Arnold Kling  

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April 7: Seasteading. Patri Friedman speaking, Doug Bandow and me commenting. At Cato in Washington, DC at noon.

April 23: Health Care debate. Robert Kuttner vs. me. I believe it will be 4 PM at the Dudley Davis Center at the University of Vermont, in Burlington. But I wouldn't swear to the time and location.

Supposedly, Kuttner has an essay on health care in the (forthcoming?) May issue of The American Prospect, but I have not seen it.

UPDATE: Maybe I should memorize these ten facts for the debate.

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COMMENTS (3 to date)
JP writes:

I really hope the healthcare debate will be made available in some form on the web.

Zachary Skaggs writes:

If you're coming to the Seasteading event at Cato, sign up here:

The event goes from 12noon to 1:30pm.

A complimentary lunch will be served afterward.

George writes:

The article on health care says:

Prostate cancer mortality is 604 percent higher in the U.K. and 457 percent higher in Norway.

Uh, 6.04 and 4.57 times our rate? That suggests to me that something fishy is going on.

For the sake of argument, assume there's absolutely nothing anybody can do to treat prostate cancer: either it kills you, or it doesn't, but we can't affect the outcome. You will die of it with 1:n odds.

Now assume country A screens for prostate cancer, and country B doesn't. (And the screen is of everyone, and it's perfectly accurate.) The mortality rate for prostate cancer in country A will be 1/(n+1) (i.e. (100/(n+1))%).

But in country B, you only get diagnosed with prostate cancer when it's bad enough that it kills you. The mortality rate for prostate cancer in country B will be 1/1 = 100%.

Country A is no better at treating prostate cancer than country B (by assumption), but because they screen for it, their mortality stats look better (a lot better, for n > .5 or so).

While I dread the thought of an American NHS, and am quite willing to believe we're better at treating cancer, I think the above screening phenomenon accounts for an awful lot of our measured superiority in treating some conditions.

(I will now attempt to go the rest of 2009 without saying "prostate cancer".)

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