Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for March, 2010

“The country’s dismal rates of vaginal birth after Caesarean”

From the N.Y. Times: The national Caesarean rate, 31.8 percent, has been rising steadily for the last 11 years and is fed by repeat patients. Critics say that doctors are performing too many Caesareans, needlessly exposing women and infants to surgical risks and running up several billion dollars a year in excess bills, precisely the […]

Read the rest of this entry »

The Value of End-of-Life Medical Care

Some estimates claim that one-quarter of life-time spending on medical care occurs in the last year of an individual’s life.  Conventional wisdom says this is inefficient, but a paper by Philipson, Becker, Goldman and Murphy (2010) disagrees.  Individuals at the end of their life place very high value on terminal medical care for the following […]

Read the rest of this entry »

The Problem with Rent Control

Most economists rail against rent control.  Rent control distorts the real estate markets.  Individuals in rent controlled apartments are receiving ‘rents’ (in the economic sense) because they live in higher quality apartments than they are paying for.  In addition, it provides them a strong incentive to stay in their apartment even if they would prefer […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Health Wonk Review is up

Brad Wright of Wright on Health hosts the latest edition of the Health Wonk Review.

Read the rest of this entry »

Thursday Links

Today, we’ll start today off with some humor: Graphic on drug commercials. And then move on to more serious issues: How healthy is your county? Health reform in Bulgaria. 2009 Medical Weblog Awards. The conventional wisdom that Africa is not reducing poverty is wrong. The chicken and the egg: cost control or coverage? Nicole Kidman‘s pre-existing conditions.

Read the rest of this entry »

Health Insurance Subsidies (a.k.a Higher Marginal Tax Rates)

The health reform bills currently propose introduce health insurance subsidies for individuals who do not qualify for health insurance provided by the government.  The goal of these subsidies is to make health insurance more affordable for the lower and middle class. The subsidies gradually decrease for higher income levels. In “Obama’s Prescription for Low-Wage Workers,” […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Does hospital ambience affect patient health?

Does a fancy hospital interior and soothing music help promote faster healing?  Sharp Hospital system certainly things so. NPR’s Marketplace even covers the story: Dan Gross is executive vice president of Sharp Healthcare. I meet up with him in the lobby for my tour of the swanky Sharp Memorial. Its a $200-million hospital in San […]

Read the rest of this entry »

President Obama’s Health Care Plan

Here’s my take on President Obama’s health care plan. Tax credits for Health Insurance Premiums.  This will do nothing to change how much health care costs, it will just change who pays the premiums.  For middle class individuals, these subsidies will help make health insurance more affordable.  Because the wealthy won’t receive any subsidy (the […]

Read the rest of this entry »