Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for July, 2009

Is health care demand elastic?

Most experts believe that health care demand is fairly inelastic. If you are sick, you will not be very price sensitive. There are exceptions to this rule (e.g., elective surgery such as plastic surgery, purchases of eyeglasses) but most studies find that patients are fairly insensitive to changes in health care prices. For instance, the […]

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Obama vs. Tanner

President Obama says: “If you like your current health-care plan, you can keep it.” “You will pay less.” “Quality will improve.” Michael Tanner says: You can’t buy any insurance, only “insurance that includes all the benefits government thinks you should have.”  Further, the government plan may dominate the market because the public plan “would be […]

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Rationing Health Care

The N.Y. Times Magazine has a nice piece on rationing health care, but nothing too new if you’ve been a loyal reader of the Healthcare Economist. Below is an excerpt. “Health care is a scarce resource, and all scarce resources are rationed in one way or another. In the United States, most health care is […]

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The American Forty Years War

The U.S. is currently involved with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but its longest running entanglement is its war on drugs.  Marketplace reports that “the war on drugs, though, has been going on for four decades. Forty years ago today President Nixon asked Congress to create a national anti-drug policy. It became the war on […]

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Public Plan enrollment freeze

Many health reformers are urging President Obama to pass legislation which would create a public, Medicare-style health plan which would be available for all individuals.  The plan would be open to all…or would it.  If a government ran a huge deficit and had to cut spending, would there be an enrollment freeze if the public […]

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Obama’s Economic Case for Health Reform

Health Reform is at the top of President Obama’s list of reform efforts. Mr. Obama claims that not only will health reform improve the physical health of the nation, it will also improve its economic health. In a Council of Economic Advisers Report, President Obama lists three reasons why slowing health care costs and expanding […]

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The latest Cavalcade of Risk is now up

The 82nd edition of the Cavalcade of Risk is up at Colorado Health Insurance Insider.

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Physician Organization and Quality of Care

Previous studies have found that paitents of staff/group model HMOs consistently report lower quality of care than patients of Network HMOs.  The finding of Rodriguez et al. (2009) contradicts these assumptions.  They find the following: Physicians belonging to integrated medical groups had better performance on the communication and care coordination measures. Physicians belonging to medical […]

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Do for-profit hospitals reduce safety net services?

Social safety net services are necessary, but often unprofitable for hospitals. Is the expansion of HMOs and for-profit hospitals jeopardizing these safety net servies? This is the question researcher Yu-Chu Shen investigates. To test this hypothesis, Shen examines how changes in the market share of HMOs and for-profit HMOs affects probability of shutting down following […]

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Kidney Chains, Kidney Sales

The Atlantic discusses the possibility of organ sales and organ chains.  This is something I have advocated for here, here and here.

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