OH, I Forgot To Mention This One
March 22, 2010
Ben Dolnick writes in to point me to this, from Megan McArdle, circa March 3rd: I have never seen conservatives and liberals so divided . . . in beliefs, not values. On the one hand, there are people like the TNR crew, and Jonathan Bernstein, Andrew's guest-blogger, who seem to think that this it's the next best thing to a done deal. Meanwhile, all the conservatives and libertarians I know think that it's pretty much hopeless, because Pelosi can't get it through an increasingly rebellious House.
In the wake of Scott Brown's Senate win, when the whole world (including liberals like Barney Frank and Anthony Weiner) pronounced health care reform dead, I predicted that it would live: The fundamentals of the situation remain exactly the same. Most Americans oppose health care reform. However, a significant chunk -- enough to form a sizable majority when combined with supporters -- oppose it because it doesn't go far enough. Which is to say, the Democrats' position commands the center in a polarized atmosphere.
Yes, There's A Middle Grounds between Dead and Done Deal
March 04, 2010
Yesterday, Jonathan Bernstein wrote a post entitled "Health care: Done Deal?," which he immediately followed up by writing, "I suspect that's too strong, but it sure looks as if this is really going to happen." In response, I commented: I'm not quite this optimistic. You're still talking about the Democratic Party. Some small thing could go wrong and make them all start panicking again.
Will Lack of Insurance Kill You? (Cont'd)
February 18, 2010
Harold Pollack is the Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago and a Special Correspondent for The Treatment. Megan McArdle and Ezra Klein (and friends) are duking it out over the potential impact of universal health insurance coverage on mortality. Jonathan Cohn has already weighed in, but I wanted to add my two cents. It’s useful to divide this controversy into two separate questions. First, does health insurance improve health, and if so, how, and by how much? Second, what else do we need to do? The first question occasions a very old argument.
Give Me Insurance Or Give Me Death
February 16, 2010
Does losing health insurance make you more likely to die? Several years ago, while I was writing my book on health care, I spent a lot of time on that question. I read the two highly publicized reports by the Institute of Medicine (IOM): Care Without Coverage: Too Little, Too Late and Consequences of Unnsurance. I read through the underlying research. And I spoke to as many experts as I could find. The IOM had concluded that lack of health insurance led to 18,000 deaths a year--a figure that, some experts suggested, was a bit arbitrary.
Medical Spending: Good For The Insured, Not For the Uninsured?
February 15, 2010
Last year, the Atlantic Monthly's Megan McArdle explained that she opposed comprehensive health care reform because the push to reduce the cost of health care spending would inevitably constrain medical innovation: Why don't you tell some person who has a terminal condition that sorry, we can't afford to find a cure for their disease? There are no particularly happy choices here. The way I look at it, one hundred percent of the population is going to die of something that we can't currently cure, but might in the future . . .
Megan McArdle Should Coach J.V. Football
February 10, 2010
Sports coaches don't like excuses. "Excuses are like assholes," goes a favorite coach saying, "Everybody's got one and they all stink." That's the basic sports coach response to any attempt, valid or otherwise, to contextualize an event whose outcome the coach disapproves of. Social scientists tend to think in more sophisticated terms.
If Health Care Dies, Who Will The Murderer Be?
January 29, 2010
Is health care reform dead? Megan McArdle says so, offering two arguments -- one persuasive, the other not. Her unpersuasive argument is that Democrats are going to walk away from health care reform because it's unpopular: Health care's popularity drops any time Congress discusses it. With respect to Nate Silver, who argues that the bill would be popular if they ever passed it and could discuss what's in it, you cannot "prove" that voters like a bill because various bits of it poll well on their own.
Is Palin a Threat or a Joke?
November 19, 2009
Megan McArdle has a post today in which she takes the media to task for what she deems "Palinoia." She writes: Y'all well know that I really don't like Sarah Palin. In fact, more than one of you has yelled at me about this. And I find the whole schtick about how the media is just a bunch of elitist hooligans who are out to get her really grating.
Republicans Would Never Exaggerate A Bill's Cost, Would They?
November 11, 2009
Ezra Klein persuasively argues that the Democrats erred by wandering into a $900 billion ceiling on the cost of health care legislation.