Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Random Bullets of Dumb and Dumber
by Tom Bozzo
- Amid discussion of the McKinsey Global Institute report on health care costs at Ezra Klein's, a commenter there asked whether MGI really can be considered "nonpartisan" (as Ezra introduced MGI) because McKinsey hired Chelsea Clinton. To give the management consulting devil its due, I've never seen or heard anything to make me believe that it's other than an equal-opportunity meat-grinder for the young, bright, and ambitious. On the other hand, if they hired the Bush twins...
- Yet, clueless as Klein's troll was, the cluelessness award must go to MGI honcho Diana Farrell. While her report shows in great detail how we waste enormous sums of money for the care we get in the service of our semi-private, multi-payer system, the first conclusion is that the U.S. health care system doesn't align consumers' incentives with the value of health services.
- Having recently paid some $200 out-of-pocket under our not-quite-but-maybe-soon gold-plated health plan to deal with John's intractable post-flu ear infection, the temptation to fly to DC and talk sense to the MGI gang was strong. But note that "non-partisan" doesn't equal "non-political." At a minimum, high-paid workaholic McKinseyites shouldn't be trusted for humane solutions to social problems. The likely behavior of a family that doesn't have the $200 is left as an exercise for the reader.
- Following up on Ken, NPR carried the WPE administration's response to the British withdrawal: a sign of impending victory! (It was relayed without on-air comment.) This is a remarkable test of journamalists' ability to forget the late efforts to scrape up more forces to reinforce central Iraq and to salvage a seemingly disintegrating situation in Afghanistan.
- In local news, Mayor Dave took just under 60% of the vote in the mayoral primary. This might be less impressive given that his opponents were two Republicans and a crazy person, though turnout in my ward was relatively light. Meanwhile, opponent Ray Allen has a billboard on University Ave. (a congested corridor that would be ideal for LRT of some sort) reminding me "no trolleys!" Yep, there are still no trolleys in Madison. How about an idea for a change?