Paul Krugman's desire for advocacy has become so strong that he apparently has let his economist's training slip. Look at these two excerpts from yesterday's column in the New York Times.
Referring to a Senate committee's action, he notes that its plan for health reform:
achieves near-universal coverage through a combination of regulation and subsidies. Insurance companies would be required to offer the same coverage to everyone, regardless of medical history; on the other side, everyone except the poor and near-poor would be obliged to buy insurance, with the aid of subsidies that would limit premiums as a share of income.
This is good and sensible. But then, he slips off the wagon.
And those who prefer not to buy insurance from the private sector would be able to choose a public plan instead. This would, among other things, bring some real competition to the health insurance market, which is currently a collection of local monopolies and cartels.
"Real competition" is when all participants play by similar rules. As I have noted, that could not and would not be the case with regard to a public plan.