Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for August, 2009

Finding the Canadian, British, and German health care systems right here in the U.S.

What is the health care system like in other countries? Is the medical care in Canada superior to that of the U.S., or do they lack technology and have long waiting lines? Is Germany’s employer-provided health insurance better than ours? On NPR’s Fresh Air, author T.R. Reid explains that you don’t need travel anywhere to […]

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Calculating zero inflation when drug costs rose from $100 to $36,000

A paper by  Claudio Lucarelli and Sean Nicholson  (2009) examines the skyrocketing cost of colorectal cancer treatment.  In 1993, the price of treating these patients with chemotherapy was only $100.  By 2005, this price had skyrocketed to $36,000.  Is this what is wrong with our health care system? The authors claim that the answer is […]

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Are San Franciscans more adventurous Food Eaters?

Are San Francisco residents more adventurous food eaters than people in say North Dakota? The probability that Bay Area residents have sampled Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, Mexican, Salvadoran, or Ethiopian food is much higher than the person living in North Dakota. But what does adventurous really mean? San Franciscans may be just as adventurous as people […]

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HWR is posted

The latest edition of the Health Wonk Review is up at David Williams’ Health Business Blog.

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Health Reform: What is being proposed?

Are you in favor of reform of the health care system or not? This question is difficult to answer because few people know what reforms are actually being proposed. Do not worry, the Healthcare Economist is here to help. Currently, there are four major plans on the table: Senate Finance Committee Policy Options.  The plan […]

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Do we spend too much on immigrant health care?

The Immigration Policy Center believes not.  Some evidence they give includes: Ku (AJPH 2009) reports that “immigrants’ medical costs averaged about 14% to 20% less than those who were US born.” Four out of five people in America who have no insurance are U.S. citizens.   The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research found that in 2005 one out of every five […]

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Looming Threat: H1N1 Outbreak in the Fall

The Washington Post reports that most Americans are not very concerned about swine flu.  Should they be worried?  Maps from the New England Journal of Medicine and RhizaLabs detail that swine flu is still a problem. The CDC reports that “from April 15, 2009 to July 24, 2009, states reported a total of 43,771 confirmed […]

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How does changing medical prices affect patient demand?

Price elasticity estimates how consumer demand changes as prices change.  For instance, the price elasticity of medical service is defined as the percentage change in quantity of medical care demanded divided by the percentage change in price of the same commodity.  Most academics believe that the price elasticity for medical services is between 0 and […]

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Tuesday Links

How to cure Hepatitis: Ban it. An Oxymoron or: How to cut health care cost using mandatory volunteering. Taking a cigarette break at work. Death to the Public Plan! Viva Co-ops? A bureaucrat is already rationing your health care.

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Should Uncle Sam feed Seniors cheesesteaks or cantaloupe?

Obesity is  growing problem in the United States.  As more people become increasingly obese, mortality rates will increase (or at least decrease less slowly than would have otherwise been the case).  However, increased mortality may be a blessing for Uncle Sam.  As more elderly die earlier from obesity-related diseases, the government will be able to […]

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