How data-dependent is health care reform?


If the visualization of America’s Healthy Future Act (also known as the Baucus Bill) — immediately below is any indication, data is pretty important to health care reform plans. The word occurs 275 times in the text — there are new data banks, data collected, data submitted and data shared.

Last Friday, I checked some summary data on — the page I was looking at is here, trying to calculate per capita spending by state. Note that in 2009, the federal government sent out $970 billion in grants, loans, insurance, and direct payment, but couldn’t tell you which state some $460 billion of the money went to (blank or invalid entries–perhaps the latter include states like Pennsyljersey, Califoregon and West Dakota). That was actually an improvement over 2008, when $363 billion out of a little less than $499 billion couldn’t be placed in a state; 2007 wasn’t much better.

Will health care data be more timely and complete?