Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for February, 2009

Turkish Hospitals

In Turkey, the number of private hospitals has expanded from 250 in 2006 to 375 in 2008. Healthcare Europa reports that Turkish private hospitals previously charged whatever prices they pleased.  The government health insurance plan would pay the basic rate to the private hospitals, and the patient would be responsible for any difference between the […]

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Medicare: Primary Docs to get more money, Specialists less

Joe Paduda of Managed Care Matters has a two great posts on Medicare’s new payment structure.   The first post reports how exactly Medicare is changing its reimbursement for medical services.  “It looks like reimbursement for cognitive services – the 99xxx codes for readers expert in CPT-4s…office visits and similar services for others – will […]

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Bailout: A Stimulus Plan for Lobbyists

The economic stimulus plan is looking to spend money on “shovel ready” infrastructure projects.  Even though stimulus bill funds have not yet been spent, fiscal policy has already generated increased economic activity in one sector: lobbying. NPR’s Marketplace reports that Washington lobbyists earned a record-breaking $3.2 billion last year. Sheila Krumholz, Executive Director for the Center for […]

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Obama’s Address to Congress

While President Obama’s speech to Congress had many components, I’m going to focus on those related to health care.  I will also comment on the Republican response. OBAMA ADDRESS I applaud the President for specifically addressing the need for health care reform. “…we can no longer afford to put health care reform on hold. We […]

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Procrastination

Ph.D. students have one goal: finish your dissertation.  While this may seem like an easy task, it is one that is difficult and takes many years to complete.  A dissertation in economics is made up of 3 chapters (usually  3 separate papers).  Why does it take some grad students 7 years, 8 years or more […]

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California raises state sales tax 1%

Two weeks ago I did a piece looking at the cost of living in different states.  One major dimension of the cost of living is state sales and incomes taxes.  With the recent economic downturn, it looks like I’ll have to update my numbers. California currently has the highest sales tax of any state (7.25%).  […]

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Should a Government Health Plan compete with Private Health Plans?

“If you do not have insurance you can choose to enroll in the new public plan, which will offer benefits similar to what every federal employee and member of Congress gets. Or you can choose private plan options…” Barack Obama.com Should the government develop a health plan that would compete with private health plans?  Thomas Rice thinks […]

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The shortsightedness of the “Buy American” clause

Many politicians are proposing that a “Buy American” clause be included in the stimulus package.  This is bad idea.  Protecting American jobs from foreign may seem like a good idea to save jobs.  However, if  “Buy American” bill is passed other countries will institute their own protectionist provisions.  In fact, Brazil may challenge the “Buy […]

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Economy’s Impact on the University of California

Due to the poor economy and state budget deficit , the University of California will face a $450 million shortfall.

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Limitations of the “Science” of Economics

From Nobel Prize winner Friedrich A. Hayek’s “Pretence of Knowledge” Speech. “Unlike the position that exists in the physical sciences, in economics and other disciplines that deal with essentially complex phenomena, the aspects of the events to be accounted for about which we can get quantitative data are necessarily limited and may not include the important […]

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