Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

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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ACA, Medicaid Enrollment and the Woodwork Effect

The Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act with one major exception; it declared that states did not have to expand their Medicaid eligibility rules. However, the ACA may have indirectly increased Medicaid enrollment even in States that did not change their eligilbity rules. Avalere Health reports that: 17 of the 26 states that did not […]

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CBO vs. Urban: ACA and Unemployment

Will the Affordable Care Act (aka ACA, aka Obamacare) cost American millions of jobs. A recent report by the CBO says yes. CBO estimates that the ACA will reduce the total number of hours worked, on net, by about 1.5 percent to 2.0 percent during the period from 2017 to 2024, almost entirely because workers […]

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Explaining Geographic Variation in Exchange Enrollment

Why did state-based health insurance exchanges (HIEs) enroll more people than those that were federally run?  One reason of course is the problems with healthcare.gov.  However, there may be other reasons as well.  A RWJF report finds the following. This analysis reveals extreme differences in the amount of funding available to states to help consumers […]

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Wisconsin’s Unique Medicaid Non-Expansion

The Supreme Court ruled that the Affordable Care Act was legal with one exception: the federal government could not require states to increase Medicaid eligibility. Although States were not required to make Medicaid eligibility more generous, the did have an incentive to do so. The federal government will pay 90% of the cost of enrolling […]

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Obamacare: “The single, biggest untold story of the numbers right now”

How many people will sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA, Obamacare)? There are a number of different projections. WonkBlog reports: The big political focus has been on whether exchange enrollment by March 31 will reach 6 million, the revised estimate provided by the Congressional Budget Office. After the Department of Health […]

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