Critics Question Study Cited in Health Debate
By REED ABELSON and GARDINER HARRIS
In selling the health care overhaul to Congress, the Obama administration cited a once obscure research group at Dartmouth College to claim that it could not only cut billions in wasteful health care spending but make people healthier by doing so.
But while the research compiled in the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care has been widely interpreted as showing the country’s best and worst care, the Dartmouth researchers themselves acknowledged in interviews that in fact it mainly shows the varying costs of care in the government’s Medicare program. Measures of the quality of care are not part of the formula.
Really, it’s like the decided what they wanted, then went and found data to back that up. Bad data, sure, but it says what we want!