13
   

To Dream of Impossible Things

 
 
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 08:25 am
Alice laughed. "There's no use trying," she said: "one can't believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."


Listening to NPR this morning, I was struck by this story:
Quote:

As high-level budget talks drag on in Washington, the Medicaid program for the poor remains a prime candidate for cuts. In recent months, Republicans have criticized Medicaid for badly serving its target population. But a new study — the first of its kind in nearly four decades — finds that Medicaid is making a bigger impact than even some of its supporters may have realized.
...
The findings are dramatically at odds with the storyline coming from critics of the program.

"Medicaid Is Worse Than No Coverage At All," blared a headline on the opinion page of the Wall Street Journal back in March.

Scott Gottlieb, a physician and resident fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute and author of that column, says now that it overstates his opinion. But he does say there's a substantial body of academic work that shows people on Medicaid fare worse than those with private insurance.

Really? That's the storyline that conservative critics are putting forward? That Medicaid is actually worse than having no health insurance at all????

I was dumbfounded -- which happens rarely enough to be noteworthy in itself. It also got me thinking: what other impossible things do conservatives routinely believe? Do they, like the White Queen, believe in as many as six impossible things before breakfast, or do they spread it out over the course of a day?
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 08:31 am
@joefromchicago,
It is certainly worse for those who must pay for it and will never use it... They do not like to pay money for defense either... They think they defend their wealth alone, and everyone else only fights to defend their own poverty...
0 Replies
 
kuvasz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 02:36 pm
@joefromchicago,
Joe, simply, they are a pack of liars.
0 Replies
 
High Seas
 
  -2  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 03:22 pm
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:

Medicaid is actually worse than having no health insurance at all????

Statistically, this statement is perfectly true.

Consider that you're looking at 2 distinct subsets here, (i) persons on Medicaid, and (ii) persons with no medical insurance of any kind. Since it's unlikely that the 2 subsets start out as medically comparable (those on Medicaid generally being in worse health) there's nothing surprising in them having worse outcomes over time. I'm really amazed that you couldn't see this blindingly obvious result straight away and had to resort to Lewis Carroll quotations.
Cycloptichorn
 
  4  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 03:27 pm
@joefromchicago,
Quote:
It also got me thinking: what other impossible things do conservatives routinely believe?


That tax cuts directly lead to increased revenues.

That increased warmongering leads to peace.

Just to name a couple.

Cycloptichorn
High Seas
 
  -2  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 03:29 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Mind speaking for yourself? You're no conservative, so by definition you're making up the nonsense you're posting. Lies, damn lies, and populist statistics!
parados
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 03:30 pm
@High Seas,
There you go Joe...

If only people weren't on Medicare they would be in better health.


I'm sure HS can give us some more examples.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 03:31 pm
@High Seas,
High Seas wrote:

Mind speaking for yourself? You're no conservative, so by definition you're making up the nonsense you're posting. Lies, damn lies, and populist statistics!


I'm only repeating those things that Conservatives commonly claim here on A2K. You're free to disagree all you want.

It's perfectly appropriate to describe what others believe without believing in it yourself; so when you say "by definition you're making up the nonsense you're posting," that's fundamentally false.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 04:01 pm
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:

Alice laughed. "There's no use trying," she said: "one can't believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."


Listening to NPR this morning, I was struck by this story:
Quote:

As high-level budget talks drag on in Washington, the Medicaid program for the poor remains a prime candidate for cuts. In recent months, Republicans have criticized Medicaid for badly serving its target population. But a new study — the first of its kind in nearly four decades — finds that Medicaid is making a bigger impact than even some of its supporters may have realized.
...
The findings are dramatically at odds with the storyline coming from critics of the program.

"Medicaid Is Worse Than No Coverage At All," blared a headline on the opinion page of the Wall Street Journal back in March.

Scott Gottlieb, a physician and resident fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute and author of that column, says now that it overstates his opinion. But he does say there's a substantial body of academic work that shows people on Medicaid fare worse than those with private insurance.

Really? That's the storyline that conservative critics are putting forward? That Medicaid is actually worse than having no health insurance at all????

I was dumbfounded -- which happens rarely enough to be noteworthy in itself. It also got me thinking: what other impossible things do conservatives routinely believe? Do they, like the White Queen, believe in as many as six impossible things before breakfast, or do they spread it out over the course of a day?


I'm not really surprised to hear that private insurance is better than Medicaid. For one thing, most doctors accept at least some private insurance.

"Medicaid Is Worse Than No Coverage At All," is a headline begging for verification, though.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 04:27 pm
@roger,
roger wrote:

"Medicaid Is Worse Than No Coverage At All," is a headline begging for verification, though.


