Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for August, 2008

I.O.U.S.A.

The U.S. is in a huge amount of debt. This will only worsen in the short- to medium-term as the the baby boomers retire and Medicare and Social Security budgets balloon. Here’s a movie about it. “This country has started consuming more than it produces.” – Warren Buffet

Read the rest of this entry »

Health Economist + Emergency Room = Death Threats

NPR’s Morning Edition reports on what happened when health economist Philip Musgrove brought a dying man to an emergency room.  The receptionist with whom Dr. Musgrove interacted would not treat a the man until his health insurance information was collected.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Health Wonk Review is up

The latest edition of the Health Wonk Review is up at Workers Comp Insider. Here are some of my favorite posts from the HWR: David Williams’ Health Business Blog on the WSJ’s investigative reporting (a newspaper actually used the words “standard error”…amazing!) Bob Laszewski’s HC Policy and Marketplace Review on the UK’s NHS decision to […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Olympic Post IV: Pauly on Health Insurance in India and China

In the July/August 2008 edition of Health Affairs, health economist Mark Pauly discuss his opinions with respect to the evolution of health insurance in India and China. He notes that in both countries, rising incomes has lead to increased demand for medical care, especially in urban areas. Despite the increased demand for medical care, there […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Al Jazeera English Television Appearance for Healthcare Economist

Today I appeared on the Al Jazeera English News station, broadcast all over the world (watch live). I was involved in a debate with a pediatrician from Washington, D.C. regarding the merits and demerits of a single-payer health care system.

Read the rest of this entry »

Closing the (Happiness) Inequality Gap

Income inequality has generally increased since the 1970s. Even for researchers who find that income inequality has Does this mean that happiness inequality has also increased? An NBER working paper by Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers claims that this is not the case. Below is the a portion of the abstract. While there has been […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Why did the post office lose $1 billion?

The International Herald Tribune reports that the U.S. Postal Service has posted a $1.1 billion dollar loss in the past quarter. What are the reasons for this huge loss? First, total mail volume is down 5.5% from last year, likely due to the economic slowdown and the gradual increase in internet communication over time. Also, […]

Read the rest of this entry »

The uninsured don’t want health insurance?

Economists often state that uninsured individuals do not “want” health insurance. Joe Paduda claims that this is not the case; most uninsured do want health insurance. Mr. Paduda cites a Washington Post, Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University survey which shows that “when asked why they don’t participate in their employer’s program, 1% of survey […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Obama vs. McCain health care policies

Barack Obama and John McCain both believe that they know how to improve the American health care system. A policy brief by Michael Tanner has nice summary of the two candidates policies. I will review some of this paper today. Obama’s general health care policy Obama goal is to expand government provided health care and […]

Read the rest of this entry »

“Spending on bioterror defense has made us less safe”

Merrill Goozner of GoozNews has an interesting interview with Richard Ebright, a chemistry professor at Rutgers University.  The two discuss the Bruce Ivins, anthrax, and bioterrorism.  A few poignant excerpts. Ebright: “We’ve spent $57 billion in biodefense since 2001. The annual budget for NIH is only $30 billion. The spending has been disproportionate to the […]

Read the rest of this entry »