Cost Versus Efficiency in Health Care

From economist Greg Mankiw’s blog:

Advocates of government-run health insurance like to point to Medicare’s low administrative costs (which, as I noted yesterday, is a controversial claim). But even if that factual claim were true, the argument would hardly be dispositive as to the greater efficiency of a publicly run system. As I put it in my recent Times article, “True, Medicare’s administrative costs are low, but it is easy to keep those costs contained when a system merely writes checks without expending the resources to control wasteful medical spending.”


The bottom line: Low administrative costs are not to be confused with high administrative efficiency. In other words, administrators are not necessarily a deadweight loss to the system.

Apple Stores Now Fixing Cracked iPhone Screens In-House

If you’ve ever had the misfortune, as I have, of dropping your iPhone on concrete, here is some good news from the Infinite Loop blog:

An iPhone falls to the ground in slow motion and makes its first impact on a corner. You watch as the cracks branch out over the screen like a spiderweb. If it hasn’t happened to you, it has happened to someone you know—and now, Apple can fix it on the spot at one of its retail locations.

Jim Dalrymple at The Loop has confirmed that Apple retail stores have begun performing this in-house repair with what amounts to a big suction cup in the back. The machine separates the broken glass from the rest of your precious iPhone, letting the technician install a shiny new one.

The cost will be $199, and it is not covered under warranty or Apple Care.