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  #41  
Old 10-07-2009, 06:10 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: One-Handed Applause (Josh Cohen & Brink Lindsey)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay J View Post
I think our understandings are probably just too divergent to come to any sort of understanding at all, (even the kind with disagreement left over). See I do not see conservative think tanks as the inventor the language of innovation, I see neoclassical economics as that inventor. I know very smart people poo-poo neoclassical economics, but some very swart people swear by it. That leaves us pretty much nowhere, but I bring it up to carve out some rhetorical space that hopefully you won't be able to dismiss out of hand based on the origin of the concept (and I'm not using the concept as a knock-down argument, the tone of your original post to me in this thread not withstanding).

On to more direct talk of innovation, I said in my post most recent to this one, that I think innovation means that better/more effective treatments/drugs/technologies are produced. I don't think it needs to be said, but it would follow that treatment of disease (for those who have access to care) would improve over that time. Of course, there may be a lag, with treatment pulling up the rear, but the idea is that if innovation slowed down, improvement in technologies/treatments/drugs would slow as well. I don't think my understanding of the use of the word in this context is so different from the way people like Brink Linsey use the word, and I fail to see how there's any slippery, vague, or mysterious notions imbedded here (but I am open to direct arguments showing me where I'm wrong). Again, talking about how Microsoft behaved may be very analogous to the suspicious take on the use of the word now, but all you've done is matched your suspicions.

I also think all but the most uncharitable interpretation would show that the kind of innovation being discussed is the kind that leads to improvement of care (even though it may be possible that many kinds of dead-ends or strictly speaking "superfluous" innovations may contribute to the bottom line, which isn't always a bad thing). The claim is that improvements in treatments/technologies/drugs will slow, and there are economists who believe they have data to show that the U.S. market is subsidizing the world in this area, and they also believe they have correlated the relatively unregulated nature of markets with investment, making the claim that the nature of the US market is responsible for the bulk of health care improvements quite plausible.

So while I myself am not an expert on this, (and don't claim to be), I'm not sure why you're so confident that the kind of claim I am pointing out is "unquantifiable."
You're probably right that we're unlikely o find an agreement here. I'm sorry if my initial post seemed too pointed - that wasn't intended to be directed at you, or even at Brink, really.

If we could somehow conjure up numbers to measure that effect, I have no doubt that it would be proven to exist. What I doubt is whether its magnitude would be sufficient to justify caring. Maybe, but I haven't seen a convincing study; and, when I hear the argument being made, I don't notice its proponents actually pointing to data.

It's true that I'm extremely dismissive of work originating at AEI, CEI, and the like (with reason, I'd argue); and so, even if such a study did exist, I'd consider the source before I bothered with the data -which opens me up to valid criticism, I guess. I'm also deeply skeptical of libertarians with regard to health care policy, and I've argued many times that markets aren't the best mechanism to control access to health care - so I have plenty of obvious ideological bias in a discussion of this sort, which I gladly acknowledge.
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  #42  
Old 10-07-2009, 06:10 PM
Starwatcher162536 Starwatcher162536 is offline
 
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Default What is the ratio of private financed invention over public financed invention? (Medical)

I think before I can take arguments seriously that the currently proposed health care reforms, or some other health care reform, will or will not hurt medical innovation, I will need to see some data showing what percentage of patents (or some other metric) private financing is responsible for.

I imagine it would be tough to figure out who has majority responsibility for alot of things, but I would be interested in seeing a study that made the attempt.
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  #43  
Old 10-07-2009, 06:48 PM
messwithtexas messwithtexas is offline
 
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Default Re: One-Handed Applause (Josh Cohen & Brink Lindsey)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay J View Post
...Brink Lindsey's point was not that what's important about innovation is that U.S. drug companies are more innovative, his point was that the U.S. market, being what it is - large and *relatively* unregulated - is the driver behind pharmaceutical innovation (therefore IF U.S. drug companies are on average more innovative, it would have to be because of their location in, or increased access to, the U.S. market, but the fact that they're American companies would be incidental).
Reading over the replies I am surprised that no one pointed out that the reason we over-pay for drugs in the US compared to other countries (and thereby pad the profits and R&D budgets for pharmaceutical corporations around the world) is not a relative lack of regulations. It is because of our patent regulations that we pass along the costs of R&D disproportionately to our nation's sick and injured. It seems to undermine the authenticity of the convictions of free market conservatives when they argue for regulation that benefits businesses under the auspice that the regulation is for the common good (i.e. it benefits future generations through R&D). I thought free marketers were supposed to be more concerned about free markets than the common good? I think the real underlying motivation for many free marketers is profit, not liberty, and this is a candid example of that.

