephens' Saturday Times Oped was his * falsely reporting the supposed  content of this  reference 

    "Kenneth  Arrow crisply described  the biggest insanity (Stephens ' word, not Arrow's) back in December 1963 "Insurance " he wrote "removes the incentive on the part of individuals, patients, and physicians to shop around for better prices for hospitalization and surgical care."  

    Arrow himself would  not have categorized  this as the" biggest insanity" in health care since he went on to state that 

    "He (a patient) does not have the knowledge to make (such) decisions". 

    Clearly Arrow couldn't have believed  it was "insane" to remove the patient's incentive  to do something he shouldn't try to do .It was simply unacceptable journalism for Stephens to put (incorrect) words in Arrow's mouth -a minor instance  of Stephens'  "second worst failure" implying without actually saying so- that  Arrow would have agreed with him. 

    Stephens,  as evidenced  Saturday , thinks  conventional free enterprise is capable of providing health care. Arrow , instead, concluded the needs of  health care -to use his words- contradict the usual assumptions of the competitive market. 

    So much re Stephens' second worst.

    His worst? Writing:

    ".....Obama inherited a broken health care model..and made it worse "

     (He grudgingly allowed that the increase in Medicaid might have been OK.)

    No. In spades. In technicolor. In fact Obama** inherited a broken model and made it one under which my daughter's  aggressive cancer was found and treated. 

    * Revised 7/4  2 45 PM EDT to correct this

     ** Revised to substitute a correct identification of the actor. 


    Latest Comments