Voice, Not Exit

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by Patrick Appel

Matt Steinglass makes what should be a familiar argument by now:

I remember what it felt like to move to the Netherlands and be told that I would have to buy health insurance, or I'd be kicked out of the country. For an American, it certainly felt...different. Then I encountered the other difference: I signed up for a plan, and found my premium cost me a quarter what I'd been paying in America. That was the result of decades of constituent pressure on politicians to get health-insurance costs down. Mr Olbermann and Mr Moulitsas are still thinking like free-market consumers of health insurance: they don't like it, so they want out. Of Albert Hirschman's trio of options for consumers in failing organisations, "Exit, Voice, and Loyalty", they're choosing "exit". When you move to universal health insurance, you have to get used to choosing "voice": if you don't like it, you fix it.

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