Why the selectivity?

Nate Silver asks why we tolerate the inefficiency in health care that would be banished in any other industry.

We wouldn’t tolerate $7 trillion sort of inefficiency and loss if resulted from a tax increase or proposed business regulation. Wouldn’t Grover Norquist and his gang be screaming tirelessly, perhaps with cause? Yet as a nation we sit back passively and allow our capitalist economy to be hobbled by solvable problems with the most important infrastructural input of all: the labors of the American workforce. What’s amazing is that American workers today work longer hours and are more productive than earlier generations of workers–despite our health problems.

When the government does or doesn’t do something that is bad for American capitalism, relevant business interests step to the fore to correct the problem. “The business of America is business,” is the famous misquote from Ronald Reagan’s favorite president, Cal Coolidge. So why hasn’t corporate America stepped forward–long before Barack Obama even arrived on the national scene–to complain about the business inefficiencies of an unhealthy citizenry?

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