hard heads soft hearts

a scratch pad for half-formed thoughts by a liberal political junkie who's nobody special. ''Hard Heads, Soft Hearts'' is the title of a book by Princeton economist Alan Blinder, and tends to be a favorite motto of neoliberals, especially liberal economists.

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Sunday, August 02, 2009
How many lives will access to quality affordable health care for all Americans save? How many lives will it improve?

In 2004, the IOM (Institute of Medicine of the National Academies) released a report asserting that "lack of health insurance causes roughly 18,000 unnecessary deaths every year in the United States". I gather some people think that estimate was too high, but what is the right estimate?


We've heard alot about scoring in terms of money, but what about scoring in terms of lives, lives saved and lives improved? How many lives will the current health care bills being debated save? How many will they improve?