Friday, August 14, 2009


This blog will be mainly about things related to public policy and politics, though it will include other topics that I find interesting. Please be aware that I find many things interesting. I will try, though, to limit postings to things I think will be of wide interest; if you want to know what I had for breakfast I am happy to tell you, but please ask by e-mail.

I am calling this blog "Claritas" because I think that clarity is in short supply in discussions of public policy (and, indeed, most things), and because this is an area where I think I can make a contribution. If I fail, please tell me so I can try again.


  1. Fantastic. Good to see you here, Howard.

  2. Hi Howard. Interesting. Perhaps you could comment on the fact that both sides are talking past each other in the health care debate. My touchstone, from an overall expenditures standpoint, are the Kaiser Family Foundation numbers. On a related note, why does everyone pillory big pharma? I commented on this on my Facebook page. According to Kaiser pharma was only 9% of national health expenditures in 2006 while hospitalization was 30 and doctors were 20.

  3. I wasn't actually picking on big pharma, just providing a comparison to show scale. I do think, though, that one quick way to cut health costs would be to ban advertising of prescription drugs. I can't see how it's useful.

    As for which numbers to use, I think that to a first approximation it doesn't matter-- my point was to show that it doesn't take a health policy expert (which I'm not)to see that the numbers are not huge. I can't see that the two sides are really talking past each other, either; the Republican contribution seems to have been "crushing burden on our children" (wrong), "trying to kill Grandma" (wrong),"socialized medicine" (I don't even know what that means, but it was also used against Medicare).