Last edited by messwithtexas; 10-07-2009 at 06:52 PM..
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  #44  
Old 10-07-2009, 06:51 PM
kidneystones
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Default Absolutely

look writes...[...]

Brink is excessively agreeable.

Given the unemployment numbers; a scowl and a can of beans would have made better props.

Or perhaps cat food.

Meow!
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  #45  
Old 10-07-2009, 07:14 PM
messwithtexas messwithtexas is offline
 
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Default Re: What is the ratio of private financed invention over public financed invention? (Medical)

I've read different numbers about private/public split of medical research in the states. It seems to be about 70/30.

However that number doesn't tell the whole story. From what I've read and it follows intuitively that the amount of private vs public research depends greatly on the nature of the disease. Things like allergies, blood pressure, and erectile dysfunction get a majority of their funding from private research because the big markets make the eventual return on investment more attractive. For things that are more esoteric, complex, and have smaller markets tend to be funded almost exclusively by the public, for instance organ transplants and low-prevalence or especially deadly varieties cancer.
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  #46  
Old 10-07-2009, 08:08 PM
Sgt Schultz Sgt Schultz is offline
 
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Default How many sections is Joshua fluent in?

Setting aside the fumfering of course.
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  #47  
Old 10-07-2009, 08:31 PM
claymisher claymisher is offline
 
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Default Hayek quote

The Hayek bit they were talking about:

Quote:
Nor is there any reason why the state should not assist the individuals in providing for those common hazards of life against which, because of their uncertainty, few individuals can make adequate provision. Where, as in the case of sickness and accident, neither the desire to avoid such calamities nor the efforts to overcome their consequences are as a rule weakened by the provision of assistance – where, in short, we deal with genuinely insurable risks – the case for the state’s helping to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance is very strong…

…Wherever communal action can mitigate disasters against which the individual can neither attempt to guard himself nor make the provision for the consequences, such communal action should undoubtedly be taken.

Friedrich Hayek, The Road To Serfdom (Chapter 9)
Hey, I wrote something similar recently!
Quote:
Originally Posted by claymisher View Post
The genius of social insurance is that you can indemnify people against risks they can't avoid and over which they have (almost) no control.
(That's what you get for stealing from a thief.)
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  #48  
Old 10-08-2009, 11:46 AM
sirfith sirfith is offline
 
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Default Infant Mortality and Life Expectancy

Nice of Josh Cohen to bring up the progressive health care talking point/narrative of the US awful Infant Mortality and Life Expectancy.
A narrative that does not address the following
The US has more Minorities which have a higher Infant Mortality rate and shorter Life Expectancy.
The US US tries to save low-birthweight babies rather than label them unsalvageable.

It would be nicer if Brink had called him on it.
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  #49  
Old 10-08-2009, 11:47 AM
Stapler Malone Stapler Malone is offline
 
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Default Re: One-Handed Applause (Josh Cohen & Brink Lindsey)

Quote:
Originally Posted by messwithtexas View Post
Reading over the replies I am surprised that no one pointed out that the reason we over-pay for drugs in the US compared to other countries (and thereby pad the profits and R&D budgets for pharmaceutical corporations around the world) is not a relative lack of regulations. It is because of our patent regulations that we pass along the costs of R&D disproportionately to our nation's sick and injured.
Interesting point. Something I'd like to see (but would likely be waaay too boring for any real human) is a diavlog about commercial patents and intellectual property policy.
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  #50  
Old 10-08-2009, 12:17 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: One-Handed Applause (Josh Cohen & Brink Lindsey)

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Originally Posted by Stapler Malone View Post
Interesting point. Something I'd like to see (but would likely be waaay too boring for any real human) is a diavlog about commercial patents and intellectual property policy.
I disagree - that would be an extremely interesting topic, and I'd gladly watch.
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  #51  
Old 10-08-2009, 12:44 PM
PreppyMcPrepperson PreppyMcPrepperson is offline
 
