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This Week's Think Tank: Health Care, Obesity and Intellectuals

1) Health economists Amy Finkelstein and Robin McKnight examine what happened when the government introduced Medicare into the market.

2) A variety of economists and health policy experts wonder why is the developed world obese?

3) The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities has a very fair overview of the Wyden-Bennett Healthy Americans Act.

4) The Massachusetts Taxpayer Foundation looks at the state's health-care reform plan and concludes that the "uncontrollable costs" so frequently mentioned by critics are a myth.

5) Crooked Timber assembled some brilliant people -- including George Scialabba -- to debate the question "What are intellectuals good for?"

By Ezra Klein  |  August 10, 2009; 4:22 PM ET
Categories:  Think Tank  
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Next: Is the Government Going to Euthanize your Grandmother? An Interview With Sen. Johnny Isakson.


Now I'm left hoping I get to be one of the brilliant people...


Posted by: AaronSw | August 10, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Empirical economists have little or no credibility. They rely heavily on observational data to support their theories, and call this process scientific.

That's why you have to take what Finkelstein, Gruber, and Cutler with a little grain of salt, just as one does while reading "Freakonomics" on the beach.

Posted by: RandomWalk1 | August 10, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

we're obese because most of us are now doing two or three jobs to make the same living we made 10 years ago. that forces us not to have the old style "family dinner" and instead its McDonald's or some other fast food crap.

plus many americans don't get enough exercise. we're sitting behind a computer (oops) most of the day working and that slow our metabolism.

Posted by: visionbrkr | August 10, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

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