Thursday, October 31, 2013

Teal deer

Wending my way through the Internet, I found a comment that led me to John Cochrane (The Grumpy Economist) and a paper he has written entitled “”After the ACA: Freeing the market for health care” (pdf). I had intended to read through it carefully (I’ve just skimmed parts of it) and pick out points to discuss; however, that’s not going to happen anytime soon so I’m just going to offer it up as a resource. What I did read was interesting, particularly Cochrane’s review of the current landscape.

Here’s how the paper begins:

Most health-economics policy discussion takes for granted the bulk of our regulatory structure. Opponents of the optimistically-named Affordable Care Act delight in pointing out its unintended consequences, mangled incentives, and exploding budgets. Fans work to patch it up with new layers of regulation or “reforms.”

I take a ground-up, first-principles approach instead. I survey the supply, demand, and market for health care, and health insurance, to think about how those markets should work to provide quality care, low cost, and technical innovation. A market-based alternative does [exist], and it is realistic.

I have no idea how much I’ll agree with once I have time to go through this thoroughly but after a month of reading quick posts on ObamaCare, the thought of sitting down with a 28-page document is very appealing.

(Reconstructing how I got to the pdf was kind of fun:

The top post on Greg Mankiw’s blog (which I get to on my own) sent me to

The Obamacare Suits/Geeks Divide which is well-worth reading itself, if only for his first point:

1. There is zero chance that rewriting five million lines of code is the answer. Either the solution is a lot simpler or there is no solution other than to start over.

Amen, brother. Scrolling through the comments there, I found:

this comment by someone called Shayne Cook which sent me to:

Shayne’s comment at EconLog which sent me to:

a post at the Grumpy Economist blog which sent me to:

the pdf.


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