Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for the 'Health Reform' Category

Healthcare.gov vs. Amazon.com

Which one is easier to use?  The answer to this is clear: Amazon.  Of course, health insurance is a much more difficult product for people to understand than most good at Amazon.  However, many policymakers may have underestimated the amount of customer service new enrollees in Healthcare.gov need.  The Washington Post reports: Just 13 percent of assistance […]

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How did the ACA affect Employer-Sponsored Insurance?

Most people think that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has focused on decreasing uninsurance rates by creating health insurance exchanges, providing subsidies for health insurance premiums for these exchanges, and expanding Medicaid. The ACA also has affected a number of other segments of the health care industry. Less well known is that the ACA also affected […]

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Obamacare will Increase Use of Elective Surgeries

Expanding health insurance causes moral hazard.  Patients who bear a lower share of cost will inevitably use more health care serices.  On the one hand, this increases the cost of the health care system; on the other hand, the patients who receive the additional care likely have better health outcomes. However, which services will patients who are newly […]

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SCOTUS Obamacare Ruling

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) recently ruled that family owned and other closely held companies can opt out of the Affordable Care Act’s provisions for no-cost prescription contraception in most health insurance if they have religious objections.  Is this a blow to Obamacare?  Yes and No.  The practical implications may be small but […]

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ACA, Uninsurance and American Cities

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) increased the likelihood individuals have insurance by: (i) offering states money to expand Medicaid eligibility, and (ii) offering individuals subsidies to purchase insurance through newly created health insurance exchanges.  Did it work?  A Robert Wood Johnson report examines at the effect of the ACA on uninsurance rates in 14 large […]

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A new Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze

Currently, patients entering the health insurance exchanges can choose from platinum, gold, silver and bronze plans.  What is the difference between them?  As the names indicate, platinum has the highest premium and bronze the lowest.  However, bronze plans may be more expensive.  Why is this?  In essence, all the plans cover the same items.  The […]

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Hospitals moving to the ‘burbs

The ACA offers States the option to expand Medicaid eligibility to millions of Americans.  The goal of the expansion was to increase poor and middle class Americans’s access to affordable health care.  However, access to acute care may be getting more difficult for poor individuals. A recent article looking at Milwaukee’s hospital market describes how hospitals are […]

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Health Reform in Minnesota

Was health reform successful in Minnesota?  If the metric of interest is reducing the number of uninsured, the answer is certainly yes.  A State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) report finds: The number of uninsured in Minnesota fell from 445,000 (8.2 percent of the population) to about 264,500 (4.9 percent of the population). How […]

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Is Massachusetts getting a singler payer system?

Maybe, if Donald Berwick becomes governor.  Mr. Berwick is the former administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). He ran CMS between 2010 and 2011, but left when Senate Republicans blocked his confirmation to lead the agency permanently.  Now, WonkBlog reports that Mr. Berwick is running for governor of Massachusetts.  His platform claims that the state–whose earlier […]

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Is Health Exchange enrollment overstated?

Over 8 million people have signed up for a health plan through the health insurance exchanges created by the Affordabe Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare).  Or have they?  Although policymakers may say that this is the truth, leaders at America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), say that these figures may be overstated for two reasons:  Changing enrollment: In […]

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