Avik Roy Defends Rick Perry Against the NYT

The biggest whopper of all is when the Times claims that premium costs in Texas and Massachusetts are “roughly the same.” That’s a selective use of the underlying data, which comes from the federal government’s Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. From 2006 to 2009—that is, from the passage of Romneycare to the passage of Obamacare—premiums were cheaper, and grew at a much lower rate, in Texas: 3.0% on average for individuals and 1.2% for families, compared to 4.3% and 4.6% nationally, and 5.8% and 6.2% in Massachusetts.

Only in 2010, after the passage of the ironically-named Affordable Care Act, did Texas premiums undergo an anomalous rise. This is likely because insurers wanted to get their rate increases in before Obamacare’s federal price-control provisions go into effect this month.

The Times goes on to slam Texas for being one of the “worst offenders” (along with, interestingly, California) in “failing to enroll children who were eligible for Medicaid or a related children’s program.” Whether you like Medicaid or not, this is a dishonest criticism, given that Texas has one of the most expansive programs for low-income children in the country. The Texas Medicaid/CHIP program for children in 2007 covered 11.0% of the Texas population, compared to 6.9% in Massachusetts and 9.5% nationally. And while Massachusetts spends more per enrollee than Texas does—$4,064 in 2007 vs. $2,400 for Texas—Texas spends more than the $2,135 national average.

New York Times editorial. Avik Roy’s response.

Comments (4)

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  1. Ken says:

    Avik is quite good. Very good writer. Clear thinker.

  2. Devon Herrick says:

    Massachusetts has some of the highest individual insurance rates in the country. Its neighbors, New York and New Jersey are also bad precisely because they all have laws that allow people to wait until they are sick and still sign up. When the only people in an insurance risk pool are sick, the premiums skyrocket — further encouraging healthy people to drop coverage.

  3. Greg says:

    Interesting graph.

  4. Abdullah says:

    Craig, thank you for the arictle!Here are the words that I have sent to Kevin Zeese, President Obama, and the DNC!Kevin from Voters for Peace, thank you for this very important email on ending the war! Personally, Obama only wants to be a one term president. The Grand Experiment of Obama as president has already failed me. THE MORE THINGS CHANGE, THE MORE THEY REMAIN THE SAME! Obama does not have it. As a one term president here is what I would do shoot for the moon with some cajones! Get out of the wars!!! Join the International Criminal Court!!! Hand Congress a one page my health care reform plan! Include the sentences such as the sentences that were introduced to include the Child Disabilities Act to receive Medicare. HEALTH CARE IS A MORAL ISSUE. ALL AMERICANS WILL BE ADDED TO THE MEDICARE PLAN. IF IT MEANS MORE TAXES AND THE ROLL BACK OF THE BUSH II AND REAGAN TAX CUTS SO BE IT!!! As a one term president I want to leave showing my cajones. Sincerely, Gerald SochaP.S. Kevin, this is my message to President Obama!