Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for April, 2008

Medicare Advantage funding to be cut

David Whelan chronicles the rise (and possibly future fall) of Medicare Advantage programs in his article “Unfilled Prescription” in Forbes. Earlier laws privatizing Medicare, starting with a pilot program in 1985, were written to give insurance companies only 95% of the money otherwise spent per Medicare member. The insurers were supposed to figure out how […]

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Out of Poverty

Paul Polak’s book Out of Poverty could have just as easily been titled “How to get rich: a guide for small-time farmers in developing countries” or “Marketing to dollar-a-day earners.” Polak’s book states that donations –especially those run through the developing country government–will not end poverty. They have not so far. One reason is that […]

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Healthcare Economist ranked as a top 50 health blog

Wikio has their own ranking system of the top health blogs. The Healthcare Economist blog was ranked as #46 as of today.

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Health Wonk Review

The latest edition of the Health Wonk Review has been posted at The Health Care Blog by Brian Klepper.

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Incidence of Healthcare Costs of Obesity

Gruber (1994) shows that the costs of employer-provided health insurance benefits are passed on to employees through lower wages. But do employees with higher expected medical expenses have their wages reduced by a higher amount to reflect the additional medical costs to employers? This may not be the case if employers can not observe the […]

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UCSD Economics Departmant Ranked #10

According to the U.S. News and World Report UC San Diego was ranked as the tenth best economics department in the U.S.

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UCSD to Digitize Books with Google

KBPS reports that Google will begin digitizing tens of thousands of library books at my current school, UC San Diego (UCSD). Why was UCSD chosen?  Google states that UCSD has an “exceptional collection of social sciences and east asian books.”  Within six months, all UCSD books will be available online.

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Economics of Information

Most economics simplify markets and assume that there is one market price. In reality, however, we observe significant price dispersion. Because of this, we see that that searching for the lowest price–while costly–can buyers to superior outcomes. George Stigler (1961) is a seminal paper on the Economics of Information which I will review here. When […]

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Finite Mixture Models

Let us assume that there are two types of people: smart people an dumb people. Smart people’s test scores are normally distributed about 80% and dumb people’s tests scores are normally distributed about 40% on their test. If we observe the test score of one person, how do we know if they are smart or […]

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Gary Becker on Medicare Part D

Medicare is inefficient and expensive. Medicare has been expanded through Medicare Part D, which covers prescription drugs. Can expanding an inefficient, expensive system be a good thing? Gary Becker argues yes. Since drugs have high fixed research costs but low marginal costs, having the government pay for drugs can increase innovation. In fact, a working […]

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