Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for October, 2008

Three Part Series on Health Insurance

The Los Angeles Times has a three part series looking at the health insurance market in the U.S. An eroding model for health insurance. Seeking distance from medical risk, insurers branch out into banking. Individual policies, often the only coverage available, are pricey and precarious.

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McCain and the Tax Deductibility of Health Insurance

What are the tax implications of John McCain’s health care proposal?  The key components are that health insurance will no longer be tax deductible but individuals will receive a $5000 credit of purchasing health insurance.  Let’s work out some simple math to see how this will impact the life of a typical American. Example with […]

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Thoughts on individual mandates

Health insurance require that all individuals buy health insurance.  Most voters views on an individual mandate depend on how you frame the question.  If you ask voters: “Should everyone buy health insurance?”  Most people will say yes. If you ask “Should the government compel all individuals to buy health insurance regardless of the cost?”  Then […]

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Insured use emergency room more often for primary care issues than uninsured

The Star Ledger reports that “uninsured patients are less likely to visit the emergency department for non-urgent care than insured patients.”  The conclusion is based on an article in this month’s edition of JAMA written by Newton, Keirns, Cunningham, Hayward, and Stanley (2008).   The authors examined 127 articles which studied adult medical and surgical care of uninsured patients in emergency […]

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Cavalcade of Risk #63

The latest edition of the Cavalcade of Risk is up at John Cogan’s Regulating Health Insurance.  Mr. Cogan even claimed that I’m “everyone’s favorite graduate student.”  Some of my favorite posts include: Blogging is a dangerous profession and may require blogging insurance. Lawrence G. Lux discusses the financial crisis. David Williams discusses physician bias in […]

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Will technology kill health care?

Information technology has the possibility of greatly increasing the efficiency of health care.  EMRs can reduce the cost of accessing patient information.  New technologies can make medical devices more effective.   But is there a cost to increased medical technology?  GigaOM wonders “…will widespread diagnostics increase the burden on healthcare? Somewhere between 10 and 50 […]

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China and Universal Health Care

The Wall Street Journal reports that China is aiming for Universal Health Care.  The Chinese hope to cover 90% of the population within 2 years, and provide health coverage for all Chinese by 2020.  “This all stands in contrast to China’s current system, which provides little government funding to government hospitals and requires patients to pay heavy out-of-pocket […]

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The unintended consequences of expanding low-income home ownership rates

The New York Times has an revealing article on Henry Cisneros.  Mr. Cisneros was the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under President Clinton.  In an attempt to expand home ownership rates, especially among low-income households, Mr. Cisneros loosened mortgage restrictions.  ” Families no longer had to prove they had five years of stable income; three […]

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Offshorable Economists

In recent years, economists have examined the phenomenon of offshoring.  Offshorable service jobs are characterized by a number of factors.   Jensen and Kletzer note that offshorable jobs have little face-to-face customer contact and work processes that can be monitored via the internet.  Thus, data entry is easily offshorable whereas barbershop services are not. A paper […]

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Taxpayer money used to lobby politicians

What is AIG doing with the bailout money it has received from the federal government?  The Wall Street Journal reports that AIG is “…using taxpayer money in its effort to soften new federal controls over the mortgage industry.”

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