Subject: Fwd: Fwd: hello from PolitiFact
From: "Meghan Ashford-Grooms" <mashford-grooms@statesman.com>
Date: Sun, 17 Apr 2011 13:27:16 -0500
To: Meghan Ashford-Grooms <mashford-grooms@statesman.com>

From: Billy Hamilton
Date: Wed, Apr 13, 2011 at 3:36 PM
To: Meghan Ashford-Grooms <mashford79@gmail.com>
 
I used the base data from the 2001 report, and after looking at the relationship between the incidence of cancer then and in 2007, I found a fairly constant relationship with population growth. I thought about limiting this to age cohorts above, say, 35, but the incidence is spread, unevenly, over various age brackets. Thus, I projected a part of the rise in cost as a simple function of rising population and therefore incidence. I didn't find a lot of data to suggest that cases were abating, as I recall, but again, it's been awhile.
 
I also adjusted costs by forecasts at the time for the CPI for medical costs and the CPI for urban consumer (basically the inflation rate). The basis of the data are from the 2001 study. I believe the cost of cancer is extremely expensive to the state. You might be able to select a different rate of inflation and population growth or assume that the disease is abating and get a different answer if that is the point, but the data on population and inflation were the actual values reported in the Economic Report of the President as I recall.


BH

On Fri, Apr 8, 2011 at 8:07 AM, Billy Hamilton wrote:
The Cost of Cancer in Texas is attached. As you will see, it was a very extensive report. What I did was gather updated data on the incidence of cancer in Texas in the intervening year, plus demographic and economic data. I also got information on state and local government spending on cancer treatment to the degree the data were available through the Department of Health, the Medicaid program and other. I also looked at more recent national data on the cost of cancer. Basically, I made an estimate tied to the base data found in the comprehensive 2001 study and looked at it in relation to how the population had grown, how costs had increased since the study. I also gathered data on National Cancer Institute and other research grants in Texas to get a sense of the size of current research commitment in Texas.
 
Like I said in my earlier email, the real work was done by David Warner and his colleagues at UT. Mine was hardly a comprehensive study--nor was it intended to be. The data were, as I recall (and this was four years ago), pretty compelling that the case Chairman Keffer was making was very reasonable given what was known about the incidence of cancer nationally and in Texas and the costs to the state government, which were actual and quoted in the testimony. If anything, I think (and intended) the estimates to be conservative because the price inflation assumptions I used were closer the actual rate of general inflation than inflation in the cost of medical care, which, as you know, has been through the roof. However, I recall wanting to be certain not to overstate the case. It was already appalling enough based on what Dave Warner found in 2001 without my inflating it. BH