21
Jan
10

Why they hate HCR; now with real data

In this (rather good) post:

Megan McArdle links to this article by Nate Silver:

Of note are these poll data:

Seems fair to say that those who oppose HCR think that it’s going to fuck up their health care, and are ambivalent about its effects on coverage (this goes back to what The Incidental Economist was saying about HCR benefits seeming nebulous and hypothetical), while those who support it focus on improved coverage (the poll questions for which are rather hypothetical for most people) and are ambivalent about its effects on quality of care.

Looks to me like the True Believers on both sides are mostly arguing past each other, rather than spending much time addressing the other guy’s points.  (Have a read at Nate Silver’s article: it basically boils down to “Lies!  Lies! They’re all lies!“)  So when someone in the Great Undecided Middle looks at both sides, they see the HCR opponents addressing (and supporting) their concrete fears about hospitals being run like the local DMV, while the HCR supporters build hypotheticals like “what if you lost your job, then got cancer?”

All of which sounds good to me as I write it, but it’s completely at odds with the way people approach anti-terrorism legislation.  Why are we scared enough about teh ebil terr’ists that we give the FBI a free pass to listen in on our phone sex, but shrug and “meh” about dying of prostate cancer, broke, in a homeless shelter?

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2 Responses to “Why they hate HCR; now with real data”


  1. January 21, 2010 at 17:05

    Exchange e-mail? See http://theincidentaleconomist.com/sometimes-you-need-a-blunt-object/

    Trick is, I made the offer public so we’ll have to find a way so I can confirm you’re the author. I’m sure you can figure that out (I have ideas).

    Delete this comment if you wish. After you read it it ceases to have any value.

  2. January 21, 2010 at 22:27

    I should be the poster child for pro-HCR: I’m middle-aged, self-employed and have a chronic, incurable pre-existing condition that will screw me royally if/when I need a new policy.

    The thing is – each new bill that oozed over the hill seemed to have less and less to do with “health care” and more and more to do with sending oodles and gobs of money to unions, corporations and trial attorneys. And then there were the big payoffs to a few clever holdouts.

    Because of my background in environmental science I tend to think of large, complicated systems like the national economy or the health care system as functioning somewhat analogously to complex natural systems – like the climate. If you take such a system and perturb it wildly, you throw it into a state of massive (and dangerous) disequilibrium. Conditions fluctuate wildly on both sides of the balance point and all kinds of unpredictable things happen. While a massive perturbation can give us some very entertaining results in the laboratory – it’s an utterly moronic thing to do to the national economy.

    IMO, the only economically safe and sane way to change health care is incrementally. Throwing trillions of borrowed dollars down a dozen different corrupt shitholes while thumbing your nose at a hundred million disgruntled taxpayers is not the kind of change anyone outside of Washington can believe in.


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