Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for July, 2008

Health Insurance costs increase 60% over 3 years?

At least this is what David Williams of the Health Business Blog has experienced in paying for his firm’s Blue Cross/Blue Shield plan.  “This year’s increase is 13.3 percent, on top of last year’s 26.3 percent increase and an 11 percent increase the year before. Thanks to the magic of compounding it means the premium […]

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How do the Amish pay for medical care?

There is an interesting article a few weeks back in the Wall Street Journal (“Opting Out“) which describes the plight of Amish and Old Order Mennonites who refuse to buy health insurance. Further, since these groups also refuse to participate in Medicaid government assistance will not bail them out either. Nevertheless, these societies do have […]

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Using Social Networking Software to increase Blood Donation Rates

Takes All Types uses social networking software such as Facebook to reach out to donors when blood is needed in their local area.

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Medical Insurance, Technological Change, and Welfare

Can technological change make people worse off? Most economists think technical improvements are always good. Producing more of the output with fewer input is considered a more efficient use of resources. But is this the case in the medical field? John Goddeeris shows that this may not always be the case in his 1984 paper. […]

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Personal Finance Site: Buxfer

I recently read an article in Consumer Reports about online budgeting tools.  I decided to try out Buxfer.com myself and was really impressed with the site. You are easily able to upload statements from your bank, paypal, credit card and other accounts.  The site automatically applies tags to certain transactions so you can easily chart […]

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Junk food tax and Pringles

Pierre Dubois of VoxEU has a suggestion to reduce obesity rates: a junk food tax. Dubois claims that a junk food tax of 5% would reduce junk food consumption by 15% and thus reduce obesity. While junk food is not healthy, it offers the most calories per dollar. Thus, a junk food tax would fall […]

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A generational shift in Academic Faculty

The New York Times has an interesting report (“On Campus…“) discussing the fact that older, more liberal professors raised in the 1960s are slowly retiring.  They are being replaced by younger professors who are less ideologically driven then their senior faculty members.  Currently, over half of academic faculty is over 50 years old while only […]

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Revealed Preferences

Generally, economists believe that individuals are rational and make choices to maximize utility. How do you reconcile the fact that most people would prefer to own a Ferrari, but actually own a car like a Toyota Matrix? Once you take into account all aspects of this choice (including price) then the Toyota Matrix doesn’t look […]

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Playing sports increases your paycheck

The WSJ Real Time Economics blog reviews a paper by Michael Lechner which finds that “sports-playing adults saw a boost in income of about 1,200 euros per year over 16 years when compared to their less active peers. That translates into a 5-10% rate of return on sports activities, roughly equal to the benefit of […]

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The Economy and a “Disease-led Recovery”

Jonathan Rowe’s essay (“Our Phony Economy“) in the June edition of Harper’s Magazine criticizes the blind use of GDP as the only measure of the economy. GDP by definition looks at the total quantity of good produced in a given year. Rowe wisely notes that solely relying on GDP can omit some important aspects which […]

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