ocrity and metal detectors. I lealth care spending does not justrn”devour” our budget or threaten to wreck our economy. Healthrnservices are part of the economy. I lealth services are countedrnas part of our GDP.rnNone of this is meant to suggest that there are no problemsrnwith the amount of money we spend on health care or the waysrnin which we spend it. Cleariy there arc issues to confront, butrna word of caution is in order. First, the use of expenditurerndata can be misleading. In the Fall 1993 issue of Health Affairs,rneconomist Mark Pauly writes that expenditure data “do notrnmeasure true economic costs. They measure instead the levelrnof spending, which is seriously deficient as a measure of (or evenrna relative proxy for) the cost the economy bears when medicalrncare rather than other goods and services is produced.” Hence,rnit is cost, or to be more precise, opportunity cost, about whichrnwe should be concerned. I lere the news is not bad. In recentrnyears the rising cost of medical services as measured by thernConsumer Price hidex (CPI) is beginning to abate. Privaternfirms are beginning to gain some control over their health insurancerncosts.rnIn spite of this, advocates of compulsory national health insurancernpoint with horror to the more than $800 billion wernspend on health care, taking the position that the governmentrnmust “do something.” This sum, however, includes governmentrnand private spending. Public expenditures on health carernare legitimately a public policy issue, but why are private expenditures?rnWhy are private expenditures for health care anyrnmore of the government’s business than how much monernpeople spend on sporting events?rnIt is government spending that is the real issue. In 1991, thernmost recent year for published data, combined federal, state,rnand local government spending on health care was estimatedrnat S330 billion by the I lealth Care Financing Administration.rnMedicare and Medicaid alone accounted for S216.7 billion. Inrn1991, government spending on health care approached 44rnpercent of total health expenditures. Hirthermorc, governmentrnspending is growing at a more rapid rate than private spendingrnon health care.rnClinton (as well as Congress) has no intention of confrontingrnthe issue of public spending on health care. This would meanrntackling entitlements, something no one wants to do. ThernClinton “solution,” then, is to make health care an cntidementrnfor everybody—”health care that can never be taken awav,rnhealth care that is always there.” The entire American middlernclass would be made dependent on the welfare state in one fellrnswoop.rnThe Clinton plan before Congress should be seen for whatrnit is—the most recent battle in the campaign to establish arncompulsory national health insurance system in the LhritedrnStates. This campaign has been underway, with some exceptions,rnsince the days of Teddy Roosevelt and the Progressives.rnThe current battle might be the most important. At stake isrnthe best health care system anvonc has ever seen.rnFor Passionate ReadersrnThernMetamorphosesrnof Ovidrntranslated by David R. SlavittrnDavid Slavitt, translator of the widelyrnacclaimed Ovid’s Poetry of Exile, hasrnfashioned a splendid new English verserntranslation of what is perhaps the bestknownrnwork of one of western civilization’srnmajor poets.rn”In his free renderings, Ovid leaps to life. . . . This is grandrnstuff.”—Newsweek, reviewing Slavitt’s Ovid’s Poetry of Exilern”Brilliant. . . . [Slavitt’s] version will win new readers for thernpoet.”—Bernard Knox, New Republicrn$14.95 paperbackrnThe Pursuit of LovernIrving Singerrn”An original and thought-provoking book on the many facesrnof love.”—Robert C. Solomon, author ofThe Passions andrnAbout Lovern”Singer is clearly the Stephen Hawking ofrnthe metaphysics and history of love. . . . Hernhas weaved together philosophy, psychology,rntheology, and the most enticingrnplots from European opera, giving us anrnengaging picture of the meanings and kindsrnof love we pursue, enjoy—or suffer.”—rnAlan Soble, author of The Structure of Lovern”Written by the foremost authority on thernconcept of love, this new work is destinedrnto become a classic.”—W. Jackson Bate,rnHarvard Universityrn$25.95 hardcoverrnTHE JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY PRESS Hampden Station, Baltimore, Maryland 21211 • To order, call 1-800-537-5487.rn26/CHRONICLESrnrnrn