The Logic of Obamacare

Robert Book /

The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein asks: “One of my frustrations with the cost-control discussion is that people set this up like a choice between this bill and a bill with more cost control. In reality, it seems more like a choice between this bill and nothing. And this bill does a lot more cost control than nothing.”

MIT’s Jonathan Gruber answers: “Here’s how I think about this: Do you know Pascal’s wager? Why not believe in God? I think of health-care reform similarly. We don’t know if we’ll really bend the cost curve. But if we do this and we don’t do anything, we still go bankrupt in 100 years. We don’t lose much. But if we do it and it works, then it’s a savior.”

Three thoughts:
1) The House bill does bend the cost curveup.
2) Pascal’s wager is based on the assumption that there is no (or minimal) possibility of a downside to the proposed action. That is not the case with the House bill.
3) Yes Minister nailed what Gruber/Klein are really thinking years ago: