Ann Marie Marciarille: Minutes Matter, Don't Wait!: "Or so my local 'Emergency Room of Brookside' bleats from its website but, even more oddly, from the pop up advertising that is dogging my web browsing these days...
Ann Marie Marciarille: Minutes Matter, Don't Wait!: "Or so my local 'Emergency Room of Brookside' bleats from its website but, even more oddly, from the pop up advertising that is dogging my web browsing these days...
This is what I want when I call for a better class of DeLong Smackdowns! How do we think this looks not just nine years after my optimism in 2009 back at the end of the American century but five years after Matt wrote?:
Hoisted from the Archives: Matthew Yglesias (2013): May Day Marxism: Capitalism is looking pretty shabby: "DeLong reposted a very interesting 2009 talk... "Understanding Karl Marx"... that I would have enthusiastically endorsed in 2009 but which look weaker four years later...
May 10, 2018 at 05:57 AM in Economics: Health, Economics: History, Economics: Inequality, History, Moral Responsibility, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: (Monday) Smackdown Watch, Streams: (Tuesday) Hoisted from Archives, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (0)
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Noah Smith: Noahpinion: Handwaving on health care: "There's a particular style of argument that some conservative economists use to dismiss calls for government intervention in markets:
- Step 1: Either assert or assume that free markets work best in general.
- Step 2: List the reasons why this particular market might be unusual.
- Step 3: Dismiss each reason with a combination of skeptical harumphing, handwaving, anecdotes, and/or informal evidence.
- Step 4: Conclude that this market should be free from government intervention.
In a recent rebuttal to a Greg Mankiw column on health care policy, John Cochrane displays this argumentation style in near-perfect form.
Should-Read: Michael Geruso and Timothy Layton: Selection in Health Insurance Markets and Its Policy Remedies: "We begin by outlining some important but often misunderstood differences between two types of conceptual frameworks... http://www.nber.org/papers/w23876
Must-Read: Stuart Butler is the person who knows something about health care who should, given his values and his analytical judgments, be most favorably inclined toward Graham-Cassidy. He is strongly opposed: "[a] high probability of really bad outcomes..." is his bottom line.
And nobody else of any reputation or note has even as favorable a judgment...
Ezra Klein: Graham-Cassidy could’ve been the GOP’s best Obamacare replacement: "Instead, Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy wrote the worst plan yet... https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/9/20/16333384/graham-cassidy-obamacare-health-care
Sigh: See what I meant http://www.bradford-delong.com/2017/09/monday-smackdown-smackdown.html about Monday Smackdowns? Such a target-rich environment...
Must-Read: There are, as is always the case these days, a lot of lies in Avik Roy's latest on health care "reform".
But there is one nugget of important truth. Here it is:
Avik Roy: Take Two: Inside Bill Cassidy's Plan To Replace Obamacare: "Because Graham-Cassidy repeals Obamacare’s individual mandate, and the Congressional Budget Office views the individual mandate as driving the majority of Obamacare’s coverage expansion, the CBO is likely to view Graham-Cassidy the same way it has viewed other GOP bills..." https://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2017/09/17/take-two-inside-bill-cassidys-plan-to-replace-obamacare/#5703ca351181
About a month and a half ago I decided that there was really no place in any of my classes for my "what you really ought to know about doing economics" lecture http://www.bradford-delong.com/2017/07/how-to-think-like-an-economist-if-that-is-you-wish-to.html: it would be either incomprehensible (because students would not understand it) or unnecessary (because students would already know it).
Should-Read: "Unconstitutional but need to be made in a legal way..." is a very interesting category of congressional action.
