Thaler’s Unsound Argument About the Public Insurance Option

University of Chicago economist (and behavioralist doyen) Richard Thaler thinks “the question of whether a ‘public option’ should be part of the health care solution” is just “one big distraction.” In Sunday’s New York Times, Thaler argues that the debate over the public option is a “red herring” if, as President Obama insists, the public plan will have to break even and won’t be granted “the power to impose special deals with suppliers like hospitals and drug companies.” If those two conditions are satisfied, Thaler contends, the public plan is unlikely to have much success and certainly won’t drive out private insurers.

Read the full piece here.