Browsing Archive: March, 2013

Missouri Obamacare Myths #2: Medicaid Expansion Costs Money

Posted by Timothy McBride on Monday, March 18, 2013, In : Missouri 
Earlier I described the proposal by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to expand the Medicaid (MOHealthNet) program in Missouri to cover about 260,000 persons in 2014, according to the state's estimates [ http://dss.mo.gov/mhd/oversight/pdf/130129-healthcare-expansion.pdf ].

It has often been said in response to this proposal that expansion of Medicaid would not be affordable to Missouri.  For example, Rep. Jay Barnes said "Missouri taxpayers cannot afford a straight Medicaid expansion." [ http://www...

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Why we have political gridlock

Posted by Timothy McBride on Wednesday, March 13, 2013, In : Politics 
Many people ponder why we have political gridlock in Washington DC and in the states.  There are several theories on this, and some of these make make a lot of sense.  More on other theories later.

But one of the important ones that I want to discuss here is what I hear quietly in private, but that these folks will not say in public.  

Politicians who would otherwise be "moderates," especially in the Republican party (but sometimes Democrats too) have been afraid for at least 2-3 political cycl...

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The obsession with the "Deficit"

Posted by Timothy McBride on Wednesday, March 13, 2013, In : Deficits 
The two parties have been locked in a battle for about a year now (if not longer) over the budget deficit.  Is that really what we should be arguing about?  Is that really what the issue is.  I say no, and that is not what what we should be arguing about.

First, the real issue should still be economic growth and jobs.  The recovery still is continuing, but it sluggish.  The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), which keeps track of these things, marked the official end of the recession ...

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Ryan "Budget": Where's the Missing $Trillion?

Posted by Timothy McBride on Tuesday, March 12, 2013, In : Deficits 
So many people are citing the many political and math problems with the newly revised (but hardly so) Ryan budget plan, 2013 edition, released today 3/12 [http://budget.house.gov/uploadedfiles/fy14budget.pdf ].

I have many of the same problems other have (about which I will likely write later) -- such as the at about 60-70% of the cuts come from health care, he starts with a non-starter that the Obamacare plan will be repealed which just will not happen, the plan has zero dollars of new revenu...

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Missouri Obamacare Myths: Myth #1, Corollary

Posted by Timothy McBride on Thursday, March 7, 2013, In : Missouri 
Yesterday I wrote about the myth that the primary vote taken in August 2010 (called Proposition C), which has been characterized by some people as an overwhelming vote by the state of Missouri "against Obamacare" cannot be characterized that way because in fact the proposition was a vote on a very narrow part of the law -- only the individual mandate provision.  That is well-known to be the least popular provision of Obamacare, so it is in fact no surprise that a proposition against it was pa...
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Missouri Obamacare Myths: Myth #1

Posted by Timothy McBride on Wednesday, March 6, 2013, In : Missouri 

For many months now, I have been hearing many myths about Obamacare in Missouri, which compels me to deal with them.  The first one I want to deal with is this one:

Speaker Timothy Jones is one of many that say this.  For instance, Jones told a reporter earlier this year: "that Missouri voters have repeatedly come out against the federal Affordable Care Act. The Missouri Health Care Freedom Act, also known as Prop C, which passed with more than 70 percent in a statewide vote in 2010." http:/...
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Short-Term Deficits vs. Long-Term Deficits

Posted by Timothy McBride on Tuesday, March 5, 2013, In : Deficits 
Do people like Joe Scarborough really NOT understand the difference between short-term deficits and long-term deficits?  Apparently not.  [  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/05/joe-scarborough-paul-krugman-charlie-rose_n_2810389.html?utm_hp_ref=business&ir=Business ]  The brain should be able to carry two thoughts at once, but maybe not in Washington DC.

In the short- and medium-run, deficits are falling, and rather fast.  The deficit as a percent of GDP is falling from a high of 10.1% of...
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The Unnecessary Agony of Student Evaluations

Posted by Timothy McBride on Monday, March 4, 2013, In : Miscellaneous 
OK, this is not on health policy or health economics, I know.  But for the academics in the audience I feel compelled to share this.  A fascinating article that will likely ring true, "On the Unnecessary Agony of Student Evaluations", from the Chronicle of Higher Education: http://chronicle.com/blogs/conversation/2013/03/01/the-unnecessary-agony-of-student-evaluations/?cid=wb&utm_source=wb&utm_medium=en

It makes the point I expect all of the professors reading this know: that student evaluatio...
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What is driving the deficit?

Posted by Timothy McBride on Monday, March 4, 2013, In : Deficits 
It is worth repeating this every so often, because this seems to have not sunk in.  People seem not to have figured out that the deficit is mostly -- almost entirely -- driven by a few factors: (1) the Bush-era tax cuts now mostly extended, (2) the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, (3) and the great recession.  Now, the TARP and stimulus are not contributing much at all to the current deficits.  

A few years ago, the stimulus and measures to deal with the recession contributed much more to the def...
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About Me


Timothy McBride Timothy D. McBride, Ph.D. is a Professor at the Brown School, Washington University in St. Louis. Here you can find musings on health policy and other issues. Opinions are my own, and not those of my employer. Contact: mcbridetd@gmail.com