Let us be very clear: the exchanges in blue states are in much better shape, and state governments can do a lot to shore them up and are willing to step in if the federal government drops the ball. It's red states where the insurance exchanges are in trouble and where state governments lack the technocratic knowledge and the free cash flow needed:
Cameron Joseph and Tierney Sneed: After Obamacare Repeal Collapse, GOP Weighs Whether To Help State Markets: "Most Republicans have been happy to watch some state-level individual health insurance exchanges sputter... http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/after-obamacare-repeal-collapse-gop-weighs-whether-to-help-state-health-exchange-markets
Should-Read: Ian Millhiser: What it’s like to watch the Senate debate whether your life is as valuable as a tax cut for Trump: "Every other Saturday morning, I inject $2,269.61 worth of pharmaceuticals into my leg... https://thinkprogress.org/chronic-condition-trumpcare-scares-me-b2192446ea64
Comment of the Day: Sanjait: Avik Roy told a lot of lies in his vain attempt to get BCRA passed...: "Sure, because removing hundreds of billions from insurance programs and subsidies... http://www.bradford-delong.com/2017/07/should-read-avik-roy-told-a-lot-of-lies-in-his-vain-attempt-to-get-bcra-passed-now-here-he-is-calling-for-the-corrupt.html?cid=6a00e551f08003883401bb09b3c897970d#comment-6a00e551f08003883401bb09b3c897970d
Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage: Josh Marshall asks for theories of Hero McCain. I have three:
After 10 years of being a largely-destructive Republican—most notably in his injection of Sarah Palin into our public sphere—he simply decided: f--- it, it's time to be an American and a senator again.
Roid rage: steroid doses to reduce brain swelling after surgery put him in a temper.
There are fourteen Republican senators—Susan Collins, R-ME, Lisa Murkowski, R-AK, John McCain, R-A, Dean Heller R-NV, Lamar Alexander R-TN, Shelley Moore Capito R-WV, Rob Portman R-OH, Bob Corker R-TN, Tom Cotton R-AK, Lindsey Graham R-SC, Mike Lee R-UT, Jeff Flake R-AZ, Ben Sasse R-NB, Jerry Moran R-KS—plus 50 Republican representatives who would rather that this ObamaCare repeal thing crash. Murkowski and Collins could oppose repeal and strengthen their local political standing. The question was who else would join them—and would it be better to oppose it in a group or to simply put up one of their number so that McConnell could say "I really tried hard", and they decided that it was better for it to barely fail, and then McCain wanted the Mr. Smith role.
Josh Marshall: Taking Stock Of Trumpcare’s Epic Collapse – Talking Points Memo: "I had a very hard time believing the result would be what it turned out to be... http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/taking-stock-of-trumpcares-epic-collapse
Should-Read: Antonio Fatas seems annoyed with Greg Mankiw. I think I understand where Antonio is coming from: one has a moral obligation, I think, not just to say "health care is a complicated issue", but to go on and say what kinds of "regulatory relief" and what kind of "expanded government role" you believe would do more good than harm—and also (we are still looking at you, Marty) not to misreport and misconstrue the solid empirical literature, and also (here we are looking at you, Greg) to say more than that the issues are "hotly debated":
Antonio Fatas: On Twitter: "Healthcare is complicated but Greg Mankiw should criticize policy proposals that are incoherent or just lie about their benefits..." https://twitter.com/AntonioFatas/status/890979381719511044
Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage: The twelve not completely crazy Republican senators who might be open to some form of not-insane health care legislation over the next fifteen months:
Comment of the Day: JEC: HOW WOULD HEALTH-CARE REFORM AFFECT PATIENT HEALTH?: "I'd also point out that Marty is performing the 'null hypothesis bait-and-switch', which relies on nobody noticing that you've swapped the maintained and null hypotheses... http://www.bradford-delong.com/2017/07/must-read-naughty-naughty-marty-you-know-better-you-say-patients-in-the-oregon-medicaid-study-show-no-signif.html?cid=6a00e551f08003883401b8d299d84a970c#comment-6a00e551f08003883401b8d299d84a970c
Must-Read: Naughty, naughty, Marty...
You know better.
You say: "Patients in the Oregon Medicaid study show no significant improvement in clinical physical health outcomes". You know as well as I do that you should say: "Patients in the Oregon Medicaid study showed the expected and clinically significant improvement in physical health outcomes, but the study had low statistical power, and so the researchers could not dismiss, at conventional levels of statistical significance, the possibility that the improvement was due to chance."
Back in the early 1980s you used to try very hard to teach your students not to confuse statistical significance with economic significance.
What has happened?
Martin Feldstein: How Would Health-Care Reform Affect Patient Health?: "People who qualify for Medicaid do receive substantially more care than those without formal insurance... https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/us-health-care-reform-medicaid-cuts-by-martin-feldstein-2017-07
Hoisted from the Archives: Yesterday I was bitching to the team at "ParsonsTKO | A Digital Transformation Agency" http://parsonstko.com/, which is in charge of thinking about the redesign of the Equitable Growth Website http://equitablegrowth.org, about not just our failure but the general failure of the internet to bring things from the stock into the flow—to have a memory. The original hope was that Google http://google.com would be that memory, but full-text combined with word-nearness search plus pagerank does not do the job. So I was arguing that Equitable Growth should hire somebody whose job—at least part of whose job—is to ask: what is the thing that Equitable Growth has ever published that is most relevant to live concerns and issues today?; and then repost and highlight that thing. Plus we need an indexing grammar, ontology, whatever, that makes the most relevant thing easy to search for and find.
