Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for March, 2009

Income not keeping pace with health insurance cost

A recent report from Cover the Insured.org reviews the how health insurance trends have evolved over the last ten to fifteen years.  The percent of uninsured individuals has increased from 16.0% of the population in 1995 to 17.5% of the population in 2006.  The increase is entirely due to the increase in uninsurance among working […]

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Prevention and Cost

More evidence that although preventive may improve patient health, it may also increase costs.  (See also my post from 12 Feb 2008). Afschin Gandjour (2009) “Aging diseases – do they prevent preventive health care from saving costs?”  Health Economics, v18(3): 355-362.

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The History of Least Squares

Let us say you have 10 observations of 2 different variables.  How do you determine which of the observations to use?  Should you throw out the outliers?  Should you only include the most similar values?  Does more observations increase or decrease the amount of measurement error? These problems can be answered by the discipline of Statistics. […]

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Quotation of the Day

“I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult.” — E.B. White

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Newspapers: Do we need them?

Denver’s Rocky Mountain News: closed.  Seattle’s Post Intelligencer: closed.  San Diego’s Union Tribune: sold to a private equity firm.  The demise of the newspaper has been reported across different media.  The question is, do we really need newspapers or can the internet do just as good a job?  Below, I look at all the sections of […]

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Why don’t Americans read foreign books?

Percent of books published in each country that were translated works: South Korea: 29% Spain: 25% Italy: 22% China: 4% U.S. (adult fiction): 3.5% U.S. (total): 3% Kushner, Aviya (2009) “McCulture” Wilson Quarterly, Winter 2009, 33(1):22-29.

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Spring has Sprung Health Wonk Review

David Harlow’s Health Blawg is hosting the “Spring has just about sprung” edition of the Health Wonk Review.

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Loss Aversion and Autism

If you have $50, would you rather lose $30 or keep $20.  After a little bit of thought, you probably realize that these are the same thing.  Experimental economists, however, have generally found that individuals will go to great lengths to avoid the $30 loss.   This phenomenon is named  loss aversion.   In prospect theory, loss […]

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Should Water be Free?

No matter the price, John Keesecker of Food and Water Watch argues that selling water for profit is a bad idea. Keesecker: “I think when folks see water being privatized, they see a price being put on something that’s essential.” – Marketplace. Should water be free?  Water is a necessity.  Without it, you cannot live.  In an egalitarian […]

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Life Expectancy in Latin America

Soares (2009) examines the relationship between income and life expectancy around the world and particularly with respect to Latin America.  Table 1 shows GDP growth per capita and life expectancy increases around the world.  Table 2 decomposes the gains in life expectancy by age group.  Some notable findings are: We see significant progress in East […]

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