Thursday, March 25, 2010


Megan McArdle makes an important point:

Americans were not told that American households would be 1% less worried about bankruptcy, or that we'd save a hundred thousand lives over thirty years.
They were regaled with eye-popping statistics on deaths from lack of health insurance--I certainly was, by many of the very same commenters who are now suddenly wary of prediction making. If you quoted those statistics, you were committing to a pretty strong position on the benefits of this bill. By my count, since we're now supposed to be covering at least 2/3 of those who are currently uninsured, and the remainder are often immigrants who trend younger than the general population, you believe that we should see a reduction of at least 15,000 deaths a year. You might argue me down to 12,000, but you couldn't get me as low as ten. That is what is implied by citing a figure of 20,000 deaths a year.

If you quoted Himmelstein et al's 45,000, obviously you should be expecting deaths to fall by at least 25,000 a year, very conservatively. If we don't see such improvements, then those studies were wrong. And if you won't commit to saying that you expect such a sizable reduction in our mortality rate, then you were wrong to cite them.

We are committing a huge amount of the public fisc to this bill. We'd better see the benefits. Read the whole thing.


CousinDan 54915 said...

This is a big ****** deal.

Night Writer said...

No, they won't hit those numbers. Which, of course, will be because Reform didn't go far enough and the only solution is ... more reform!

And then when we're all under a nationalized health plan and the numbers don't go down it's because we're ungrateful slobs with unhealthy habits who can't be relied upon to make good ban the fat and the smokes and, I don't know, watching Fox News.

And then when people are still dying, but keeling over in the healthcare line, we'll be ungrateful and treasonous and not to be trusted with important decisions like caucuses and primaries and nominations. We'll get single-provider party candidates and platforms for which we'll be pleased to vote for ... and neighbors who will be pleased (or intimidated) to report us for uttering a discouraging word.