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Matthew Yglesias

Bring Supply-Side Economics to Health Care

As reformers contemplate the post-pandemic era, they should focus on expanding care.

Public health infrastructure.

Public health infrastructure.

Photographer:  David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Non-pandemic health care hasn’t been much on the agenda during President Joe Biden’s first 100 days. But reducing health-care costs remains a priority for the public — ranking ahead of addressing racism, crime, immigration or climate change.

Democrats’ wariness of the issue is understandable. The public is passionate about health care, but also risk-averse. Three of the last four presidents (two of them Democrats) wrecked their poll numbers with efforts to enact sweeping changes to the U.S. health insurance system. And even though Democrats are more trusted than Republicans on health-care issues, the party’s leaders are wary of opening a debate in which its left wing will demand steps toward a Medicare for All system that makes for an appealing slogan but requires politically toxic middle-class tax hikes.