Monday, July 06, 2020

Someone(s) tore down a statue of Frederick Douglass in Rochester, N.Y. Only fair, right?

Jennifer Rubin on the sins of the big red state southern governors (AZ-TX-FL):
The recklessness and incompetence of these governors should outrage not only residents of their own states but Americans everywhere. One thing we have learned is that a runaway pandemic in one or more states imperils all of us. They can hardly claim to be surprised by the predictable result of their arrogant, anti-science approach. Governors who wanted to rev up their economies and chose to ignore warnings about the consequences of their actions are responsible for thousands falling ill and dying. Their economies closed down anyway. Resigning is the least they should do.
An infectious disease specialist said Trump's Fourth of July celebration at Mount Rushmore was "the behavior of a cult leader..."
"...who is jumping off the cliff, except he's jumping off into a safety net where he has protections around him. People around him are being tested. He's being tested on a regular basis. While he asks his followers to jump off a cliff into nothing," she continued. "I mean, this is extremely dangerous behavior and unfortunately, this has become so politicized where you abide by public health and scientific recommendations on the basis of your political beliefs not based on the science. And people are really going to be harmed as a result of this."
Two weeks ago, a Politico/Morning Consult survey asked whether the Pentagon should “rename military bases that are named after Confederate leaders” or “leave the names” as they are. A plurality of voters, 48 percent to 33 percent, said the names should be left alone. Trump’s position was a winner with independents, moderates, and suburbanites. It was also preferred by voters who somewhat disapproved of his job performance or who expressed a somewhat unfavorable opinion of him. In short, it’s an issue he could use to claw his way back into the election.
But read the rest of the article too.

Why (US) health insurance should never have been tied to employment. Great idea in a pandemic, huh!

A paper from a Nobel Laureate, in 1963(!), of why the free market cannot, even in principle, provide affordable, universal health care:
Synopsis: Free markets have never provided affordable, universal health care, anywhere in the world, ever.
And for good reasons: The advantages of a free market system do not apply to health care, because
(1) you cannot predict when you will need care
(2) or what care you will need
(3) you usually can't comparison shop.

Buying health care is not like buying bread. Thus, you need an insurance system. And private insurance systems demand a profit, and a large administrative staff to analyze and deny claims (NOT paying for care is, after all, how they make their money). Private insurers refuse to insure those they think will be too expensive, and drop clients who have become too expensive.
This was pointed out long ago by a famous economist:

"Uncertainty and the Welfare Economics of Medical Care," Kenneth J. Arrow, The American Economic Review, Vol. LIII n 5 (Dec 1963)

For a synopsis you can read:
"Why markets can't cure healthcare," Paul Krugman, New York Times, July 25, 2009.
"Patients are not Consumers," Paul Krugman, New York Times, April 21 2011.


David in Cal said...

I continue to marvel at pundits who criticize Republican states, even though Democratic states have mortality rates 5 to 10 times as high. E.g., NY 1,659 deaths per million vs. FL 179. Or, since Mt. Rushmore was mentioned, SD mortality rate is only 110. Media quotes blaming Republicans illustrate media bias. Particularly Jennifer Rubin, whose columns have become ridiculous.

I agree that it's unfortunate that health care got tied to employment. As you probably know, David, this was a result of wage controls during WW2. Employers, who were not allowed to give raises, were permitted to provide health insurance.


David Appell said...

David, March was March. It's over, OK.

Now we know we have to wear masks and socially distant. And the governors of AZ-TX-FL were way too stupid to do that, wanted to reopen and thought they could have economies, believed our baboon president, and now their people are getting ill, suffering, and dying and the virus there is out of control. They learned nothing. *NOTHING*

Here are the state-by-state numbers.

David Appell said...

Look at the top row here:

ALL red states.


Layzej said...

California doesn't seem to be doing too well. Things seem to have really taken off in mid July. They released new rules in mid-May to initiate reopening.

Is there anyone who is successfully reopening and controlling outbreaks? What does their plan look like?

David in Cal said...

David - go to Click on Yesterday to get a full day's worth of deaths. Then click on New Deaths to sort by state. Two observations
1. Yesterday's deaths is a relatively small number
2. It's largest in the most populous states.

Biased media, like the New York Times, are currently focusing on number of new cases, because that makes Dems look better than Republicans. They're also looking at change in number of new cases, which makes states with low case rates look worse than states with high case rates.


Layzej said...

1. Yesterday's deaths is a relatively small number
People don't die of Covid on Sat, Sun, or Mon in the USA. They wait until Tuesday.

2. It's largest in the most populous states.
You probably need to look at deaths/pop. In that case the winners are:
District Of Columbia
New Jersey

Biased media, like the New York Times, are currently focusing on number of new cases, because that makes Dems look better

I'm not sure that it does, but media is focusing on number of new cases because it is more alarming than number of new deaths, and media wants to sell adds.

But... it is a pretty good indicator of where # new deaths will be going in a month or so.

Entropic man said...

Clearly the governors in some states have failed to learn the economic lesson of Spanish flu.

The States which eased early in 1918/19 "for economic reasons" ended up paying a higher economic price.

William M. Connolley said...

> Buying health care is not like buying bread. Thus, you need an insurance system. And private insurance systems demand a profit

Yes, but so is a car, or a house, and we have perfectly viable insurance systems for those.

Arrow's work begins "This paper is an exploratory and tentative study of the specific
differentia of medical care as the object of normative economics" so regarding it as definitive is dubious.

Layzej said...

What are USAians paying for testing and treatment? Is testing generally covered by the state? If not, are cases going unreported in lower income areas? It seems like it would be in the national interest to know who is infected.

Likewise, it seems like it would be in the national interest to have people vaccinated. Would it cost to get the vaccine?

Entropic man said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Entropic man said...

I calculate an unofficial R ten days in arrears. I divide yesterday's daily new cases by the 7 day average ten days earlier.

Worldwide on June 28th R = 208,000/171,000 = 1.2

For the US on june 27th R = 55,400/37,600 = 1.47