Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for February, 2006

One justification for National Health Insurance

In general, I am not in favor of health care which is controlled by the federal or state government.  I do not believe that the Canadian or British systems are the best methods to administer medical care to a nation’s citizens.  Below I will argue that equity concerns do not justify centralized health care, but […]

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Does Financial Aid really help the poor?

Conventional Wisdom holds that financial aid helps poor students afford higher education.  This is certainly true.  However, does financial aid truly help the entire distribution of poor families in the United States.   A study by Hansen and Weisbrod in their 1969 book Benefits, Costs and Finance of Public Higher Education seeks to analyze how financial aid is distributed […]

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Is the AMA interested in quality of care or physician profits?

The American Medical Association (AMA) is a national physicians organization founded in 1847 by Nathan Smith Davis.  While, the AMA exists explicitly to serve the interests of physicians, politicians often seek advice from the AMA when setting health care policy.  Conventional wisdom is that the AMA is dedicated to providing the best care for patients.  […]

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Employer Provided Health Insurance – Recent Statistics

The Kaiser Family Foundation has performed their 2005 Employer Health Benefits Annual Survey.  Some interesting trends: We can see the trend that employees are offered conventional health less frequently over time.  On the other hand, four out of five employers have choosen to offer a PPO plan to in 2005.  Three out of five workers […]

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State of the Union

In the State of the Union address, President Bush dedicated portions of the speech to the health care problems facing the United States.  A summary of his proposals is located on the White House website.  I will comment on a few noteworthy additions to the Bush plan, of which I was not aware of during my […]

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Did the HPEA Increase the number of Physicians in the US?

In the 1950’s and early 1960’s, the United States maintained a fairly constant ratio of 141 physicians/100,000 people. In the 60’s, however, politicians began to worry that the supply of doctors would decrease in the near future. In 1963, Congress passes the Health Professions Educational Assistance Act (HPEA) in 1963. Senator Yarborough stated that the […]

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The Econometrics of Piecewise-Linear Budget Constraints

This is a summary of an article by Robert Moffitt (1986): Often in Public Economics, we come across budget constraints which are piecewise-linear. Some examples are studies of: the negative income tax, Social Security program, food stamp program, Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), and unemployment insurance. Wrinkles to the traditional piecewise linear budget […]

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