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Default Re: One-Handed Applause (Josh Cohen & Brink Lindsey)

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Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
I disagree - that would be an extremely interesting topic, and I'd gladly watch.
me too
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  #52  
Old 10-08-2009, 01:43 PM
rcocean rcocean is offline
 
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Default Re: One-Handed Applause (Josh Cohen & Brink Lindsey)

Quote:
Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
What I'm trying to say is that the argument is being treated as if it has more heft than I think it deserves. It is a "'synthetic, a priori' statement with empirical implications." I don't think it should be excluded from a serious discussion on the merits of policy choices; but, its status within such a discussion ought to be related to its strength as an argument. Even if we assume the effect exists, we have no way to reliably quantify it or compare it to the benefits of policy ideas that might adversely affect it. I fail to see how Brink or anybody else shows that this is a particularly compelling argument.

Broad, abstract nouns like "innovation" can be read to mean any damn thing somebody wants to read into them. Microsoft's use of the term was particularly bad because the real world implication of that language was the opposite of the sense of it that they wanted to convey. In that particular case there's a strong argument that the direct result of Microsoft's near monopoly status as a software developer was a significant reduction in actual innovation. I take from that (among other things) a distrust of the use of that sort of language, and that word particularly, because it can be so easily abused.

Brink didn't invent the argument he's putting forth here. Saying that the language he's using, borrowed as it is from conservative think tanks - who can be definitively said to be carrying water for corporations - implies that he, too, is a water carrier, goes too far, I think.

Most of the energy for innovation, as far as I understand it, involves making near copies of molecules - already proven by competitors to provide the basis for blockbuster drugs - that are just different enough to be patentable, and applicable in parallel offerings, thereby cannibalizing existing revenue streams. That sounds a lot like what I accused Microsoft of doing.
Amazing, I agree with Jeff - even stranger - hell hasn't frozen over.
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  #53  
Old 10-08-2009, 02:20 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: One-Handed Applause (Josh Cohen & Brink Lindsey)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay J View Post
Umm, first, I guess I'll say, I'm not sure who has the burden of proof.
I think the person who makes a claim that there would be a particular, especially non-intuitive, effect has the burden of proof, although there is some general requirement that someone supporting a change consider possible bad effects, of course. Or that's how I think of it; obviously, there are no actual rules.

Quote:
I think the argument is that because of the size and relatively unregulated nature of the U.S. market, it is more profitable for drug companies to sell to, or develop in the U.S. market compared to smaller and/or relatively more regulated markets.
How would one support this claim? I see a lot of speculation along those lines (from, say, Megan McArtle, etc.), but not the evidence that it is based on or often even the specific link. [Edit: I responded to this before reading the subsequent posts, and I do think the one link that Preppy mentions and that McArtle apparently made in one diavlog sounds more compelling than the more general claim.]

We had a discussion here about the profitability/use of drug company funds, and I pulled some numbers from Pfizer's 10-K, and one thing that I recall is that the profits reported came slightly more from outside the US than in the US. Given what we hear about the much greater profitability of drug sales in the US (because of higher prices), I thought that was interesting and somewhat contrary to what you'd expect to see based on such arguments, although I'm not precisely sure how it works into the health reform in the US will hurt drug innovation argument, because I've not seen that argument fleshed out with evidence.

Also, of course, if the US really is subsidizing drugs for the world, I think we should stop letting ourselves be put in that position and figure out some other way of addressing the underlying concerns.

Quote:
I think the plausibility of the argument should be acknowledged.
Without hearing the argument, but only the conclusion, I can't evaluate whether I think it's plausible or not.

Last edited by stephanie; 10-08-2009 at 02:31 PM..
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  #54  
Old 10-08-2009, 04:09 PM
Starwatcher162536 Starwatcher162536 is offline
 
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Default Re: One-Handed Applause (Josh Cohen & Brink Lindsey)

No, that would be an awesome diavlog (If done right).

