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Excerpts from Parsing the Health Reform Arguments     Mr. Newman in WSJ

Some of the shibboleths we've heard in recent weeks don't make much sense.

This is about:  Is Healthcare being criticized too much, and how has the government shown it is capable of more competition. 

That's like comparing the price of hamburger 30 years ago with the price of filet mignon today and calling the difference inflation.

Or the price of a 19-inch, black-and-white TV 30 years ago with the price of a 50-inch HDTV today.

The improvements in medical care are even more dramatic, leading to longer life, less pain, fewer exploratory surgeries and miracle drugs. Of course the research, the equipment and the training that produce these improvements don't come cheap.

The 1,500 or so private plans don't produce enough competition? Making it 1,501 will do the trick?  But then why stop there?

Eating is even more important than health care, so shouldn't we have government-run supermarkets "to keep the private ones honest"? After all, supermarkets clearly put profits ahead of feeding people.

And we can't run around naked, so we should have government-run clothing stores to keep the private ones honest.

And shelter is just as important, so we should start public housing to keep private builders honest. Oops, we already have that. And that is exactly the point. Think of everything you know about public housing, the image the term conjures up in your mind. If you like public housing you will love public health care.

Mr. Newman is an economist and retired business executive.