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Health Care and Competitiveness


In an interview with C-SPAN’s Steve Scully this weekend, President Obama was asked what he thought was different about this year’s health-care debate compared with the last time the Democrats tried to move toward a government-centered system in 1993. He said:

I think the biggest change politically is, is that businesses now recognize that if we don’t get a handle on this stuff that they are going to continue to be operating at a competitive disadvantage with other countries. And so they anxiously seek serious reform.

Greg Mankiw, with help from the Congressional Budget Office, offers some thoughts on this very commonly repeated claim about health-care costs and international competitiveness, which he says is “to put it bluntly, nonsense.”


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