As Jon Myers of KQED’s Capitol Notes point out, the buzz yesterday in health reform discussions was MIT professor Jonathan Gruber who held his briefing yesterday to a standing-room only crowd at the State Capitol yesterday. No encores, but you half-expected T-shirts to be sold in the hallway.
The presentation is at the health reform website of the California HealthCare Foundation, which is funding his work. He gave a remarkably matter-of-fact presentation, and answered questions crisply–a surprise for an academic economist. He joked that he would get electro-shocked at any speculation beyond his model and what is backed up from the academic literature.
So for those looking for all the answers, he didn’t have them. Some of the assumptions were those given to him by others: for example, the population data was provide by the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), or the cost of a health product, which was taken from today’s market. What he provides is the spreadsheet, which takes this data and makes assumptions about “how individuals and firms react to policy interventions.” That enables the estimates about where people will end up, and how much it will cost.
It was interesting–a wonk rock concert, if you will.