Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for February, 2006

How are German Smokers and American Savers related?

Medpage Today recently released some statistics regarding the prevalence of smoking cessation among Germans with serious health diseases (“Smokers Can’t Say No in the Face of Serious Circulatory Disease“). “…the investigators found that among those with a single disorder, the proportion of current smokers among ever-smokers ranged from 29% for myocardial infarction to 44.4% for […]

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Sharp to prohibit physicians from seeing Non-Sharp patients

Sunday’s San Diego Union Tribune (“Doctors object to ultimatum on health care: Sharp wants every senior on one plan“) had an interesting article on Sharp’s decision to issue its physicians an ultimatum: either provides services exclusively for our patients or find work elsewhere.  Let us look at this from a variety of perspectives. Sharp: Sharp […]

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‘A Wealth of Talent': Complimentary article on UCSD’s Economics department

This Sunday, the San Diego Union Tribune (“A wealth of talent“) wrote a complimentary article regarding the ascendancy of UCSD’s Economics department into the elite strata of economics departments.  Last year, U.S. News and World Report ranked the UCSD economics department #10 in the nation.  As a graduate student in UCSD’s economics department, my ‘unbiased’ opinion is […]

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How to invest your money

Paul Merriman one of the few investment advisors I respect.  His blog is full of useful information.  His advice is simple: Invest in Index Funds.  For an average investor, attempting to ‘beat the market’ or is a wasteful endeavor.  Index funds diversify risk by allowing investors to hold a large variety of stocks while minimizing […]

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Colombia’s health insurance reform: Is managed competition for the poor working?

In 1993, Colombia enacted ‘la Ley 100′ (law 100) transformed the way in which the poor are able to access health care.  Previously, the poor could go to public hospitals and receive free or inexpensive care if the hospital would accept them  This was financed through higher prices for customers who were able to pay for […]

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“The Genesis and Development of Medicare”

The following is a timeline which summarizes the genesis and evolution of government provided health insurance in the United States. Major Foreign Events: 1883: Otto von Bismark, then Chancellor of Germany passes a compulsory health insurance bill for factory and mine workers 1911: Germany extends compulsory insurance coverage to almost all employees 1911: David Lloyd […]

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Are market-oriented health insurance reforms possible in Latin America?

Fabio Bertranou (1999) in his article in Health Policy gives a concise summary of attempted health insurance reforms in Latin America in the 1980s and 1990s. He looks at three cases: Chile’s reform in the 1980s and Argentina’s and Colombia’s reforms in the 1990s. He cites three major issues each nation faces: Does open enrollment […]

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Economists fail as evangelists on Sunset Blvd.

In the “Capitalism: The Movieâ€? in the March 2006 Atlantic Monthly, writer Clive Cook examines why many of Hollywood’s recent releases have been anti-capitalist.  Hollywood simply assumes that the public will run to see free-market bashing movies such as: Syriana, Fun with Dick and Jane, Wall Street, Erin Brockovich, The Insider, etc. Why? Cook claims […]

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NHS denies medicine coverage to breast cancer patient

Thursday’s edition of the New York Times contained an article (“British Clinic is Allowed to Deny Medicine“) describing how a British court ruled that local health authorities could deny coverage of a breast cancer medicine since it was not yet approved.  The drug in question is Herceptin. “Herceptin, made by Roche, is currently licensed for […]

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A model of Medicaid’s poverty trap

The design of legislation which regulates Medicaid eligibility creates a poverty trap. In California, generally those who have income below 250% of the federal poverty level and who have limited assets are eligible for Medicaid. (In reality California’s Medicaid eligibility is more complicated than this. For full details of eligibility requirements see “Medi-Cal Facts and […]

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