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Megan McArdle Says Its Time to Measure Outcomes of Health Reform (This Means You, Ezra)

John on March 24, 2010 at 9:50 am

We were promised the moon and the stars. What are we actually going to get?

However “imperfect” this bill is, you got what you wanted: virtually all the uninsured are covered, and those who aren’t covered probably aren’t particularly unhealthy.  So now you should be willing to state that all the marvelous things you claimed would come to pass, will actually come to pass.  Over a reasonable time frame…

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.

…I want to see all the people who threw around all sorts of theatrical arguments commit to what they are actually reasonably willing to predict will happen.  Then explain why the outcomes that they are actually confident enough to predict justify spending about $2000 for every household in the country.

She mentions Ezra Klein by name and with good reason. He has pushed and cajoled and and bent himself over backwards for this bill more than anyone else I can think of outside Congress and the White House (Paul Krugman ran a close second). The low point was almost certainly when he railed about what a bastard Lieberman was for sentencing so many Americans to an early grave through his resistance to the bill (an assertion which is probably false). Klein even lied about his own views of the public option, claiming that video of him calling it a “sneaky strategy” to enact single-payer was taken out of context, then admitting months later that it wasn’t out of context at all.

So what are Klein’s confident predictions for the bill? I’d like to keep track of how they fare. So far he hasn’t made any that have to do with measurable health outcomes. I wonder why that is?

[Non Hat Tip: Hot Air has this in the headlines. For the record, I didn't check there until after I'd already read McArdle's piece and decided to highlight it here. I just don't want anyone to think I'm pilfering HA sans HT.]

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Category: Health & Education |

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