I was actually thinking about trying to get a job at the USPTO (Examiner) after graduating for awhile, but was told I would be pretty low on the food chain(IF even accepted), and have a hard time advancing without any graduate degrees.
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  #55  
Old 10-08-2009, 04:39 PM
Ray Ray is offline
 
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Default Re: Infant Mortality and Life Expectancy

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirfith View Post
A narrative that does not address the following
The US has more Minorities which have a higher Infant Mortality rate and shorter Life Expectancy.

It would be nicer if Brink had called him on it.
Brink's not a racist, though. he understands that the better way to describe populations who have higher infant mortality rates and shorter life expectancy than average is: populations with poor health care.

And he further realizes the circularity of arguing that the only reason the U.S. has high infant mortality and low life expectancy, despite its great wealth, is because it offers poor health care.

Oh well! Thanks for the argument from circularity and racism!
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  #56  
Old 10-08-2009, 05:00 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Infant Mortality and Life Expectancy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
...

Oh well! Thanks for the argument from circularity and racism!
Heh.
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  #57  
Old 10-08-2009, 10:30 PM
Jay J Jay J is offline
 
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Default Re: One-Handed Applause (Josh Cohen & Brink Lindsey)

Fine, I should have been more careful, the kind of regulation in question makes a difference. Price controls, like they have in Canada, would be a kind of regulation that, prima facie, would lower profits.

In any case, it seems incidental, because the claim is that the higher profit motive here makes the U.S. market (and granted, whatever kind of regulation we have) the attractive place to do research and develop drugs/treatments/technologies. The opposite claim is that we can 1) give health care to everyone, 2) do it cheaper than what we have now, and 3) either that the bottom lines of health care developers will not be hurt, thereby not hurting development, or that the government can simply step in and fill the research/development gap. The claim is not that we can do two out of three, and that would be better than what we have now, the claim is that we can do all three (without price controls, BTW). The claim is not that it's worth trying to do all 3, but acceptable if we can only get 2 (with universal care being the non-negotiable piece), it's that costs will be controlled, care will be universal, and the pace of development will not slow. So if it turns out that patent protections (and a lack of price controls) are a big part of why profits are so high, OK (and it doesn't seem to alleviate the concern much).
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  #58  
Old 10-08-2009, 10:46 PM
Jay J Jay J is offline
 
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Default Re: One-Handed Applause (Josh Cohen & Brink Lindsey)

Stephanie,

On the burden of proof, I think I expressed my doubt in perhaps a coy manner; both sides seem to be making claims, so arguments which shift the burden hard to one side or another don't seem to get us anywhere. Of course, it's all fine and good to be agnostic or ambivalent, but not only are there no actual rules, but both the left and the right have positions, so they both bear the burden of proof insofar as they're making claims (It seems appropriate to rake them both across the coals accordingly. I usually find philosophical arguments against universal care, coming from the right, to be completely bogus; it's when we get into the nitty gritty that my skepticism is turned slightly toward the left).

As for what constitutes an argument, I think we must have very different ideas about that. The conclusion is that there is good reason to fear that innovation (improvement/development) of drugs/treatments/technologies will be harmed (the pace will slow significantly). The fact that the premises used to support this conclusion are unproven or here unquantified does not mean they do not form part of an argument.

And really, I don't have the answers, I only find certain arguments intuitive and plausible, *but* if almost half of Pfizer's 10-K come from the U.S., compared to the rest of the world, then that seems like a lot to me. Of course if the rest come from, say, Canada, that would be evidence seeming to run counter to my concern. But as for the argument's plausibility, or whole statement, if you prefer, if just makes sense to develop in the place where the profits are higher. If the profits are higher somewhere else, then OK (that could form part of a counter-argument). But as for proving this or that premise, the belief that the U.S. health care market is the most profitable doesn't seem to be in doubt... at least that's my understanding.
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  #59  
Old 10-09-2009, 02:14 AM
look look is offline
 
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Default Re: One-Handed Applause (Josh Cohen & Brink Lindsey)

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Originally Posted by jcohen57 View Post
well, the rug very nicely covers the coffee and dogshit stains....

and the elegant black shirt....well, it is a maroon waffle shirt....good for california 8AM (pre-breakfast, not postmodern)...

Heh. Thanks, Josh.
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  #60  
Old 10-09-2009, 02:14 AM
look look is offline
 
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Default Re: Absolutely

Meow.
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  #61  
Old 10-09-2009, 09:12 AM
kidneystones
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Default Acorn Gets The Peace Prize

For two weeks work.

Gitmo? Open. Torture prosecutions? Forget'em. Transparency? Next topic. US troops out of Iraq? US troops into Afghanistan. Targeted assassinations? On. Renditions? On.

Just showing-up and not being Bush carries a lot of weight in some circles. If he had an once of integrity he'd turn it down. I mean. Would mean so much more to be renominated and win it again next year.

Meow!
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  #62  
Old 10-09-2009, 09:18 AM
Simon Willard Simon Willard is offline
 
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Default Re: Acorn Gets The Peace Prize

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Originally Posted by kidneystones View Post
Just showing-up and not being Bush carries a lot of weight in some circles.
You seem to have forgotten about the beer summit.
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  #63  
Old 10-09-2009, 09:44 AM
kidneystones
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Default Froth without substance?

If you like sucking on bubbles, this summit's for you.

Remind me: national holiday; statue, or both?

I still say Acorn should turn down the peace prize at least once.
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  #64  
Old 10-09-2009, 10:07 AM
Simon Willard Simon Willard is offline
 
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Default Re: Froth without substance?

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Originally Posted by kidneystones View Post
If you like sucking on bubbles, this summit's for you.

Remind me: national holiday; statue, or both?

I still say Acorn should turn down the peace prize at least once.
Well, I hope we wait a bit before putting O's picture on the currency. Would it be rude to point out that the average Physics Nobel is awarded 20 years after the work is done?
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  #65  
Old 10-09-2009, 10:17 AM
kidneystones
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Default 'Twould

Get you branded a 'racist' in some circles.

Why can't you just clap with the crowd, Simon. Acorn is moving hearts and mountains (of cash, that is, to cronies).

A national park? (I mean just for the Gates summit).

And how do you know the physics prize, isn't next?
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  #66  
Old 10-09-2009, 10:34 AM
sirfith sirfith is offline
 
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Default Re: Infant Mortality and Life Expectancy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
Brink's not a racist, though. he understands that the better way to describe populations who have higher infant mortality rates and shorter life expectancy than average is: populations with poor health care.

And he further realizes the circularity of arguing that the only reason the U.S. has high infant mortality and low life expectancy, despite its great wealth, is because it offers poor health care.

Oh well! Thanks for the argument from circularity and racism!
What I been hearing from progressives/Democrats that the US Healthcare system was poor for every one except the very rich and powerful.

So how to you explain the longer life expectancy for whites and Asians in general?

The rich ones (%1-2) are living so long that they drive the life expectancy number up?

How do you explain that regardless of socio-economic status Black women are more likely to have a Premature Baby?

Keep up the racebaiting.
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  #67  
Old 10-09-2009, 10:52 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: One-Handed Applause (Josh Cohen & Brink Lindsey)

[QUOTE=johnshaplin;132793[I]"The intrinsic costs of providing insurance are relatively low. There are no expensive inputs to purchase, no uncertainty of design or technology to be concerned with. The major inputs are personnel and computing capacity." [/I]

Please help me understand this. So the intrinsic costs of providing insurance do not include the paying of claims?

"Public universal health insurance schemes like Medicare do not evaluate risk. Since they are universal, they do not need to. Therefore, they save the major cost of providing private health care insurance."

Here Gailbrath is saying that it is the evaluation of risk that is the major cost.
Does this mean that underwriting is the major cost? It would seem the major cost is paying claims. What about the fact that covering everybody for everything is expensive?

"They pay their personnel at civil service salary scales and are under no obligation to return a dividend to shareholders or meet a target rate of return. Insurance in general is therefore intrinsically a service that the public sector can competantly provide at lower cost than the private sector, "

I'm not sure this follows. Civil service pay is not low and add onto that lifetime pensions and you can make the case that employees of the government make more than employees of private insurance companies.

"Private health insurance companies would not exist except for their political capacity to forestall the creation of universal public systems, backed by their almost unlimited capacity to sow confusion among the general public over the basic economic facts."

