Sunday, November 04, 2007

I highly recommend Greg Mankiw's recent numbers-rich NYT article about U.S. health care. Or at least his comments on "Statement 1" & "Statement 2." His argument about "Statement 3" is much less compelling; I think often the latest greatest fancy medical procedure or diagnostic is not worth the cost in expected-value terms. The underprovided public good is separation of wheat from chaff... But the first two thirds of the article are compelling if you believe the studies he cites. The gist is that things like obesity and homicide rates explain America's relatively low (in the West) life-expectancy ratings, and that the majority of the uninsured as tallied by the Census Bureau are in the upper half of the US income distribution or are not American citizens.

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