Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cracking the Times

New York Times moderators have not been my friend. I think they're bending over backward to avoid my clear liberal bias. Today, however, I got through the filter once!

Still, my more substantive comment on another Krugman item hasn't been moderated yet, which means it's doomed, doomed I tell ya. So, in the interest of sweeping up every phrase I've ever written into the sausage of a blog, here it is, ripped untimely from its context:

Scott (#19) doesn't understand percentages. If a premium rises by 9.9% for a family of four, it rises by an average of 9.9% for each beneficiary. If Medicare expenditures rise by 8.8% for each beneficiary, that's obviously a comparable number.

The skeptics here do have a fact that their media sources (Fox?) are using to confuse them. Total Medicare expenditures have risen faster - because the number of beneficiaries has increased. But the ratio is still the right number to analyze.

Here's another proof of poor analysis from amdahlj (#5): "we would expect the rate of spending growth to be higher in the group that has a larger percentage of young people." Maybe this is satire, since it's a completely glaring fact that Medicare beneficiaries are older, sicker, and need more care than the general population. They have to be older than average; there's a minimum age.
Italics added here.

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