R, Public Health and Politics

by Joseph Rickert

Last week, Lancet published the paper Improving the prognosis of health care in the USA by Alison P Galvani, Alyssa S Parpia, Eric M Foster, Burton H Singer, Meagan C Fitzpatrick of CIDMA, the Center for Infectious Disease Modeling and Analysis, Yale School of Public Health. The paper, which, provides a detailed analysis of the single-payer system introduced by Senator Sanders in the Medicare for All Act was published with a Shiny application that allows readers to test key assumptions regarding health care budgets, projected revenue, and the projected expansion of health care use.

While the authors are clearly arguing the case for the single-payer system, the publication in a prestigious peer-reviewed journal, the detailed, documented data presented, and the Shiny app for testing assumptions should make this paper the basis for all serious, rational discussion about the economic viability of the single-payer system.

This Shiny app is also a milestone for R, as it demonstrates the ability of R to help experts interactively engage with informed citizens to help them develop their own insights on complex matters.

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