Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for March, 2008

Health Insurance: Why rent when you could own?

Devon M. Herrick writes an article (“Why rent…“) creating a clever analogy comparing HSAs to equity in a house. He likens traditional health insurance to renting a home, while having a Health Savings Account (HSA) is more like owning the home. Making contributions to HSAs in essence gives you “equity” towards future health care expenses. […]

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Pinal County Arizona Health Care Delivery System – 2008 Conference

Last Friday I was the keynote speaker for the Pinal County (Arizona) Health Care Delivery System – 2008 Conference. The conference had an interesting mix of speakers (see agenda). Speakers included Lisa Garcia, the Assistant County Manager of Health and Human Services, two academics from the University of Arizona (Gary Hart and Keith Joiner), and […]

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Money for nothin…and chicks for free

A recent article in the Journal of Health Economics found that increasing Medicare reimbursement may have no meaningful effect on hospital use or patient outcomes. “There is widespread concern about the quality of health care in the US, and the effect of provider payments on the quality of care is an important and unsettled issue […]

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Who are Health Economists? What do they do?

Most people do not understand what a health economist is. Where do they work? What do they do? How do they spend their time?  How are they trained? A paper by Morrisey and Cawley (Health Econ 2008) attempts to answer this question. The authors conducted an online survey to achieve a better understanding of what […]

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Immigrants reduce health care costs?

David Williams of the Health Business Blog reviews an article from the Boston Globe (“Immigrants…“)  stating that immigrants reduce the cost of health care.  How can this be with so many immigrants relying on government programs and free clinics to receive their care? While it is true that immigrants are consumers of medical care, they […]

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Are economists brain damaged?

Many economists espouse utilitarianism as a superior ethical framework to proposed alternatives. A paper in Nature magazine finds that “Damage to the prefrontal cortex increases utilitarian moral judgements.” Maybe there is some merit to the paper…economists have always been a strange breed.

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Cavalcade of Risk #48

The latest edition of the Cavalcade of Risk is up at Insurance Yak. Some of my favorite articles include: InsureBlog finds a health insurance plan that costs $350 – $480 per year. Of course, there are $100 deductibles and 80%-90% coinsurnace, but this does seem like a good deal. This is pet insurance. The Fundmastery […]

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John DiNardo hates Freakonomics

Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner is an extremely popular book that has made economics a (somewhat) sexy topic of discussion. Levitt’s research makes economics exciting and his quirky, controversial studies make interesting reading. John DiNardo, however, thinks that even Freakonomics is “interesting” and “entertaining,” it may not be revealing truths. Dr. DiNardo […]

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AEA Resources

The American Economic Association (AEA) has some great resources for economists.  For instance,  it has links to: Rankings of the Top Economics Graduate programs Articles on Economists’ salaries and the Economist Job Market Articles on Economics Graduate Schools General information on Graduate study in Economics

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Medicare to surpass Social Security expenditures in 2028

The [Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust] fund also continues to fail our long-range test of close actuarial balance by a wide margin. The projected date of HI Trust Fund exhaustion is 2019, the same as in last year’s report, when dedicated revenues would be sufficient to pay only 78 percent of HI costs. Projected HI dedicated […]

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