But if the question is "Has this caused you to revise downward your estimate of the value of health insurance?" the answer has to obviously be yes. Anyone who answers differently is looking deep into their intestinal loops, not the Oregon study. You don't have to revise the estimate to zero, or even a low number. But if you'd asked folks before the results dropped what we'd expect to see if insurance made people a lot healthier, they'd have said "statistically significant improvement on basic markers for the most common chronic diseases.

... (read more)

This annoys me because she doesn't talk at all about the power of the study. Usually, when you see statistically insignificant positive changes across the board in a study without much power, its a suggestion you should hesitantly update a very tiny bit in the positive direction, AND you need another study, not a suggestion you should update downward.

When ethics prevent us from constructing high power statistical studies, we need to be a bit careful not to reify statistical significance.

6DanielLC7yThe value of health insurance isn't that it keeps you from getting sick. It's that it keeps you from getting in debt when you do get sick.

Rationality Quotes May 2013

by katydee 1 min read3rd May 2013390 comments


Here's another installment of rationality quotes. The usual rules apply:

  • Please post all quotes separately, so that they can be upvoted or downvoted separately. (If they are strongly related, reply to your own comments. If strongly ordered, then go ahead and post them together.)
  • Do not quote yourself.
  • Do not quote from Less Wrong itself, Overcoming Bias, or HPMoR.
  • No more than 5 quotes per person per monthly thread, please.