I’ve commented here and here on how the Wall Street Journal always finds space for letters to the editor on health care by Richard Ralston. They seem to publish one every month or two, which is more typical of a high school newspaper than a great national publication. Usually the letters simply take the Journal‘s original stance to its dogmatic, libertarian extreme, which is what one would expect from the former Managing Director of the Ayn Rand Center. I think the editorial board likes the purity of thinking.
I saw another letter from Ralston the other day and I realized I hadn’t checked up on him lately. Sure enough, the Journal has published three letters from him in the last 3 months:
- Jun 27: The New Drug ‘Science’ of Alarming Conclusions, in which he sarcastically refers to Nissen’s findings on Avandia’s safety risks as a “research break-through”
- Aug 21: Slaying California’s Health-Care Hydra, in which he touts interstate competition in health insurance as a cure-all
- Sep 21: We Need a National Health Insurance Market, in which he repeats the argument of his earlier letter, this time dissing Massachusetts
As I read the more recent scribblings I noticed they have gotten somewhat better. The same theme is still there: government = bad, private enterprise = nirvana, but the arguments are somewhat more robust. For example, Ralston has a point when he says that mandates drive up the cost of insurance and that the Avandia situation was politicized.
Still he places too much faith in insurance market reform and deregulation to solve our health care problems. The proposals he advocates would create as many problems as they solve.September 26, 2007