Re: Which Project for Hanson?

Peter C. McCluskey (
Thu, 31 Jul 1997 22:24:44 -0700 (Robin Hanson) writes:
>1) "Incentive Contracts" (http://hss.caltech/edu/~hanson/buyhealth.html)

The advantages of such contracts are obvious enough to academics that
you wouldn't accomplish a lot by making a big project out of this -
unless you try to spread this idea to the medical profession. I suspect
you are more suited to swaying academics than hospital managers.

>2) "Explaining Product Bans" (http://hss.caltech/edu/~hanson/

If you can succeed turning this into a sufficiently convincing
argument that you sway a significant number of academics, then you
would certainly accomplish much more with this project than with
the others, both in terms of promoting freedom and your reputation.
But I'm not convinced you have the beginnings of a powerfull argument

>3) "Why Do We Disagree?" (http://hss.caltech/edu/~hanson/

Probably the safest of the 3 projects. You would probably turn this into
a convincing argument. However, it isn't clear that that would accomplish
a lot. (Hal Finney) writes:
>(1) and (2) are both interesting and suggest possible ways that the world
>could improve. However (1) scares me a little. If my HMO also issued my
>life insurance, it would seem like it was balancing my life vs my death on
>strict financial grounds. Maybe this makes sense economically, but it
>gives me a very uncomfortable feeling. "Sorry, we've decided it's cheaper
>just to pay out your life insurance than to cure you. Have a nice death."

I find it hard to understand why people would be more afraid of this
when the life insurance is $100,000 than they are with the current life
insurance level of $0.
Most people seem to have some awareness that HMOs are currently making
this kind of tradeoff.

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