Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for July, 2006

Bleeding Heart Libertarianism

Arnold Kling is a respected libertarian economist who has worked at the Cato Institute.  In a post for TCS Daily titled Bleeding-Heart Libertarianism, Kling makes an argument for a negative consumption tax for all individuals.  The thesis is simple and elegent, but does have some problems.  I highlight five major ones that come to mind. […]

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Budget deficit trimmed: trend or statistical anomaly

Many outlets in the popular press have been heralding the reduction of the budget deficit as a sign of good times on the horizon for the U.S. economy.  The Washington Times (“Economic sunshine“) credits President Bush’s economic policies–in particular his tax cut–as the source for the economic growth which is driving the increased tax receipts.  Former […]

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Free…with a £1m parking fee

The UK’s Guardian newspaper (“ NHS attacked…“) reports regarding how ‘free’ services for patients are becoming increasingly less free.  Hospitals often charge patients exorbitant rates for parking (£30 a day), hotels, and telephone access, instead of being able to charge patients the true cost of the procedure.  Officials are worried that these fees will create […]

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Health Wonk Review #11

In the healthcare field, as well as for most interesting areas which merit investigation, economists and policy analysts are faced with tradeoffs.  Reducing the cost of healthcare often comes with a sacrifice in the quality or quantity of medical services provided; increasing the quality or quantity of medical services usually increases the price of healthcare.  […]

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Conflict of Interest

To prove that economists are not always dull and sometimes have a sense of humor, I submit the following: DB’s Medical Rants has an entertaining cartoon on physician conflict of interest.

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Optimal Health Insurance and Provider Payment

How does one design an optimal insurance policy where physicians and patients are compelled to tell the truth about the medical procedures that were completed?  This is the question of Ching-To Albert Ma and Thomas McGuire in their 1997 AER paper.  The paper is somewhat technical but I will briefly explain their setup and conclusions, […]

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Health Wonk Review #11 Submissions

Do you need more exposure for your health policy blog?  Do you have valuable insights on health policy that you believe the public needs to hear?  If so, here is the perfect avenue for you… Healthcare Economist will be the host the Health Wonk Review #11.  The Health Wonk Review is “the best of the best”: the best blog […]

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Speed Surgery

Productivity.  More output with fewer inputs.  Increasing productivity is one of the few goals towards which all businesses strive.  The Times of London reports (“Rankings to identify slow surgeons“) that the NHS will try to increase the productivity of surgeons in the UK.  The system of “performance indicatorsâ€? will be announced this week by ministers, […]

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Social Security Around the World XI: Measuring Benefits

Throughout the past week, I have spoke of the work disincentives many social security programs create.  The question is: how do we measure these disincentives.  The economics literature has given three different metrics to measure implicit social security wealth a retiree has and I will discuss each in turn. Accrual The accrual method measures how much […]

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Social Security Around the World X: UK

The public pension system in the United Kingdom differs significantly from its peers in continental Europe.  First, private and occupational pensions play a much larger role in retirement than in the rest of Europe.  Secondly, UK projects that public pension savings will actually decrease as a percentage of GDP (from 4.5% in 2000 to 4.1% […]

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