July 30--Some things puzzle us.
The excitement over the "discovery" for milliseconds of the Higgs boson subatomic particle befuddles us. Perhaps, someday, this will be important in repelling alien invaders.
We also don't understand how picking four teams for a college football playoff will lead to less controversy than picking two for a bowl game to determine the national champion.
Then there's the mystery of how the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office can project what any law will do to the budget deficit over the next 10 years.
Trying to predict that would be as complex as trying to predict the weather for the next 10 years. Ah, but wait, we are trying to predict that. Global warming, you know.
So, perhaps the efforts at budgetary prognostication aren't all that difficult.
In this case, the CBO is predicting the Affordable Care Act -- Obamacare, if you will -- which was recently upheld in the main by the U.S. Supreme Court, will lower the annual federal deficit a tiny little bit in 10 years.
The CBO always has said that, but it is saying it again. That's because the Supreme Court let any state -- any state that wants to -- reject federal money to help it extend Medicaid coverage to more of its residents. So far, that's been Idaho's position. That helps the federal deficit.
A day after the CBO announcement, some Harvard researchers announced they had studied the adult death rate in Arizona, Maine and New York, where Medicaid coverage has been expanded similarly to that expected under Obamacare. They found for every 176 adults newly covered under Medicaid, one fewer than expected died each year.
Not many, you say? Well, if, as expected, 15 million new people would be covered, then about 85,000 fewer would die each year. And that ought to cut medical bills a lot, since most sick people use the medical system most intensely just before they die.
Now, global warming is quite an ominous thing, a thing we would just as soon wasn't happening. It will be very disruptive, difficult and expensive to adjust to, let alone fix. You can understand why lots of people would be skeptical that it's for real, wishful that it isn't.
But here we have studies saying Obamacare will save money and lives, good things, and still a huge part of the citizenry hates it. Puzzling.
- By Lee Rozen, for the editorial board
(c)2012 the Moscow-Pullman Daily News (Moscow, Idaho)
Visit the Moscow-Pullman Daily News (Moscow, Idaho) at www.dnews.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services