Thursday, September 21, 2017

Cassidy Graham

The Cassidy-Graham healthcare bill would give some of the money that is spent on the PPACA to the states. 

The bill seems bad on the details (to be expected from congress even PPACA was bad on details) but since the big problem with healthcare in the USA is cost, driven BTW by growing bureaucracy part of which is due to state regulation, I think would be a good idea to give all the money that the Federal Government normally spends on healthcare to the states. how much money each state got would based on age adjusted population. The states would be required to at least cover the old (Medicare), the poor (Medicaid) and Federal Government employees.

Cost looks to me like a state problem because health care spending per capta in Utah is lower than in stingy Canada and only slight higher in Arizona which has an old population.  States like Utah and Arizona and maybe even Texas might be able to cover everyone with what they get from the Feds. High spending states woudl have an incentive to regulate with more attention toward costs.

Alternatively the Fed Gov. could take over all health care regulations from the states. As it is now the fed Gov subsidizes demand and the states restrict supply which is what you would expect considering he incentives.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Angus Deaton Deaths of Despair

New Hampshire was the highest earning state in 2016 and number 2 in opiod OD deaths.

Dear Angus Deaton with all due respect you might consider reassessing your deaths of despair theory. It never made much sense to me, there is in fact some evidence that people drink and drug more when they have more income and therefore access to booze and drugs, which is BTW a problem for my advocacy of legalization but I thin the positives would out weigh the negatives.

Related: Healh Insurance Might not be Good for Everyone

Added 2018-01-08  see here
In the preferred estimates, changes in economic conditions account for less than one-tenth of the rise in drug and opioid-involved mortality rates. The contribution of economic factors is even less when accounting for plausible selection on unobservables, with even a small amount of remaining confounding factors being sufficient to entirely eliminate the relationship. 

Friday, August 25, 2017

On Healthcarre are the Feds Focusing on the Wrong Thing?

Healthcare spending per capita is lower in Utah than in Canada. Healthcare in the USA is much too expensive due to corruption in state government,so before looking at paying for healthcare thorough taxes, the federal government should be looking at taking over healthcare regulation from the states. Heathcare for the poor is already paid for by Gov taxes, they are focusing on the wrong thing. The more the feds pay for it through fed taxes the less incentive the states have to address the problem of high cost.

Short of taking over regulation a way to push the states would be to give all the money that the feds now spend on healthcare to the states on a per capita age adjusted basis to the states and tell the states you must cover the old and the poor.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Health Insurance Might not be Good for Everyone

Steve Randy Waldman‏ of interfluidity called this thread: Thread, counterintuitive and disheartening. (Here is Aaron Carroll saying that Medicaid access may not have increase opioid deaths and of course that Medicaid expansion may still net out positive.)

It could for a number of reasons be that the current western healthcare (beyond the basics that you do not need insurance to get) is not good for those at the low end of diligence, IQ, conscientiousness scales.

Here are some possible reasons why:
  • MD’s often do not explain enough and nobody follows up.
  • Protocols are sometimes too complicated and require too much attention. 
  • Opiates are too tempting.
  • etc. 

If true it could explain:
U.S. Age-Adjusted Mortality Rates per 100,000 (Annual, 2002–2015)

And BTW  on the opioid epidemic being deaths of despair:

New Hampshire has the second highest opiate death rate in the US.  Very good economy in NH. These epidemics come and go look more like viruses than anything caused by despair. 
So why would West Virginia be the leader in overdose deaths, because it has been loosing its best and brightest for a long time leaving a higher percent on the lower end of diligence, IQ, conscientiousness scales, the most susceptible.

Related links:
The Amish and the marginal value of health care
The Amish and the marginal value of health care

Ironic Health Links 
Hanson on Health
Wealth and retirement might not be good for everyone!
Has Medicaid Made the Opioid Epidemic Worse?  
Exploring the Paradox of U.S. Hispanics' Longer Life Expectancy
This is related in that it's one reason that free Government health insurance might be bad for some people. Some people might be working longer because they want to maintain health insurance: Early Retirement May Be The Kiss Of Death, Study Finds

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Why I am Against the Minimum Wage

2 recent minimum wage studies here and here.

So here is why I'm against the minimum wage:
  1. Idle hand are the devils workshop. Young men not working get into more trouble than those with jobs. I would rather not take the chance of even putting a very small number of people out of work.
  2. Anyone working full time in the developed world is really not living in poverty. See: How I Live on $7,000 per year.
  3. Unemployment is depressing. The Grave Evil of Unemployment
  4. People often learn skills on the job and BTW you would have to make internships pay minimum wage to be fair.
  5. Jobs integrate younger and older people and older people's life styles are generally better.
  6. If you consider the difference in pay between the market rate and the minimum wage rate a tax, fair in my mind, the tax falls on employers of low wage labor in the short run and consumers of products produced by low wage labor in the longer run, why tax them more than others? BTW Dear Republicans even if you do not call it a tax it's still a tax, so  you might want to support a higher taxes to fund an hourly wage subsidy or a UBI.
  7. Many people are already working for less than minimum wage.  WHy Drug Dealers Live with there Mom's
  8. Black youth unemployment is already much to high. 
  9. An hourly wage subsidy would be so much better. 
And yes, I would get rid of it all together and leave it to individuals, unions to work out wages.

BTW statistics and be tricky and when you read economic studies, you need to think about what could have gone wrong on the study and how they could be biased, but statistics are much better than stories (anecdotes). Statistics and theory are the best we have. The old saw "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." has truth to it but again statistics are better than the alternatives.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

My Playing off Arnold Kling's Clarifying his Null Hypotheses on Schooling

Here is Arnold answering: The null hypothesis: do I really believe it?

My null hypothesis says that spending more inflation adjusted on schooling than was spent in 1960 has no positive effect on education. (that's about 1/3 of what is spent today.)

Also that only a tiny fraction (perhaps .1%) of schools are good or bad schools. The rest are judged good or bad have good and bad students. And so parents should relax should only try to avoid the worst .1% of schools and not pay more for a home in a “good” school district.

Also my mother has told me that her parents went to school for just 1 year, yet they where educated. They were not superstitious as many where in their era. They could read and write and do arithmetic. They read books. They owned and ran a barber shop. they speculated in real-estate (but lost most but not all of it in the great depression) and sent their son to Brown University.

School is not only place people learn.

Perhaps 3 years of formal schooling would be enough for most people. Never the less in the modern world we would need something for them to do so maybe keeping most in school to 16 is a good idea, not so much for education but to keep them out of trouble.

The Amish drop out early and do OK.

For a modern example, the guy who invented this car claims to have dropped out of school at 14 years old.

Also, if we cannot teach children more and it looks like we cannot, we should focus on teaching the most valuable stuff.

Friday, June 9, 2017

What are the Best Things We Could Do for the Poor Through Government

  • End the War on Drugs, give amnesty for non-violent drug prisoners, and criminal justice reform with the aim of reducing incarceration rates. What has done more economic harm to the poor than having their working-age men locked away
  • Hire more and better police. See here. Poor people are too often victims of crime and fraud. It is better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house/neighbourhood with crime, violence or biting insects.
  • Allow any subdividing and residential building that increased overall density and some that does not. 
  • Wipe out the mosquito. seems like it cold not be done but heard about it on NPR see here.