About Singapore… – ctd. (Part 1)

So apparently my quick post on Singapore last week has gotten some attention. Because of some emails and some other posts I’ve seen, I feel compelled to elaborate on that post. My response will take two parts. The first is more stylistic and the second is more substantive.

So let’s start with style. I’m not a columnist, and I don’t write one carefully thought out piece a week. I blog about health policy and research, and last week I blogged a lot. Most of my posts are more weighty, and might actually reference manuscripts. Some, however, are more “fun” and quick. Such was my post on Singapore’s announcement that it was going to change its health care system.

For those of you who expected a ton of meat from a news report, it was this: Singapore is making a number of changes to its health care system, and they are going to involve more government involvement and support in the health care system. Now I could write that simply, but that would interest almost no one. So I wrote it into a post where I detailed those changes and also noted how they were similar to many you might see in, say, the ACA. My idea worked, because the post (and the information) got a lot more eyeballs than they might otherwise have.

Tyler Cowen faults me for not having any curiosity about the new changes. He (like many commenters) conveniently ignores everything else the blog has written about Singapore in discussing this one post.  He, like some of you, dismisses my post as “not insightful”. I agree that it wasn’t, beyond the bolded statement above. He also thinks I’m attacking Republicans. In this respect, methinks he dost protest too much. I have seen next to no Republican politicians or activists supporting a Singapore-style system. I see a number of self-proclaimed conservative and libertarian wonks who do, and it was to them that I directed my complaints about their use of Singapore. If he thinks people who like Singapore’s system are equivalent with “Republicans” that’s him speaking – not me.

Also, for the record, dismissing all of these changes as “bad ones, driven primarily by the demands of citizens for goodies rather than by the quest for the best technocratic policy” is, perhaps, not that insightful either.


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