Earlier this week Ben Smith moderated a debate between Betsy McCaughey and Anthony Weiner. Smith:

Some of McCaughey's claims have been substantially debunked, or don't match up with the current legislation. Others are broader conservative health care critiques. In either case, she's nowhere near the player she was in 1994 -- in part perhaps because she's seen as a partisan, not an honest broker, and that's due in no small part to the relentless, effective assault from the left, a refighting of the last war that ensures they won't lose that battle, at least.

One element of the debate's substance also interested me: McCaughey made the case that American health care spending is not excessive, and that Americans spend more because we "earn more" and want more and better health care. It's a case the organized health industry wouldn't dare make for itself in the face of demands from Congress that it cut costs, and one that leads her to argue that the best way to deal with what she sees as the only crisis -- a number of uninsured she puts a bit over 10 million -- is simply to spend $500 billion insuring them.

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