Causality

CausalImpact & Healthcare Costs in the US

A quick look at the CausalImpact package in R, studying US healthcare costs over time

Robert Myles MCDonnell

4 minute read

This article by Mike Holly on Mises.org interested me. I wasn’t aware of the history of healthcare costs in the US, and it’s quite surprising, especially the take-off in costs after the 1960s. Holly’s argument is that the “U.S. ‘health care cost crisis’ didn’t start until 1965. The government increased demand with the passage of Medicare and Medicaid while restricting the supply of doctors and hospitals.” In fact, I was quite impressed with this graph: x <- c("rvest", "dplyr", "tidyr", "ggplot2", "magrittr", "lubridate") lapply(x, require, character.only = TRUE) I’ve wanted an excuse to use Google’s CausalImpact package for a while now, so let’s give it a shot using these data.