Yeah, those evil insurance companies never assume any risk, never pay claims. Their usefulness never existed. Let the governemnt take over. Everything will be wonderful!
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  #68  
Old 10-09-2009, 10:56 AM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Infant Mortality and Life Expectancy

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirfith View Post
...
Keep up the racebaiting.
"Racebaiting" is a word invented by racists. Its purpose is to turn a conversation away from the offensive things the racist has said and make issue of pointing out the offensiveness. Nice trick. It's been overplayed.
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  #69  
Old 10-09-2009, 11:12 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: One-Handed Applause (Josh Cohen & Brink Lindsey)

Quote:
Originally Posted by messwithtexas View Post
Reading over the replies I am surprised that no one pointed out that the reason we over-pay for drugs in the US compared to other countries (and thereby pad the profits and R&D budgets for pharmaceutical corporations around the world) is not a relative lack of regulations. It is because of our patent regulations that we pass along the costs of R&D disproportionately to our nation's sick and injured. It seems to undermine the authenticity of the convictions of free market conservatives when they argue for regulation that benefits businesses under the auspice that the regulation is for the common good (i.e. it benefits future generations through R&D). I thought free marketers were supposed to be more concerned about free markets than the common good? I think the real underlying motivation for many free marketers is profit, not liberty, and this is a candid example of that.
I thought the big reason drugs cost more in the US than in other countries is that those other countries simply won't pay the freight of R&D. Pharma would rather sell some pills than not, so they shift all the cost to the US pilltakers.

One argument has been that once there are ceilings on what a pill will cost, the incentive for research will go away.

OOOps, I guess that's what this whole conversation has been about.
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  #70  
Old 10-09-2009, 11:22 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Infant Mortality and Life Expectancy

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirfith View Post
Nice of Josh Cohen to bring up the progressive health care talking point/narrative of the US awful Infant Mortality and Life Expectancy.
A narrative that does not address the following
The US has more Minorities which have a higher Infant Mortality rate and shorter Life Expectancy.
The US US tries to save low-birthweight babies rather than label them unsalvageable.

It would be nicer if Brink had called him on it.
There are so many factors involved in statistics. You are bringing up a couple of them which may make a difference.

To call your comment racist is ridiculous. We sure as hell don't want anyone to be thinking past the rhetoric, so we'll just label them racist and they'll go away.

Hopefully.
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  #71  
Old 10-09-2009, 11:24 AM
Simon Willard Simon Willard is offline
 
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Default Re: 'Twould

Quote:
Originally Posted by kidneystones View Post
And how do you know the physics prize, isn't next?
You have a point.

Nobel Prize for Physics: Barack Obama, for the grand unification of the forces of Hope, Progressivism and old-fashioned Chicago-style politics.

Nobel Prize for Chemistry: Barack Obama for the use of an alcohol reagent to suppress reactions between police and black intellectuals.

Nobel Prize for Medicine: Barack Obama for bringing health care to all.

Nobel Prize for Economics: Barack Obama for dealing with the Bush financial meltdown.

Nobel Prize for Literature: Barack Obama for "Dreams of my Father"

Nobel Peace Prize: Barack Obama for... I'm still working on this one.

Last edited by Simon Willard; 10-09-2009 at 11:35 AM..
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  #72  
Old 10-09-2009, 11:52 AM
look look is offline
 
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Default Re: Acorn Gets The Peace Prize

Scooooooooooooooooooooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre!

Last edited by look; 10-09-2009 at 11:55 AM..
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  #73  
Old 10-09-2009, 01:40 PM
nikkibong nikkibong is offline
 
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Default Re: 'Twould

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Willard View Post
You have a point.

Nobel Prize for Physics: Barack Obama, for the grand unification of the forces of Hope, Progressivism and old-fashioned Chicago-style politics.

Nobel Prize for Chemistry: Barack Obama for the use of an alcohol reagent to suppress reactions between police and black intellectuals.

Nobel Prize for Medicine: Barack Obama for bringing health care to all.

Nobel Prize for Economics: Barack Obama for dealing with the Bush financial meltdown.

Nobel Prize for Literature: Barack Obama for "Dreams of my Father"

Nobel Peace Prize: Barack Obama for... I'm still working on this one.
LMAO.

Well played.