But I can do this for my own website, myself—if I find time. So here we are: what the country should be doing about ObamaCare right now, hoisted from my archives from 2004:
Reading Reihan Salam's "Why I signed up for Obamacare": The Honest Broker for the Week of May 10, 2014: So this morning I am reading the highly-intelligent Reihan Salam's bill of indictment against ObamaCare... http://delong.typepad.com/delong_long_form/2014/05/reading-reihan-salams-why-i-signed-up-for-obamacare-the-honest-broker-for-the-week-of-may-10-2014.html
July 13, 2017 at 06:18 AM in Economics: Health, Long Form, Moral Responsibility, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: (BiWeekly) Honest Broker, Streams: (Tuesday) Hoisted from Archives, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (2)
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Should-Read: Josh Barro: GOP healthcare bill will poll badly no matter what: "Now I have to call those providers' offices and get duplicate receipts and upload them and allow seven to 10 days for processing... http://www.businessinsider.com/gop-healthcare-bill-polls-bad-changes-2017-6
David Bradley Isenberg: I Only Protested the Affordable Care Act Because the President Was Black. Please Don’t Take Away My Health Insurance: "Back in 2009, when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was being debated in Congress, I was fuming with anger... https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/i-only-protested-the-affordable-care-act-because-the-president-was-black-please-dont-take-away-my-health-insurance>
Must-Read: I don't think any—statistically literate—conservatives believe Medicaid is worthless. Statistically illiterate ones may, and there may be many people who have taken great care to maintain their statistical illiteracy. But the truest core argument—if, as Thomas Hobbes once translated Thoukydides, "the least in speech"—is not that Medicaid is worthless, but that the lives of those who need Medicaid are worth little, and not worth spending public money on. They may say that they believe the first—that Medicaid is worthless. But that, I believe, is, for the statistically literate and for those who have worked hard to remain statistically illiterate, pretense: what they believe is that the lives of those who need Medicaid are worth little.
Ezra Klein: Conservatives believe Medicaid is worthless, so slashing it is harmless. They’re wrong: "Expanding Medicaid saves lives at a cost of $327,000 to $867,000 per life saved... https://www.vox.com/health-care/2017/6/29/15885796/medicaid-senate-gop-health-bill-benefits-bcra
Must-Read: as Eric Rauchway says, Ezra Klein is now shrill. But Ezra understates the problem. Note that there are now very, very few Republican health-care policy experts releasing their own—truly conservative—plans, or criticizing the current plan for not achieving sensible conservative goals. The radio silence from those who should be doing the heavy lifting on GOP-conservative health policy thinking is near total, and is deafening:
Ezra Klein: It turns out the liberal caricature of conservatism is correct: "It’s depressing. But it’s true: Marc Thiessen, the George W. Bush speechwriter... is aghast at the Senate GOP’s health care bill... https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/29/15892504/liberal-caricature-conservatism-correct
Should-Read: Is this for real? I think Erica Grieder fails the Turing test. Guys and gals at The Week: this is no way to build the reputation as a trustworthy information intermediary you need to survive as anything other than a monstrous clickbait and eyeball-glue farm:
The "losers" from ObamaCare are "young invincibles" being charged more for their insurance because of the mandate and the cross-subsidization from young to old (and who will benefit in their turn when they get old), and people who had had cheap low-quality insurance who now have much better and somewhat more costly insurance. The second group are big winners in any sensible actuarial sense. The first group are net winners as well because they will age and they will develop "preexisting conditions".
But even if Grieder's claims about "losers" from ObamaCare weren't fatuous, to complain about ObamaCare because it "raises premiums and deductibles" for some and "left millions... uninsured" while providing enormous net benefits in terms of coverage, treatment, and health and then turn around and endorse BCRA which raises premiums and deductibles even more and leaves an extra 22 million uninsured...
