Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Medicare

The Awesome Efficiency of Medicaid

The last time I talked about health care economics was a mere couple weeks into the lifespan of this blog. In that post, I noticed that Medicare’s costs, while increasing, have increased at a much slower pace than private insurance costs in the United States. Then, today, I ran across this study from Leighton Ku and Matthew Broaddus and learned that it’s not Medicare that should serve as the poster boy of the potential benefits of a “government takeover of healthcare”, it’s Medicaid and SCHIP. Let me show you. Read the rest of this entry »

Fiscal Cliff Ignorance

I’m back in the United States for a month, so it’s only fitting to write an American piece. There’s a statistic out there that should put fear into the hearts of those of us who practise, either professionally or as a hobby, the art of statecraft. The implications of this statistic are vast for the health of the American economy and the American democracy.

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Paul Ryan’s Convention Speech Analysed

Paul Ryan’s convention speech went over pretty well on the right in the United States. Jim Geraghty of the National Review had this to say about it:

 This speech, and his warmth and sense of connection when delivering it, almost unnerved me. I started worrying that I was seeing what I wanted to see, that I was hyping a pretty good speech delivered pretty well in my own mind. Except my Twitter feed was exploding. The delegates were going nuts. And it just seemed to be getting better and better as it went on. Conversational, direct, funny, detailed . . . this was Reaganesque, guys. I was a kid when Reagan was president, so I got lulled into a false sense of what American presidents were — I thought they were all that good. This felt like that.

You can read his full post here. Perhaps this was indeed the case for Mr. Geraghty. I myself was struck by the sheer number of untrue, openly fallacious claims in it, and today I would like to highlight them.

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Misconceptions: “Medicare is Going Bust”

Lately it has become fashionable among political pundits to declare that the US Presidential election has devolved into a negative slug fest in which both Obama and Romney are equally culpable, lying and distorting and refusing to accept fundamental realities. This is a sort of professional centrism–taking it as an article of faith that both sides are equally to blame. The trouble is that this centrism doesn’t reflect reality and consequently, in order to maintain it, these “centrists” have resorted accepting blatantly false claims from the American political right. Chief among these is the claim that “Medicare is going bust” and that Paul Ryan’s proposal to turn Medicare into a voucher system is some kind of bold, serious solution. Today I set out to examine and refute that claim.

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