Sunday, October 12, 2014

Anti-American Exceptionalism | National Review Online

Anti-American Exceptionalism | National Review Online: "Ms. Longoria’s error is interesting to me because it is an example of anti-American Exceptionalism, i.e. the common belief among progressives that the United States is uniquely backward and knuckle-dragging in various critical ways. Most often, you hear that idea’s characteristic phrase — “We’re the only country in the civilized world that . . . ” in the context of the health-care debate, or when Democrats are arguing for sundry welfare benefits or employer mandates such as maternal leave.

For instance, during the debate over the Affordable Care Act, our reliably ignorant friends at ThinkProgress lamented that the United States was the only advanced country that did not provide “universal health care” to its residents, and noted that the United States performs relatively poorly on health metrics vis-a-vis Switzerland, among other countries. But Switzerland doesn’t exactly have what you’d call “universal health care,” at least not in any way that is distinct from the United States, in which Medicare, Medicaid, and other programs perform much the same role — albeit relatively poorly — as European social-welfare programs. Switzerland has 60-odd private insurance companies offering lots of different kinds of health-care plans, some with relatively high deductibles; individual rather than employer-based coverage; and an individual mandate — sort of an idealized version of Obamacare, minus the class-warfare rhetoric, the homeopathy subsidies, and the implementation by nincompoops."

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