Arnold Kling  

Health Care Costs are Hard to Manage

Making Taleb's Point... Jeff Sachs is Right--and Misle...

CBO's Doug Elmendorf writes,

In an issue brief released today, CBO reviewed the outcomes of 10 major demonstrations--6 in the first category and 4 in the second--that have been evaluated by independent researchers. CBO finds that most programs tested in those demonstrations have not reduced federal spending on Medicare.

Of course, if you have just a few successes, and you can replicate and scale them, then the fact that you have many failures along the way does not matter. That is why you do experiments. Meanwhile, my concern is that many health care reformers assume that their ideas will save costs, without waiting for testing to see if this is true.

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PrometheeFeu writes:

Well, in the private sector, that's great. Firms that tend to learn from their mistakes thrive, others die. But with something like Medicare, what experiments will be picked up will depend upon who can drum up the most political will.

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