Let’s Make a Deal and the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017: A Car or A Goat

I am as mesmerized as anyone else by the repeated iterations of the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 in circulation and now in the latest discussion draft, breathlessly awaiting CBO scoring, the New York Times astonishingly sports page-like coverage scoring of winners and losers for each version, and tales of back room sweeteners  ("Klondike Kickback" being my personal favorite coinage so far).

But none of this — not one bit of it — distracts me from the fact that it is all about persuading elected officials and the American public that what they have in hand (the Affordable Care Act) would be better surrendered for one of these myriad other offerings. And the offers do keep coming.

These alternatives are arriving with such frequency but with such slight variation from each other that I can't help but wonder about that variation on the old Monty Hall Probability Problem  where, if the host is not required to make the offer to switch yet repeatedly does so, the player has to suspect malice and wonder if, in fact, the player has already chosen the car and that the host is merely trying to shake them loose from that choice.

Turns out the correct next move, then, turns on some assumptions about the host's behavior.

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