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Dark Comedy: WSJ's Taranto Dismisses British Health Care Horror Stories By Citing Paul Krugman

Courtesy of James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal's "Opinion Journal" page Friday: Under the subheadline "Great Moments in Socialized Medicine," Taranto pointed to an abject failure of Britain's National Health Service in a Times account of "shockingly bad care" at a British hospital:

"Shockingly bad care and inhumane treatment at a hospital in the Midlands led to hundreds of unnecessary deaths and stripped countless patients of their dignity and self-respect, according to a scathing report published on Wednesday," reports the New York Times's Sarah Lyall from London:

The report, which examined conditions at Stafford Hospital in Staffordshire over a 50-month period between 2005 and 2009, cites example after example of horrific treatment: patients left unbathed and lying in their own urine and excrement; patients left so thirsty that they drank water from vases; patients denied medication, pain relief and food by callous and overworked staff members; patients who contracted infections due to filthy conditions; and patients sent home to die after being given the wrong diagnoses.

Taranto, tongue in cheek, begged to differ, and himself cited a Times authority, in the form of Nobel Prize winning economist (and left-wing Times political columnist) Paul Krugman, a strong supporter of Obama-care:

We certainly hope the Times's public editor sets Lyall straight. After all, as former Enron adviser Paul Krugman points out: "In Britain, the government itself runs the hospitals and employs the doctors. We've all heard scare stories about how that works in practice; these stories are false." And we read it in the New York Times.