Predictive markets betting against a public option

Predictive markets are a powerful tool in analyzing notable political events. The reason for this of course is simple. Anyone can state opinion as fact when there are no consequences. But when you make people monetarily accountable for their opinion you often get more truth and less bull. Funny how capitalism works, eh?

A quick search will take you to some dire warnings that Harry Reid is close to “ramming health care through without a debate”. Polls with highly questionable internals suggest support for a public option is skyrocketing. But what does a predictive market say about the subject? The market at Intrade paints an entirely different picture.


Click the thumbnail above to see a larger image of the same graph.

There are two things to note. One, the market predicts only a 10% chance for health care with a public option to be passed before the end of the year. Such markets are not always accurate but rarely would such a strong prediction be incorrect. Two, the market hasn’t been over 50% any time during its entire lifetime–dating back to this summer.

Should fiscal conservatives still be worried about the prospect of government run health care? Of course. Should people continue to highlight the waste, inefficiencies, and socialist nature of the proposed plan? Absolutely. The Intrade market gives some hope, though. There is time to fight the passage the bill. It is important that people continue that fight without getting caught up in over-hyped pessimism.

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