Soros-Funded Group Won’t Release Data to Economist Laffer

 

Apparently “one of the country's oldest and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative news organizations” doesn’t believe in transparency, at least when dealing with economist Arthur Laffer, the “father of supply side economics.” What that meant was that the Soros-funded Center for Public Integrity was unwilling to share research it used in a hit job against the dental industry.

Arthur Laffer’s Laffer Associates contacted the Center for Public Integrity to obtain their research, but CPI refused to comply, stating that “We don’t know who you are working for or what you’ve been hired to do” and that they do not give out their “unpublished work product.”

Dental service organizations (DSOs) have gotten a lot of criticism for making a profit from dental patients. However, according to a new study conducted by Laffer, DSOs in the state of Texas were actually more effective and conservative when it came to dental procedures than their competitors. The study focused specifically on data obtained through the Freedom of Information Act from Kool Smiles, the largest DSO serving Medicaid patients in the United States, but looked at other DSOs and non-DSOs as well.

A common argument against DSOs has been that a for-profit dental model will result in dentists performing unnecessary procedures in order to raise more revenue. The Soros-funded Center for Public Integrity claimed that “[i]n Texas, a child under the age of 9 at Kool Smiles has nearly a 50-50 chance of getting a crown as a restoration to treat problems like cavities.”

Laffer’s study directly contradicted this claim, and instead pointed out that Kool Smiles performed significantly less procedures on average (8.24) per patient than non-DSO dentists (12.39). Kool Smiles was featured in PBS’s “Dollars and Dentists” documentary, which promoted socialized dental coverage. “Dollars and Dentists” was made in conjunction with Frontline and the Center for Public Integrity.

Kool Smiles and other DSOs also had noticeably lower costs per patient per year than non-DSO dental offices.

  • Kool Smiles: $345.45
  • DSO clinics: $483.89
  • Non-DSO clinics: 711.54

Laffer’s study was sponsored by Kool Smiles, but they had no control over the results of the study.

Along with being known as “the Father of Supply-Side Economics,” Laffer is the founder and chairman of Laffer Associates an institutional economic research and consulting firm, and Laffer Investments, an institutional investment managing firm. He was a member of President Reagan’s Economic Policy Board from 1981-1989.

 

Mike Ciandella
Mike Ciandella
Mike Ciandella is a staff writer for the Media Research Center's Business & Media Institute.