Senate GOP Working Group on Health Legislation

Source: Quartz.

  • Tom Cotton of Arkansas
  • Cory Gardner of Colorado
  • Mitch McConnell of Kentucky
  • Rob Portman of Ohio
  • Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania
  • John Thune of South Dakota
  • John Cornyn of Texas
  • Ted Cruz of Texas
  • Lamar Alexander of Tennessee
  • Orrin Hatch of Utah
  • Mike Lee of Utah
  • Mike Enzi of Wyoming
  • John Barrasso of Wyoming

Those who criticize the group as lacking diversity are sorely misguided. Ted Cruz was born outside of the United States (Canada), in contrast to the other twelve… at least, as indicated in published accounts, which I rely upon in the absence of having a physical copy of certificates of live birth of each individual.

19 thoughts on “Senate GOP Working Group on Health Legislation

  1. PeakTrader

    I wonder how many are lawyers. Senator Rand Paul should be included, since he’s a ophthalmologist.

  2. 2slugbaits

    Well, there is species diversity. I’m mean, it’s not like all of them are human.

  3. Anonymous

    Wow! I love your analysis, Menzie, and have since I first read it during the depths of the great recession. But you are going off the deep end! The color of people’s skin should not matter. Ridicule them for their character that I know that you hate, but let’s leave racism out of it!

    “…I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Anonymous: I made no comment on skin color. You did; I think that speaks volumes.

      In point of fact, I was thinking of gender. The fact you didn’t mention that at all also speaks volumes.

      1. Anonymous

        Ah – gotcha. So when it comes to quantitative economic analysis, sex matters. I’m glad we cleared that up.

        So given that you are also male, should we discount what you have to say?

        My point is that we should let the Rush Limbaughs & Rachael Maddows (i.e. entertainers) of the world point out this kind of crap, not economists. Now if we can point out and quantify when racism and sexism occurs, that adds value (e.g. let’s focus on Alabama’s insane criminal justice system)!

        1. Menzie Chinn Post author

          Anonymous: Hmm. When I teach “Advanced Statistical Methods for Public Policy Analysis” (as I did in 2014 and 2015), and analyze individual worker data on earnings, I typically include a dummy variable for race and gender. Are you telling me that I’ve been mis-specifying my regressions? If so, please refer me to the econometrics textbook that you suggest for me to consult. The textbook I assigned is Stock and Watson, Econometrics; I welcome your learned and informed advice on why that textbook is deficient.

          On your query in second to last para — yes, because I am male, I accept that my viewpoint might encompass some bias. To deny that one has any bias is to deny one is human. However, that’s my viewpoint, and — given your statements — one that you would dispute. I am certain you believe your own worldview as purely impartial, right and correct. Jawohl!

          1. Anonymous

            Apples-to-oranges comparison. Your dummy variables are trying to measure bias against certain races and genders (as I recommended should be done in my last comment).

            BUT, you said this: “In point of fact, I was thinking of gender.” You are admitting to being biased against a group of people BECAUSE OF THEIR GENDER. I mean you admit that this post was created to point out a group’s gender, how else could your comment be read? Personally, I prefer attacking people’s arguments, not their race, age or sex.

            As for the rest of the [expletive deleted] you wrote about how I view the world, I’ll ignore it as I am pretty sure you just say stuff like that to make yourself feel better.

          2. Menzie Chinn Post author

            Anonymous: As I understand econometrics (after one and a half years of Ph.D. level courses, and teaching undergraduate and masters level econometrics), one includes these types of dummy variables to account for unobservables of many types, including preferences and views that can’t be captured by measurable indicators.

            Please tell me if I am misinformed. I would appreciate references to specific textbooks/articles that document my mis-use of dummy variables in cross-section time series panel regression analysis.

            Note: If you use an expletive again, I will ban your further commenting.

            Thank you for your comments.

        2. baffling

          Anonymous, There is no gotcha moment here. A room full of old white males, debating the health care system in which half the population is female, is a failure on so many fronts. There is a reason companies are promoting the ideas of diversity in governance. From the comments we get from these old foggies, they seem to have very little understanding of the needs and wants of half the population-females. So it is very hard to believe this group of individuals can openly discuss and create fair and rational policy on their own. They are in need of a more diverse input. It is too bad you want to argue and deny this reality.

  4. randomworker

    This ought to be entertaining. Shouldn’t they have included some of their colleagues in the Russian Federation Council?

  5. joseph

    The saying goes “If you don’t have a seat at the table it is because you are on the menu.”

  6. Manfred

    What is the point of this post? Do I really learn any economics here? Just asking.

  7. Manfred

    These are all mostly senators born in the United States, as are most of the 100 senators who have served in past legislatures and/or are currently serving in the United States Senate. So?
    Again, what is the point of the post? What do we learn from it?

    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Manfred: Think about this — there are two (2) senators from the state of Utah, with a population 1/3 smaller than that of the state of LA that you work for. Doesn’t that make you wonder?

      1. Manfred

        Actually – no. Does not make me wonder. In your list, there are two senators from Texas as well, there are two from Wyoming and one from South Dakota. So? Do you have more information on how they were chosen? If not, what exactly are you implying?
        As for the size of the state, my understanding is that it was the express purpose of the Senate that all senators are equal; in other words, the size of the state would not matter (as it matter in the House of Representatives in the size of the House delegation sent to DC).
        So, I do stand by my initial comment – what economics do we learn from this blog post, in a blog called “Econbrowser”?

  8. dilbert dogbert

    MMMM??? 23% of the population of the US lives in the states of those Senators.
    Are there no republican women senators? Could women have some insight into their special health care needs? The World Wonders.

  9. Steven Kopits

    There are five Republican women Senators. Three have related committee assignments:

    Lisa Murkowski
    Member, Subcommittee on Primary Health and Retirement Security

    Joni Ernst
    no health committee assignments

    Susan Collins
    Member, Subcommittee on Primary Health and Retirement Security
    Chairman, Senate Special Committee on Aging

    Deb Fischer
    Special Committee on Aging

    Shelley Moore Capito
    no health committee assignments

    You might have put Susan Collins or maybe Deb Fischer on the Working Group. Would that have changed the outcome?

  10. Michael Cain

    Based on my time as a legislative staffer, I can think of at least two reasons why the working group looks the way it does, despite “optics”.

    This is not the House. This is not a tiny group of members going off into secret meetings to produce a final bill without talking to anyone else. The members of the working group will spend plenty of time talking to colleagues not in the group. Whatever the final bill is, even under reconciliation rules they can only afford to lose two Republican votes; no one is going to ignore what Susan Collins thinks. Membership in the group may have been determined as much by who was willing to put up staff for it as anything.

    There are reasons that the five women may not have wanted to sit on the working group. If they believe that certain unacceptable things are going to be included in whatever draft or guidelines the working group produces, it is quite possible that they believe they will be in a better position to fight those in committee or through floor amendments. Do they think in those terms? Absolutely — almost no one makes it to a US Senate seat without a serious working knowledge of legislative infighting.

  11. joseph

    There are reasons that the five women may not have wanted to sit on the working group.

    Perhaps the more fundamental question is why there are only five women out of 52 Republicans in the Senate. The Democrats have 15 women out of 48 members. Democrats have three times the number of women as Republicans even though they have a smaller caucus.

    Likewise in the House, the Republicans have 21 women out of 241 members. The Democrats have 62 out of 192 members. Again, Democrats have three times the number of women as Republicans even though they have a smaller caucus.

    You could do the same exercise for minority representation.

    The bottom line is that the Republican Party is primarily the party of white men. The Republican Party will cater to the interests of white men when it comes to healthcare.

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