Assorted links

1. Heterogeneous benefits from medical interventions, a new paper by William Evans and Craig Garthwaite.

2. Why your spleen is important.

3.The culture that is Japan: ramen robots.

4. A countercyclical asset, right in the restaurant itself.

5. Brad Setser update.


2. Might the loss of my appendix explain my drinking problem?

OK, conspiracy theory time...

Why do I get the feeling that terminating Brad Setser's ability to blog is on par with, say, terminating the publication of M3 data? We will be just a little bit more in the dark during the turbulent and disruptive changes looming dead ahead for Chimerica's mutual codependency.

maybe if i hadnt lost my appendix i wouldnt have a drinking problem.

1. "the weak relationship between aggregate spending and health outcomes is in stark contrast to evidence showing pronounced benefits for the use of specific medical devices, procedures, and pharmaceuticals"

By health outcomes, the authors are again referring to overall life expectancy within a nation. Aggregate spending refers to total national spending on health care providers. It should not be surprising that spending directed at healing patients after they are sick or injured has only a weak relationship to a measure - life expectancy - which is as much dependent on lifestyle choices, genetics, and utilization of personal transportation.

1. So medical interventions are like advertising?

"The famous advertising axiom 'Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don't know which half' is credited to John Wanamaker."

"Identifying and understanding the source of heterogeneity in the benefits of medical treatments is essential for developing effective health policy. Rather than relying on the estimated marginal benefit for the average patient, effective and targeted health policy should focus on the benefit to patients for whom the treatment or intervention is most appropriate. Failing to consider this heterogeneity in benefits could lead to erroneous conclusions about the efficacy of different policy initiatives."

Tyler, this need to screamed, are medical schools in the United States training excellent doctors or do government bureaucrats need to take over our medical schools.

Please spread the word that having untrained politicians design health care policy will be even more destructive then their policy prescriptions for the auto industry.

Plus much of the data being thrown around in this debate is flawed, on both sides. But are we willing to assume that doctors are thieves or stupid and the insurance companies secretly desire to kill everyone. While government is being run by the wonderful all knowing Wizard of Oz.

Thacker: truculent always makes me think of truncheon

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