These are the words of a TrumpBot. Not of a reporter:
Erica Grieder: The GOP's 'Better Care' act is better than you think: "While the Affordable Care Act has surely helped millions of Americans... http://theweek.com/articles/707712/gops-better-care-act-better-than-think
Should-Read: Scott Lemieux: No Vote on TrumpCare In June: "This really is important... http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2017/06/no-vote-trumpcare-june
Must-Read: http://vox.com gave eight Republican senators as much rope as they wanted...
Nobody wanted to say: "this Reconciliation Bill is imperfect, but it keeps the ball rolling, and after Trump signs it the real bipartisan bargaining will commence..."
Nobody wanted to say: "I will be primaried and may lose if I cannot say: 'We in the senate did our job and passed ObamaCare repeal and I was there pushing when it happened..."
And it appears that nobody had given any thought to how they were going to answer substance questions from reporters. Which, I suppose, tells us a lot about how often anybody other than http://vox.com tries to get senators to answer substance questions:
Tara Golshan, Dylan Scott, and Jeff Stein: We asked 8 Senate Republicans to explain what their health bill is trying to do: "Vox asked GOP senators to explain their hopes for it. Who will benefit from the legislation? What problems is this bill trying to solve?.. https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/16/15810524/senate-ahca-explain-please
We have sent our letter, and Sarah Kliff is on it!
Sarah Kliff: 6 Nobel Prize–winning economists announce opposition to Senate health bill: "Forty economists, including six Nobel laureates, sent a letter Monday to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) outlining their opposition to the Better Care Reconciliation Act, the Senate bill to repeal and replace Obamacare... https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/26/15873980/economist-nobel-prize-oppose-senate-repeal
...“At a time when economic change is making life more difficult for all but the relatively well-to-do, denying people to access health insurance is a giant step in the wrong direction,” the letter reads. “The goal should be to hold down health costs and increase access to affordable, quality health coverage for all. Unfortunately, the Better Care Reconciliation Act threatens reduced coverage and higher costs for those who continue to have it.”
Must-Read: Nicholas Bagley: Crazy waivers: the Senate bill invites states to gut important health insurance rules: "The bill goes further to grease the wheels for waivers... https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2017/6/23/15862268/waivers-federalism-senate-bill-essential-benefits
Must-Read: David Anderson: Reading the BCRA CBO Score: "The Congressional Budget Office is due to release their score on the Senate’s BCRA bill at some point today. Here are a few things to remember as you read the score... https://www.balloon-juice.com/2017/06/26/reading-the-bcra-cbo-score/
Must-Read: Benjamin D. Sommers, Atul A. Gawande, and Katherine Baicker: Health Insurance Coverage and Health—What the Recent Evidence Tells Us: "Perhaps no research question better encapsulates this policy debate than, 'Does coverage save lives?... http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsb1706645#.WUriDI_R7Z4
(2007): http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/06/dealing_with_th.html: Felix Salmon deploys me as a weapon in an internecine struggle with his fellow Portfolio magazine writer
Russ Mitchell Kevin Maney by blogging a piece of our coffee yesterday at Strada, at the corner of Bancroft and College, in Berkeley:
From June 3, 2007I Like Barack Obama's Health Care Plan http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2007/06/i_like_barack_o.html: FT.com / Comment & analysis: It is an iron law of American politics that Democratic party politicians who propose relatively detailed healthcare reform plans–as Barack Obama did last Tuesday–get trashed.
Should-Read: David Anderson: Revisiting Cassidy-Collins: "Engagement either leads to burning Senate time if there is no productive grounds for a deal... https://www.balloon-juice.com/2017/05/16/revisiting-cassidy-collins/
Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage: Sarah Kliff: Donald Trump has no idea what health insurance costs: "The Economist asked the president about the fact that many Americans are expected to lose coverage... https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/5/11/15624328/trump-health-insurance-costs
No. I do not know why John Cochrane decided to turn himself into a partisan Republican clown back in 2007—willing to say whatever, at that moment, he thinks will win applause from the current crop of Republican politicians; and claiming since, among other things, that:
Should-Read: Craig Garthwaite and John A. Graves: Success and Failure in the Insurance Exchanges: "President Donald Trump and large fractions of the Republican majority... campaigned on an explicit pledge to repeal and replace the ACA...
Weekend Reading: Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson: Republicans’ Obsession with Tax Cuts for the Rich Drove Their Health Care Plan Over a Cliff: "Somehow, Republicans managed to craft a policy that simultaneously...