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704758904576188280858303612.html
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 04:31 pm
http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/2011/jun/21/kyls-attack-medicaid-isnt-even-faintly-logical/

Quote:
Gottlieb’s studies concluded that Medicaid patients were more likely to die when treated for neck cancer, more likely to have heart attacks or strokes when treated for heart disease and less likely to survive after lung transplants.

Interesting. Perhaps even true.

Other studies by researchers not necessarily committed to extolling the virtues of free enterprise health care have come to different conclusions. A quick survey of the research found some interesting studies showing that Medicaid patients had similar outcomes, despite per-patient costs substantially lower than private insurance plans. Other studies have found worse outcomes for Medicaid patients, although the differences often evaporated when the researchers corrected for things like smoking and drinking and delays in treatment and education — all of which have been shown to have a big impact on health outcomes. One study by the Urban Institute found that Medicaid programs cost 10 percent less for children and 30 percent less for adults. A study of AHCCCS by the Kaiser Foundation found that Arizona’s health-management plan approach costs 10 to 15 percent less than private plans, but produced comparable results and had higher patient satisfaction scores.

But set that aside for the moment.

Suppose Kyl’s right. Medicaid doesn’t provide good enough care.

So if a quarter of the people he represents rely on Medicaid to keep them alive — shouldn’t he be manning the ramparts of reform? Shouldn’t he be insisting on improvements in the system?

And if he doesn’t want those 25 million Americans without insurance now to qualify for Medicaid — shouldn’t he propose some other way to keep them alive? Mind you, one study by the Harvard School of Medicine suggests that 45,000 Americans die each year for lack of medical insurance. That’s the toll of 15 9/11s, year in and year out
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 05:00 pm
@ehBeth,
I was suggesting that the statement was in need of verification, not that the headline was misrepresented!
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 05:10 pm
@roger,
I was hoping you'd read the article linked to - where the author believed he'd provided the verification. It's his gig, man.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 05:40 pm
@joefromchicago,
thomas wrote:
  • There's the Bush administration's "torture for peace and justice" program in Guantanamo Bay.

To be fair, that one seems to have improved somewhat under Obama. But who knows what continues to go on in the CIA's secret prisons throughout the world?
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 05:46 pm
@High Seas,
High Seas wrote:

joefromchicago wrote:

Medicaid is actually worse than having no health insurance at all????

Statistically, this statement is perfectly true.

Only if you don't control for the selection bias -- which you evidently haven't.
joefromchicago
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 05:49 pm
@roger,
roger wrote:
I'm not really surprised to hear that private insurance is better than Medicaid. For one thing, most doctors accept at least some private insurance.

I'm not either. Of course, if private insurance were as available to the poor as Medicaid, there wouldn't be much need for Medicaid.

roger wrote:
"Medicaid Is Worse Than No Coverage At All," is a headline begging for verification, though.

Well, as the study profiled in the linked article shows, that statement is verifiably false.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 05:57 pm
@joefromchicago,
(Sorry for messing up my last post. Thought I was replying to myself. Here's the original. )

Oh my, where to begin . . .
  • There's the Bush administration's "torture for peace and justice" program in Guantanamo Bay.
  • Then there's the cut-spending -to-expand-the-economy meme that passes for the Republicans' economic policy these days.
  • There's Rand "The Libertarian" Paul's religious-profiling-for-liberty initiative.

I'm sure there are others.
joefromchicago
 
  3  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 07:06 pm
@Thomas,
thomas wrote:
thomas wrote:
  • There's the Bush administration's "torture for peace and justice" program in Guantanamo Bay.

To be fair, that one seems to have improved somewhat under Obama. But who knows what continues to go on in the CIA's secret prisons throughout the world?

Yes, I feel much better now that, as a nation, we only sorta' kinda' torture a bunch of people and hold them indefinitely in captivity without trial. It's great that we can finally hold our heads up again in the international community.
0 Replies
 
RABEL222
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 07:41 pm
Bookmark
0 Replies
 
High Seas
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2011 08:45 pm
@joefromchicago,
You have to take the data as given, not rearrange them to suit your preferences. Of course there's biases in the given samples, selection bias being only one of them - nobody claimed they're random - but the original statement in the headline is statistically true of these samples - exactly as I said.

If you're genuinely interested in the topic - other than as a means to try and score cheap points - look up the fascinating study on Oregon, where they really did pick a random sample (by lottery) having only 10,000 available slots and 90,000 applicants for state-subsidized medical insurance. It's on NBER's site.
 

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