Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for the 'Health Reform' Category

Progress on Obamacare Sign-ups

According to the N.Y. Times: Despite the Trump administration’s efforts to scale back the health law, about 300,000 more people have signed up for health insurance in the Affordable Care Act marketplaces in the first weeks of this enrollment period than last year. This is about a 25% increase from last year at this time.  However, […]

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Why shopping for health insurance is hard

The premise is simple.  Create markets, let consumers choose the products that fit them best, and the competition will lead to higher quality and lower prices.  That is the premise behind the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchanges.  A necessary condition for this to work, however, is that patients have visibility into the quality and […]

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Trump tax bill keeps the individual mandate

The Trump tax bill–potentially known as the “the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act“– includes provisions such as increasing the standard deduction and reducing the number of tax brackets from 7 to 4.  Additionally, a number of deductions are removed–such as capping local and state property tax deductions at $10,000 and only allowing mortgage interest deductions for […]

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How to reduce spending on unnecessary care (the answer is not what you think)

The way to solve this question is easy, right?  The first step is to define what constitutes unnecessary care.  Then identify the highest cost manifestations of unnecessary care.  Then, create interventions that stop providers from providing this care.  Simple, right? Maybe not according to a paper by Mafi et al. (2017).  The authors appear to […]

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What is Graham Cassidy?

The Republican’s latest health care bill is the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson (GCHJ) proposal or Graham Cassidy for short. Below is my super short summary of the bill. What does it propose? The Washington Post has a nice summary which shows that the bill would: Not force you to buy insurance (repeal the individual mandate) Not force employers to […]

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Why “value” is central to true health care reform

Morning Consult has an interesting piece from Mark Linthicum, the Director of Scientific Communication at the Innovation and Value Initiative (IVI) titled “Why Understanding Value Is Central to True Health Care Reform“.  In the piece he argues: The true problem is that dollars are poured into a system without any clear understanding of how worthwhile […]

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How many people don’t have any health insurance options

Much of the news has claimed that the Affordable Care Act is a failure because individuals in many counties have few or even no health insurance options.  However, how many counties truly will have zero Obamacare exchange insurance options in 2018 ? The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that there are only 17 counties covering 9,595 […]

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Why people don’t like the Affordable Care Act?

The reason may be the exact problem that the ACA was trying to solve.  The ACA was trying to increase the affordability of health care.  They did this in part through the creation of the exchanges and patient subsidies.  However, premium rises have been double digits for multiple years and amount patients have to cover […]

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CBO Scores Better Care

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently scored the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.  What did they conclude? The good news: The Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 is a fiscally responsible bill.  According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Better Care cuts taxes by $701 billion between 2017-2026 but would also cut spending by […]

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Wise words on State vs. Federal Administration of Medicaid

Yuval Levin has an interesting article in The Nation on Obamacare and the Senate’s most recently proposed bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Ace.  There has been a lot of arguments on both sides of the aisle about Better Care especially in terms of the provisions to decrease Medicaid funding and devolve more power to the States. […]

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