Josh Kraushaar was wildly off the mark with his projections for the 2012 presidential race, but the National Journal editor is hardly chastened.Jonathan Bernstein:
Calling himself a "numbers guy," Kraushaar offered up a rebuttal on Tuesday to Nate Silver, the polling guru who nailed the outcome of the 2012 contest in all 50 states.
In his column, Kraushaar questioned the current Senate forecasts from Silver's FiveThirtyEight and the New York Times' Upshot.
According to Kraushaar, the statistical models are underrating the GOP's chances in Iowa and overrating Republican prospects in Michigan.
Time to return to an electoral literacy project: how to read election projection models.And what they're saying is things can change, but if they don't, we're right. Unless you specifically know something the models don't (which is possible.)
This comes up because Josh Kraushaar picked a fight with Nate Silver and the Upshot projections this morning:[C]ount me underwhelmed by the new wave of Senate prediction models assessing the probability of Republicans winning the upper chamber by one-tenth of a percentage point. It's not that the models aren't effective at what they're designed to do. It's that the methodology behind them is flawed. Unlike baseball, where the sample size runs in the thousands of at-bats or innings pitched, these models overemphasize a handful of early polls at the expense of on-the-ground intelligence on candidate quality. As Silver might put it, there's a lot of noise to the signal.Here’s the thing: It should be possible for a careful observer to beat the projection systems. But first, you have to understand what they’re saying.
More politics and policy below the fold.
Jonathan Chait on reports of increased health spending:
Sorry, but this is just confused. There was always going to be a spike in aggregate health-care spending in 2014, as millions of previously uninsured people suddenly gained access to medical care for the first time. (People like the Fox News–watching Philadelphia man who hated Obamacare but finally relented, signed up for insurance, and got a life-saving operation this month.)Neil Irwin:
If you think I’m simply making up some after-the-fact excuse, advocates of health-care reform were pointing this out at the time the bill was being debated. Here’s Jonathan Cohn explaining in 2009 how the new health-care law was projected by Medicare actuaries to bend the long-term curve of health spending downward while still allowing for a big spike when new customers came online in 2014:
The cost-cutting measures start right away; the expansion/strengthening of insurance starts in 2014 …
Reform lowers the rate of growth of health spending for a few years, primarily with Medicare savings. Then the rate of growth jumps up above baseline as the uninsured are brought into the system (the effect is really a one time increase in spending, but it shows up as big rates of growth for a few years as the uninsured are covered and use more services). Then things settle down back to the point where the rate of growth is below baseline, reflecting the effect of Medicare savings and the tax on high cost insurance plans.
He even had a chart!
By 2020, about 90 percent of American workers who now receive health insurance through their employers will be shifted to government exchanges created by the health law, according to a projection by S&P Capital IQ, a research firm serving the financial industry.Charles Blow:
It’s not an outlandish notion. Ezekiel Emanuel, an architect of the Affordable Care Act, has long predicted a similar shift.
But the scope and speed of the shift is surprising. So is the amount of money that companies could save. The S&P researchers tried to estimate what it would save the biggest American companies. Their answer: $700 billion between 2016 and 2025, or about 4 percent of the total value of those companies. The total could reach $3.25 trillion for all companies with more than 50 employees.
They assume those savings will accrue to companies’ bottom lines, though there are also compelling reasons to think that some of those savings would end up in the pockets of American workers in the form of higher wages or other benefits.
Don Sterling’s racist rant, on a recording published by TMZ, has earned him a lifetime ban by the N.B.A. and cost him a second — second? — lifetime achievement award from the Los Angeles chapter of the N.A.A.C.P. The N.A.A.C.P.?!Dahlia Lithwick:
Reaction to the recording was swift, as reactions can be to unambiguous horrors, but questions still linger: Why had the N.B.A. not acted before on Sterling’s well-known racist behavior? What on earth was the Los Angeles N.A.A.C.P. thinking in extending a lifetime achievement award to this man? Will Sterling be forced to sell his team or will he find some way to maintain control of it? Why does the emotional reaction to interpersonal racism drown out the muted response to institutional racism, which actually does more damage?
When the Death Penalty Turns Into TortureEJ Dionne:
Oklahoma’s botched execution was the grim but predictable result of a state more concerned with vengeance than justice.
[LA Clippers owner Donald] Sterling could not survive his taped ramblings because he is part of an institution in which African Americans are, in the most literal sense, the key players — some 76 percent of the members of NBA teams are African American. In responding to Sterling, the men whose talents draw the audiences demonstrated a form of solidarity that their employers, Sterling’s fellow owners, simply could not ignore.By the way, early plug for Sunday: I'm interviewing EJ Dionne on the paper he co-wrote at Brookings on religious progressives and social justice. Read the paper here.
Clippers Retire Donald Sterling Jersey