Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for June, 2009

Friday Links

The minimum wage will increase from $6.55 to $7.25 next month.  David Neumark thinks writes that we should delay the minimum wage increase.  I agree. Innovation in baseball ticket pricing. Best cities to live in as ranked by The Economist or median house price to median income ratio. Solving health care with a public plan co-op. Tyler […]

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Paying poor people to get vaccinated

Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programs have become very popular among development economists.  This programs pay poor families to have their children attend school and/or get vaccinated.  Some of the larger programs include Bolsa Família in Brazil and Oportunidades in Mexico.   Should economists support CCTs that pay the poor to get vaccinated?  This depends on 2 factors: 1) […]

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Health Wonk Review – Health Reform Edition

Sick and tired of today’s health care system?  Joe Paduda hosts this weeks Health Reform HWR, where scholars, professionals, and pundits all give their opinion of how to improve our healthcare system.

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50 days to see a doctor in Boston…Is Massachusetts’ universal coverage laws the cause?

From the USA Today, here are the wait times to see a doctor in the following cities: Boston: 49.6 Philadelphia: 27 Los Angeles: 24.2 Houston: 23.4 Washington, D.C.: 22.6 San Diego 20.2 Minneapolis: 19.8 Dallas: 19.2 New York: 19.2 Denver: 15.4 days Miami: 15.4 days The first thing that jumps out from these numbers is that […]

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Shadow Price

Let us say you are a person trying to choose between buying bananas and oranges. What you are trying to do is maximize a utility function u(x,y) where x represents bananas and y represents oranges.  You can not buy an infinite amount of each however.  This is subject to a budget constraint.  Thus, we have […]

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Top Countries for Biotechnology Innovation

Scientific American has an article ranking countries based on how conducive they are to biotechnology innovation.  The criteria are based on what is best for biotech firms and not necessary what is best for society.  The rankings are based on the following metrics: Intellectual Property (IP) protection.  In this ranking, more IP protection is considered better.  For […]

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Medical Advances

The Economist‘s Technology Quarterly reveals some recent advances in medical technology: Cockroachs: A model for artificial hearts. A laser that would make Dr. Evil proud: one that fights malaria. Mobile phones used to monitor Tb compliance. No more MRIs?  The advent of photoacoustic imaging.

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Public Health Plan

Should we have “a public plan that Americans can buy into as an alternative to private insurance?” Yes: Paul Krugman. No: Greg Mankiw.

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CPS undercounts Medicaid Enrollees

Survey estimates of Medicaid enrollment are 43 percent lower than raw Medicaid program enrollment counts.  Why is this the case?  Roebuck and Liberman (HSR 2009) find that many people are not reporting that they have Medicaid coverage.  “43 percent of Medicaid enrollees answering the CPS as though they were not enrolled and 17 percent reported […]

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Estimating Price increases for Medicare using Bundling

One question that plagues health economists is estimating the price inflation of medical care.  The output measured in these indices should be “health,” but this is often difficult to measure. Typically, economists simply look at the price increase of different inputs (e.g., the cost of a doctor’s visit, the cost of pharmaceuticals, the cost of […]

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