The health care carrot starts to come up

Ezra Klein and Evan Soltas report that Healthcare.gov is “improving reasonably quickly” and “might well work tolerably early in December.”

Ezra Klein and Evan Soltas, Tuesday morning:

It’s clear that HealthCare.Gov is improving — and, at this point, it’s improving reasonably quickly. It won’t work perfectly by the end of November but it might well work tolerably early in December. A political system that’s become overwhelmingly oriented towards pessimism on Obamacare will have to adjust as the system’s technological infrastructure improves.

Just as Arthur Applbaum promised.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

25 thoughts on “The health care carrot starts to come up”

  1. The political system won’t have to adjust if (in my view, when) the successes are ignored by a pliant horse-race media.

    1. Exactly.

      • The distance between from where we are today to “get your gubmint hands off my Obamacare” is a measure of those grateful to have coverage/protection.
      Social Security is the third rail in US politics because of the sense of security it provides. So too with Medicare. People are grateful for those…
      What the social darwinists fear more than anything is that soon it will be: “So too with Obamacare.”

      • Yes the “pliant horse-race media” has failed us dismally here. Feel free to prove that false.
      Until so — It is up to the left blogosphere to bring to the fore the stories of those grateful for the coverage/protection.

      1. “The distance between from where we are today to “get your gubmint hands off my Obamacare” is a measure of those grateful to have coverage/protection.”

        My definitive mark of final victory will be when right-wingers band together to denounce ‘lying liberals’ who call The Heritage-Rmoney ACA ‘Obamacare’.

    2. Ah yes – the famously anti-Obama, pro-Republican media that overwhelmingly opposes universal healthcare. Why, studies clearly show that most professional journalists are dedicated conservatives who consistently vote against Democrats.

      “Reality Based” indeed.

      1. Yes, that’s about the extent to which this joint is “reality based”. I think they believe that anything short of the media calling for Republicans to be executed constitutes a pro-Republican bias.

          1. Brett, your version is simultaneously less succinct, less funny, and more confusing than Colbert’s. I didn’t think it was possible to completely muddy a thought in nine words or less, but you’ve proven it can be done.

          2. It is, admittedly, all those things, in addition to being more accurate. Liberals think reality has a liberal bias, because liberals have biased perceptions of reality, just like everybody else.

        1. Surveys show that 95% of the men in the trenches at Verdun oppose leaving their trenches to advance on enemy positions.

          Conservatives confidently predict that nobody’s going to move. Liberals think that the opinions of the officers are likely to carry the day. When the battle happpens, Liberals aren’t surprised, and Conservatives pretend they don’t see.

        2. Brett Bellmore claims that federal agents “facilitated” the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. The idea that Brett Bellmore would have *any* credibility to comment on what is or isn’t “reality-based” is laughable.

      2. Note what he actually said: “horse race media.”

        This is actually not an assertion of Republican/Conservative bias. It’s an assertion of bias towards he-said, she-said, both-sides-do-it, this side’s winning!, no! The other side’s winning! Oh my, however will this turn out? Tune in at 11!

      3. TMP has a video up of Christie going ballistic on Obamacare. That’s nice in a cutesy sort of way.
        Maybe that effort will win him an invite from Stewart to eat another doughnut and rail away at Obamacare with his mouth full…

        Somebody ring my bell when they find one video of a person waxing grateful for the new coverage.
        Surely there must be someone trying to bridge the doughnut hole in coverage between retiring at 62 and Medicare at 65…

        I’ve seen the personification of the wrath aplenty.
        Would like to see the personification of gratefulness.

        PS:

        I know if Obamacare is around when I turn 62 I will be incredibly grateful.
        I’ve run the numbers…
        It’s a life an equity saver.

    1. TMP has a video up of Christie going ballistic on Obamacare. That’s nice in a cutesy sort of way.
      Maybe that effort will win him an invite from Stewart to eat another doughnut and rail away at Obamacare with his mouth full…

      Somebody ring my bell when they find one video of a person waxing grateful for the new coverage.
      Surely there must be someone trying to bridge the doughnut hole in coverage between retiring at 62 and Medicare at 65….

      I’ve seen the personification of the wrath aplenty.
      Would like to see the personification of gratefulness.

  2. Kevin Drum notes the new CNN poll out today, which indicates that after all this brouhaha, nobody’s mind has actually been changed. A solid majority still support either Obamacare or a more progressive law. The same percentage still believe the current problems will be fixed. The law still has the confidence of a slight majority of self-identified independents, a solid majority of moderates, and an overwhelming majority of young people. All the pessimism continues to reside solely in the right-wing bubble.

    1. And it might take a long time to change; I’ve seen articles on Kentucky, where Obamacare is run by the state government. People are eagerly signing up, but frequently have no clue that it’s actually Obamacare.

  3. Tangential to this thread but maybe something for a future thread: are there unintended consequences of the ACA which have yet to be measured?

    Specifically, I am wondering if the ACA will increase traffic at places like 23andMe, which markets its DNA self-testing kit directly to consumers. In the past, there would have been a disincentive to have any such testing if the results would be used by insurers to deny coverage of a pre-existing condition. With that disincentive removed, more people may be willing to pay $99 for the test.

    The FDA is now moving against 23andMe for failing to provide data to support its marketing claims that the test can estimate your risk of developing a number of diseases. DNA test results do not interpret themselves. It would be regrettable if 23andMe and its competitors benefit from a provision of the law which was never intended to lead to increased and unnecessary testing and confusion on the part of the public.

    1. It appears much more likely that the FDA is in the process of putting 23andme out of business because they can’t show their tests are worth anything.

      1. 23andme has consistently been penny wise and pound foolish. Obviously, they have not invested in the thinks that are essential for success in the America of today, namely, quality fixers and former FDA. Apparently, they don’t own so much as a judge, let alone a tame Congressman. For people who didn’t have to spend much time or money developing their bogus product, you’d think they’d have plenty to spend on a proven business model.

          1. I’m not sure it makes sense for 23andMe to show that their tests work; They’re outsourcing the actual testing to a subsidiary of LabCorp, which is using standard genetic testing protocols. If 23andMe’s tests aren’t accurate, pretty much nobody’s tests are accurate. So that’s a red herring here, the regulatory action isn’t being driven by any actual fear that 23andMe’s tests aren’t legitimately done. It’s the same testing you could get through a doctor without the FDA raising an eyebrow, and certainly without your doctor getting a letter from the FDA demanding he validate the testing.

            Now, if the FDA sent that letter to LabCorp, that would make sense. But I suspect LabCorp is already validated in that sense, they do this sort of thing for a living.

            No, I’m pretty sure this regulatory activity is really being driven by a desire that doctors intermediate test results. And that’s an argument we need to have out, whether you’re entitled to know what’s going on in your own body without paying a doctor to read the results to you. Kudo’s to 23andMe for forcing that debate.

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