...raised premiums and out-of-pocket costs, lowered the quality of insurance plans, increased the chances of insurance market death spirals, put new pressure on state budgets, and massively increased the ranks of the uninsured.
Must-Read: The last, italicized, clause in the quote from Ross Douthat below is a lie:
Ross Douthat: Is Obamacare a Lifesaver?: "Now that the Republican Party has beclowned itself on health care... Obamacare repeal... in rubble...
Live from the Republicans' Self-Made Gehenna: Let the record show that Paul Ryan has as little contact with reality as Donald Trump:
Jordan Weissman: Let us now appreciate Paul Ryan’s utter failure as a political leader: "The AHCA... somehow achieved the distinction of being panned by policy experts from the left, right, and center...
Must-Watch: Stephen Shortell, Jesse Choper, Brad DeLong, Ann O'Leary, Ann Marie Marciarille, and John Ellwood (2012): Reactions to the Supreme Court's Ruling on the Affordable Care Act:
Live from Brownbackistan: How much money have Brownback and his Brownbackistanis thrown away over the past six years by refusing to accept federal money to fund the Medicaid expansion?
Jonathan Shorman: Medicaid Expansion Moves Forward in Kansas: "Kansas state lawmakers advanced a Medicaid expansion proposal on Thursday...
Weekend Reading: Josh Barro: Healthcare: Republicans Lied. They Deserve Punishment: "It's hard to decide which would be the more politically damaging outcome for Republican politicians...
...passing the American Health Care Act, and therefore owning the premium increases and coverage losses it would cause; or not passing the bill, and therefore failing to... "repeal... Obamacare." Each option is a political nightmare... an admission that Republicans cannot deliver what they have promised....
Weekend Reading: Tom Levenson: Why I Hate The NY Times, Part n: "This paragraph [by Margot Sanger-Katz]...
...There is most likely a middle way. Republican lawmakers might be comfortable with a system that shifts more of the costs of care onto people who are sick, if it makes the average insurance plan less costly for the healthy. But making those choices would mean engaging in very real trade-offs, less simple than their talking point.
Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage: AP: No House vote on GOP health care bill today: "Canceling Thursday’s vote would amount to a significant political setback for Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan...
Must-Read: Bob Christie: 380,000 Arizonans May Lose Medicaid: "The report looks at the patients who gained coverage under a Medicaid expansion pushed through in 2013 by former Gov. Jan Brewer...
Should-Read: Nancy LeTorneau: There Is No Grand Strategy to Repeal Obamacare: "The Congressional Budget Office... released their report.... What we’ve seen from conservatives/Republicans/the White House since then...
Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage: Erik Loomis: Dumbasses of America: "The genre of 'let’s talk to idiotic white voters who support Trump even though he will decimate their lives' is already more stale than bread baked on November 8...
...However, it does lead to the occasional special anecdote that truly sums up the stupidity of many white people:
Must-Read: How, you ask, did Donald Trump's Mad Management Skillz take DJT from $15/share to $0? This is how:
Ezra Klein:Does Donald Trump Know What the GOP Health Bill Does?: "With the help of Vox’s Jacob Gardenswartz, I collected and read absolutely everything Donald Trump has said publicly about the AHCA...
Michael Maggidson (2000_: 1896: John Peter Altgeld: "John Peter Altgeld was born in the German village of Nieder Selters on December 30, 1847...
When he was about three months old, his parents brought him to the United States, settling in Ohio. After a brief stint in the Union Army during the Civil War, Altgeld read the law and was admitted to the bar in 1872. He served as city attorney of Savannah, Missouri and in 1874, was elected county prosecutor. He resigned this post after a year and moved to Chicago, where he established himself as a lawyer. He was married three years later. He soon began investing in real estate and made a small fortune.
Looking Forward to Four Years During Which Most if Not All of America's Potential for Human Progress Is Likely to Be Wasted
With each passing day Donald Trump looks more and more like Silvio Berlusconi: bunga-bunga governance, with a number of unlikely and unforeseen disasters and a major drag on the country--except in states where his policies are neutralized.
Nevertheless, remember: WE ARE WITH HER!
The purpose of this weblog is to be the best possible portal into what I am thinking, what I am reading, what I think about what I am reading, and what other smart people think about what I am reading...
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