Last edited by nikkibong; 11-01-2009 at 09:55 AM..
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  #74  
Old 10-09-2009, 02:58 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: One-Handed Applause (Josh Cohen & Brink Lindsey)

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Originally Posted by Jay J View Post
On the burden of proof, I think I expressed my doubt in perhaps a coy manner; both sides seem to be making claims, so arguments which shift the burden hard to one side or another don't seem to get us anywhere.
I don't entirely disagree, especially because I usually find debates about who has some supposed burden of proof based on some agreed rules of discourse or something tiresome.

I think the better way of putting it is if you raise an argument as a reason not to do something, there should be something behind that argument more than "this might happen" or "this is a fear I have" -- evidence or a logical explanation of how it is likely to come about or some such.

On the other hand, like I said before, if you want to make a change you should consider the likely effects and be willing to discuss why you don't think it will cause bad outcomes (or address what you would do if they do result).

Quote:
As for what constitutes an argument, I think we must have very different ideas about that.
Maybe -- present the argument and I'll tell you whether it meets my criteria (as expressed above).

Quote:
The conclusion is that there is good reason to fear that innovation (improvement/development) of drugs/treatments/technologies will be harmed (the pace will slow significantly). The fact that the premises used to support this conclusion are unproven or here unquantified does not mean they do not form part of an argument.
Yeah, I agree that being unproven or (in many cases) unquantified does not mean that something is not an argument. That was never the objection.

Quote:
And really, I don't have the answers, I only find certain arguments intuitive and plausible, *but* if almost half of Pfizer's 10-K come from the U.S., compared to the rest of the world, then that seems like a lot to me.
On its face, not to me. It doesn't suggest that drug companies are only profitable in the US, for example, so that changing our system somewhat would make them unable or unwilling to finance R&D. It also doesn't identify the total sales on which those profits are based, of course, so you could perhaps look deeper into the numbers and come up with some argument or another, but it is interesting that so far the ones expressing the fears on bloggingheads, at least, don't seem to have (I'm willing to acknowledge, of course, that I might have missed it).

Even if it were true that US consumers (or the US gov't, through Medicare) were subsidizing the R&D incentives, of course, there's still a discussion to be had about whether this is a good situation to be in or whether we are willing to continue paying for this in a more open way. (For example, honest conservatives like Brink are quite willing to admit that the costs in the US are a problem, and to the extent that the drug company profits are due to the same kinds of factors that lead to the exploding costs -- which I'd say they are in part -- then fixing this problem leads to the same kind of pressure on the drug companies that some of the opponents of health care reform seem to be worrying about.) That's another reason why a real argument and not just conclusions is important.

For the record, I thought this was a good diavlog and both Josh and Brink reasonable in their approaches and arguments. They had the kind of health care debate that I wish we were capable of as a country.
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  #75  
Old 10-09-2009, 03:46 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: One-Handed Applause (Josh Cohen & Brink Lindsey)

Without trying to step between you and Jay on this, I want to be sure I've been clear on my original point. My concern about "burden of proof" isn't based on an understanding of any set of formal rules of discourse. The point that concerns me is filtering. Obviously, if you have to answer every single argument, regardless of how well reasoned, or well supported it is, then it's impossible to have any sort of meaningful public debate. Just because somebody asserts X, X doesn't automatically become a useful part of the discussion. Some argument about why X is important has also to have been provided, and a positive judgment on the quality of that argument has t have been agreed upon, before answering X becomes a useful component of the argument.

My position here is that the case hasn't been made in regard to the relationship between innovation in pharma R&D and US market conditions (however intuitively true that might seem); and, as such, it doesn't fall upon people arguing that US market conditions ought to be regulated differently to answer objections raised on that basis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stephanie View Post
I don't entirely disagree, especially because I usually find debates about who has some supposed burden of proof based on some agreed rules of discourse or something tiresome.

I think the better way of putting it is if you raise an argument as a reason not to do something, there should be something behind that argument more than "this might happen" or "this is a fear I have" -- evidence or a logical explanation of how it is likely to come about or some such.

On the other hand, like I said before, if you want to make a change you should consider the likely effects and be willing to discuss why you don't think it will cause bad outcomes (or address what you would do if they do result).



Maybe -- present the argument and I'll tell you whether it meets my criteria (as expressed above).



Yeah, I agree that being unproven or (in many cases) unquantified does not mean that something is not an argument. That was never the objection.



