There are some mendacious Russophile lunatics out there who will tell you democratic reform caused Russia’s demographic crisis. Remind them that (a) Russia has yet to do anything seriously democratic and (b) the USSR caused Russia’s demographic crisis. Then point them to economist Yuri Maltsev of the Mises Institute, writing on their blog:
In 1918, the Soviet Union became the first country to promise universal “cradle-to-grave” healthcare coverage, to be accomplished through the complete socialization of medicine. The “right to health” became a “constitutional right” of Soviet citizens. The proclaimed advantages of this system were that it would “reduce costs” and eliminate the “waste” that stemmed from “unnecessary duplication and parallelism” — i.e., competition.
These goals were similar to the ones declared by Mr. Obama and Ms. Pelosi — attractive and humane goals of universal coverage and low costs. What’s not to like?