Whenever I really want to make liberals angry, I suggest that the problem is that too many people have health insurance: It means that most of us have no sense of what medical costs really are.

I’m being facetious of course, but we can all agree that something is out of kilter with medical costs.

Anybody who worries about the cost of health insurance must read Mike Cannon’s “Making the Health Care System Work for Women” (on our homepage). It’s a provocative piece of reporting.

Cannon finds that, as is often the case, good intentions gone awry have contributed to the mess.

Cannon writes:

“Since World War II, medical prices have risen faster than other prices in all but four years. By 1997, excess consumption caused by the tax code accounted for nearly 30 percent of health spending. One estimate puts the amount of waste at $150 billion annually. The exclusion is a major reason why, in 2003, health insurance premiums rose an average 15 percent — the largest increase in more than a decade — and the number of uninsured Americans grew to 43.6 million.”