Here is a paper with as many as 100 references that you almost never see cited in Health Affairs, or in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), or in the New England Journal of Medicine (at least not in their public policy articles). In fact, if you are a regular reader of these publications, I think you are going to be very surprised.

My colleagues Linda Gorman, Devon Herrick, Robert Sade and I discovered that public policy articles in the leading health journals (especially the health policy journals) tend to cite poorly done studies over and over again in support of two propositions: (1) Our health care system needs radical reform and (2) the reform needs to be modeled along the lines of the systems of other developed countries. At the same time, these articles tend to ignore contravening studies that are often published in economics journals and subject to much more rigorous peer review.

In our rest-of-the-story literature review, we focus on eight questions:

1. Does the United States spend too much on health care?

2. Are U.S. outcomes no better and in some respects worse than those of other nations?

3. Is the large number of uninsured in the U.S. a crisis?

4. Does lack of health insurance cause premature death?

5. Are medical bills causing bankruptcy?

6. Are administrative costs higher for private insurance than public insurance?

7. Are low-income families more disadvantaged in the U.S. system?

8. Can the free market work in health care?

In a completely independent effort, Stanford University Professor Scott Atlas has made many of these same discoveries.

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