Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

The Teeth of the Individual Mandate

…are not very strong.  Here are the penalties individuals will have to pay if they don’t have insurance: These penalties are not steep. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that the cost of a single employer health insurance plan in 2012 was $5,615 and the cost of a family plan was $15,745. This means that in […]

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HEALTH REFORM UPHELD

Today the Supreme Court upheld the large majority of Affordable Care Act (a.k.a., Health Reform, ObamaCare, ACA) including the individual mandate. Why was the individual mandate allowed to remain in the law?  According to Justice Ginsburg and others, it is a form of a tax. “Justice Ginsburg makes clear that the vote is 5-4 on […]

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How to drop the individual mandate and avoid the collapse of the private health insurance market

Today, the Supreme Court is deciding  whether to let many of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. ACA, a.k.a. Health Reform, a.k.a. Obamacare) stand.  One of the key provisions is the individual mandate.  The individual mandate requires all individuals to purchase health insurance.  If you don’t buy health insurance, you must pay a […]

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The End of Health Reform Starts in Ohio?

One of the key tenets of health reform is that insurers cannot charge different premiums to individuals based on their pre-existing conditions.  Under this type of system, the optimal strategy for many individuals is to not buy any health insurance until one gets sick.  Since insurers cannot charge these sicker people higher premiums based on […]

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Predicting a Religious Revival in 2014

The Healthcare Economist predicts a religious revival in 2014.  Let me be more specific, in January 2014.  How do I know this?  Am I a religious man?  Has God spoken to me? Let’s just say I have a certain insight.  In 2014, the individual mandate goes into effect.  All individuals must buy health insurance or […]

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U.S. Began Providing Socialized Health Care in 1798

While walking around in San Francisco’s Presidio, I noticed a refurbished building which happened to be a former Public Health Service Hospital.  After investigating its origins, I dug up the following information regarding one of the United States’ first efforts to provide an individual health insurance mandate: “In July of 1798, Congress passed – and […]

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Repealing the Mandate: What does it mean?

On Monday, a federal judge in Florida declared that the individual mandate in the health reform law is unconstitutional. Some people are excited; other are not.  What does this mean for you?  Today I will explain. Why is the individual mandate so important? As part of health reform (PPACA), insurance companies can no longer adjust […]

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Effect of Massachusetts Health Reform on Hospital and Preventive Care

Kolstad and Kowalski (2010) examine how the Massachusetts individual mandate affected uninsurance rates, hospital and outpatient utilization, and preventive care: “Among the population discharged from the hospital in Massachusetts, the reform decreased uninsurance by 28% relative to its initial level. Increased coverage affected utilization patterns by decreasing length of stay and the number of inpatient […]

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Health Care Reform in Massachusetts

With healthcare reform having passed, how will the health insurance market look a few years from now?  Although Mitt Romney may (or may not) deny it, Massachusetts has been a model for President Obama’s health reform bill.  In 2006, Massachusetts passed its own health reform and when the share of uninsured residents was at 14%.  […]

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Will Obama’s Healthcare Reform Produce a Religous Revival?

Many of the healthcare reform bills  under consideration include an individual mandate.  If you don’t purchase health insurance you pay a fee.  For the Senate Finance Committee and Senate Health Committee, this penalty would be up to $750.  The House Version would assess the fee as 2.5 percent of adjusted gross income over a certain […]

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