It is astonishing how far the debate on health care has moved in the US, at least for the Democrats. Not long ago offering universal, government-funded health care was viewed as tantamount to communism; now it’s a touchstone of many presidential hopefuls.

Not before time. The US healthcare system is a monument to perverse incentives, unintended consequences and political inertia. It is astonishingly bad — indeed, it’s so astonishingly bad that even people who believe it’s bad don’t appreciate quite how bad it is.

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