On its face, not to me. It doesn't suggest that drug companies are only profitable in the US, for example, so that changing our system somewhat would make them unable or unwilling to finance R&D. It also doesn't identify the total sales on which those profits are based, of course, so you could perhaps look deeper into the numbers and come up with some argument or another, but it is interesting that so far the ones expressing the fears on bloggingheads, at least, don't seem to have (I'm willing to acknowledge, of course, that I might have missed it).

Even if it were true that US consumers (or the US gov't, through Medicare) were subsidizing the R&D incentives, of course, there's still a discussion to be had about whether this is a good situation to be in or whether we are willing to continue paying for this in a more open way. (For example, honest conservatives like Brink are quite willing to admit that the costs in the US are a problem, and to the extent that the drug company profits are due to the same kinds of factors that lead to the exploding costs -- which I'd say they are in part -- then fixing this problem leads to the same kind of pressure on the drug companies that some of the opponents of health care reform seem to be worrying about.) That's another reason why a real argument and not just conclusions is important.

For the record, I thought this was a good diavlog and both Josh and Brink reasonable in their approaches and arguments. They had the kind of health care debate that I wish we were capable of as a country.
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Last edited by AemJeff; 10-10-2009 at 07:56 AM.. Reason: fix typo
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  #76  
Old 10-10-2009, 10:22 AM
kidneystones
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Default Acorn Wins the Peace Prize, Finally.

That's really the news.

Anyway, Dickerson, agrees: the upside of turning down the prize this year is enormous. He can't possibly resist another chance to stand in the spotlight, however, even if it's clear nobody deserves any reward for two weeks work.
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  #77  
Old 10-12-2009, 07:32 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: One-Handed Applause (Josh Cohen & Brink Lindsey)

Quote:
Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
Without trying to step between you and Jay on this, I want to be sure I've been clear on my original point. My concern about "burden of proof" isn't based on an understanding of any set of formal rules of discourse. The point that concerns me is filtering. Obviously, if you have to answer every single argument, regardless of how well reasoned, or well supported it is, then it's impossible to have any sort of meaningful public debate. Just because somebody asserts X, X doesn't automatically become a useful part of the discussion. Some argument about why X is important has also to have been provided, and a positive judgment on the quality of that argument has t have been agreed upon, before answering X becomes a useful component of the argument.
I wouldn't refer to that as "burden of proof," but it actually sounds pretty similar to what I'm saying, so I guess I'm agreeing with you.
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  #78  
Old 10-12-2009, 07:49 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: One-Handed Applause (Josh Cohen & Brink Lindsey)

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Originally Posted by stephanie View Post
I wouldn't refer to that as "burden of proof," but it actually sounds pretty similar to what I'm saying, so I guess I'm agreeing with you.
Yeah, it might not have been the ideal choice of phrasing.
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  #79  
Old 11-09-2009, 12:48 PM
Uhurusasa Uhurusasa is offline
 
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Default Re: One-Handed Applause (Josh Cohen & Brink Lindsey)

what is the difference between the health insurance industry and the health care industry??

what does "public option" mean? are there different flavors??

what does"single payer" mean?

what is the sound of one hand slapping??
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  #80  
Old 11-09-2009, 01:13 PM
PreppyMcPrepperson PreppyMcPrepperson is offline
 
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Default Re: One-Handed Applause (Josh Cohen & Brink Lindsey)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uhurusasa View Post
what is the difference between the health insurance industry and the health care industry??
Health care also includes doctors and hospitals--ie the providers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uhurusasa View Post
what does "public option" mean? are there different flavors??
Means an insurer that is run by the state as a nonprofit. There are a few variations/questions to be answered:
-you can have a pub-op that has access to tax payer subsidies and can probably run private insurers out of some markets or one that doesn't have any access to taxpayer subsidies and operates more or less like a private nonprofit

-you can have a public option that's available in all 50 states, or one that can only enter particular states which have 'opted' in to allow it, OR one that is in available in all 50 states unless states 'opt-out'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uhurusasa View Post
what does"single payer" mean?
A system where there is just one national insurance agency managed by the state that provides for all citizens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uhurusasa View Post
what is the sound of one hand slapping??
Try this.
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