I admit it. My eyes glaze over on a lot of important public policy issues. It’s especially foggy when you’ve got one group of advocates loudly advocating one position, and another group advocating something different. And then when it’s something remote from my direct experience, like UK public health policy, it’s even harder to focus.
So, for instance, I tried to puzzle out the Health and Social Care Act of 2012, and even the Wikipedia page was too much for me. I got bogged down in the details, and when the occasional name I knew, like “David Cameron”, came swimming out of the murk, they just discouraged me even more from trying to follow along.
But here’s something I can understand. It’s a graph of the financial health of the UK National Health Service.
Whoa, that’s dramatic — the whole enterprise went into freefall right after the implementation of that miserably opaque Health and Social Care Act. Shouldn’t that be sending British bureaucrats scrambling to figure out what went wrong and fix it?
And shouldn’t it be a general principle that government ought to care about what actually works and pay attention to empirical data? Sometimes it seems like it doesn’t.