Final Ultrawonky Stat Geek Analysis of the Oregon Medicaid Study

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


If you really want to understand the shortcomings of the Oregon Medicaid study, you should be reading Austin Frakt and Aaron Carroll over at The Incidental Economist. Frakt has one final post today in which he goes ultrawonky and calculates just how underpowered the study was if it wanted to get statistically significant results on the diabetes markers. It’s way over my head, so I’ll just pass along the headline result: the study was underpowered by at least a factor of 23. That is, the researchers would have needed a sample size 23 times larger than they had in order to find the results they were looking for.

The full writeup is here. Bottom line: this study was just too small. The fact that it didn’t find statistically significant results doesn’t really tell us anything at all, either good or bad, about the effect of Medicaid on health outcomes.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate