The Corner

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Knowledge Is for Sissies


Virginia Postrel did a post which asked what I think is a very reasonable question: If the Obama administration is so sure that we can eliminate lots of medical costs without a reduction in health outcomes, why doesn’t it actually do this for Medicare first and prove it, before restructuring the U.S. health-care sector around its theories?

Peter Orszag at OMB responded. As far as I can see from his e-mail as reproduced phone conversation as summarized at Ms. Postrel’s blog, his response to this specific point boils down to this:

Medicare First—changing Medicare and waiting to see how it works before messing around with the rest of the health care system—won’t work politically.