Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The zombie rides a unicorn into the mirage...

"The promise of the public plan is a mirage. Its political brilliance is to use free-market rhetoric (more "choice" and "competition") to expand government power."

from "Public Plan Mirage", The Washington Post, October 26, 2009

"A public plan is likely to damage competition. A government insurer has some big advantages over a private one; its financing costs would be lower because the government can borrow cheaply; it would not have to worry too much about future liabilities since it could never go bust; and its economies of scale would be larger than those of the competition. Those using the public plan would benefit in the short term, but the scheme might very well squeeze private insurers out of business, which would be bad news for the other half of Americans that have them—and, according to opinion polls, are generally happy about that."

from "Back from the Dead", The Economist, October 29, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


"A few years ago, however, the health-care economists Robert Ohsfeldt and John Schneider recalculated the numbers after controlling for deaths from homicides and traffic accidents. Because these things tend to strike very young people, they can have an outsize impact on mortality statistics. Those deaths reflect America’s crime policy and its driving habits more than the effectiveness of its health-care system. And if you remove them from the picture, say Ohsfeldt and Schneider, America jumps to the top of the life-expectancy tables."

from "Misleading Indicator" by Megan McArdle