Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Cavalcade of Risk #31

Written By: Jason Shafrin - Jul• 31•07

I am honored to host the 31st edition of the world-renowned Cavalcade of Risk. In a departure from some prior carnivals, I have tried to make this a more concise edition, highlighting the truly best articles of the past two weeks. Using this method, I intended to eliminate minimize the risk that you will choose an uninteresting article to read. Enjoy!


Currently, the government is debating about whether or not to renew SCHIP. SCHIP was created in 1997 and gives government provided health insurance to children in households typically below 200% of the federal poverty line. Should this program be renewed? Congress generally says yes; the president says no. Paul Krugman of the N.Y. Times says yes; Michael Cannon of Cato-at-Liberty says no.

Jon Coppelman of Workers Comp Insider notes in “Trouble in Trucking” that when he is driving 70 miles per hour down an interstate, sandwiched between two rigs, he is hoping the other guys are tenaciously awake. The odds are a little more in his favor since the federal appeals court recently struck down a rule that increased the number of hours a trucker can spend behind the wheel.

Those of the political left often cite the need for government intervention in order to redistribute income from rich to poor. In “The new world of risk,” Leon Gettler of Sox First discusses a John Quiggin’s policy paper which claims that “the primary role of the welfare state is managing risk, not redistributing income.”


Private health insurance companies are more streamlined, more efficient versions of their public sector counterparts…right? Over at InsureBlog, Bob Vineyard presents “Stupid Carrier Tricks,” demonstrating the private market isn’t always perfect (this is tough for an economist, like me, to admit).

David Williams of the Health Business Blog worries that rapidly rising premiums pose a risk to Massachusetts’ health reform plans.

Will businesses be able to charge employees different health insurance premiums based on their DNA? Shaheen Lakhan of GNIF Brain Blogger discusses whether this is a possibility in “Genetic Discrimination: A Real Threat?

In his Personal Injury Law Round-Up, Eric Turkewitz of NY Personal Injury Law Blog reviews some risk related news. More interestingly, Mr. Turkewitz attempts to explain in another post why NY medical malpractice insurance jumped 14%” (hint: it’s not due to a huge increase in the number malpractice lawsuits or the amount of money awarded in these cases).


Veterans Administration. TJ Maxx. ChoicePoint. What do these entities have in common? They have all experienced breaches of their customer’s personal data. Jimmy Atkinson analyzes the risk of data breaches in his article “How Many Times Has Your Personal Data Been Stolen This Year?” posted at Ask the Advisor.

Over at IowaBiz , Joe Kristan‘s article on surety bonds wins the award for the most clever title: “Bonds – and I’m not talking Barry!


Why did the vice-president of your company sell some of his vested options even though he expects the company to continue its success in the future? Learn why at The Digerati Life‘s post “8 Different Ways To Diversify And Manage Risk.”

How do people make decisions when faced with risky alternatives? Typically economists rely on expected utility theory to explain an individual decision-making. Jason Shafrin of Healthcare Economist discusses “Prospect Theory,” proposed by Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. Prospect Theory claims that people value money not in terms of its absolute value, but measured as gains and losses from a reference point.

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  1. Thanks for the hosting job! Wow, it’s short and sweet. I have to thank you for having me in this edition. 🙂 Will mention this on my weekend roundup!

  2. hgstern says:

    Terrific job, Jason! I especially appreciate the streamlining you’ve done.

    Thanks for hosting!!

  3. Joe Kristan says:

    Nice work. I should be clear though – while I submitted the IowaBiz post, Brian Honnold is the author of the post.

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  5. Thank you for giving me credit as author. However, as the author, it should state Brian Honnold’s article on surety bonds found by Joe Kristian wins the most clever title: “Bonds – and I’m not talking Barry!”

    Don’t you agree?