For most of his career as an editorial writer for The New York Times, Paul Krugman has been an unapologetic advocate of single-payer health insurance or “Medicare for all,” as he sometimes calls it. “A Canadian-style single-payer system, in which the government directly provides insurance, would almost surely be both cheaper and more effective than what we now have,” he wrote.

He was explicit about the reasons why. On the relative merits of private and public health insurance, he wrote, “As far as we have been able to ascertain, all of that evidence indicates that public insurance of the kind available in several European countries and others such as Taiwan achieves equal or better results at much lower cost.”

And he didn’t stop there. In the Krugman ideal healthcare system, even the providers would be government employees. It would be a world of “honest-to-God socialized medicine, in which government employees provide the care as well as the money.”