Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Lessons from Obamacare: Comments on Vox’s article

Sarah Kliff and Ezra Klein and Ezra Klein of Vox have an interesting article on “The Lessons of Obamacare“.   I list the lessons below from the article and discuss whether I agree or disagree with the statement and why. Lesson 1: Everything in health care is a painful trade-off. Own it. Agree.  The authors provide a […]

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The Changing US Health Insurance Market

An interesting paper by Graves and Nikpay (2017) look at the evoluation of the health insurance market before and after Obamacare.  The authors find We found that the ACA’s unprecedented coverage changes increased transitions to Medicaid and nongroup coverage among the uninsured, while strengthening the existing employer-sponsored insurance system and improving retention of public coverage. […]

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The last Obamacare sign up?

Today is the last day to sign up for Obamacare for 2017.  If President Trump has his way, it could be the last day to sign up for Obamacare ever.  In fact, Marketplace reports that Trump administration decided to pull ads promoting last-minute sign-ups, although it reversed that decision shortly after. The media put forth mixed estimates […]

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Dismantling Obamacare: A How to Guide

President Trump today released an Executive Order that asked the secretary of HHS to: “…exercise all authority and discretion available to them to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay” parts of the law that would place a fiscal burden on states, individuals or health-care providers. Most of the provisions in the ACA can’t just be […]

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Good News-Bad News in Covered California

First the good news, it appears that the Covered California marketplace is working.  People are selecting lower cost options and forcing insurers to compete.  Gabel et al. (2017) state that …the average purchased price for all plans was 11.6 percent less than the average offered price in 2014, 13.2 percent less in 2015, and 15.2 percent less in […]

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Republican plans to replace Obamacare

From Aaron Carroll at the Incidental Economist:

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Obamacare Death Spiral?

Health insurance premiums are projected to increase an astronomical 25% for plans in the health insurance exchanges. Some pundits claim that these increases represent that Obamacare is crumbling or in a death spiral. As premiums rise, healthy people flee the market. This leaves insurers with only more sick individuals which leads to premium increases. More […]

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Bad news for Obamacare?

Premiums are rising.  HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell stated: Building a new market is never easy,” she told the group at HHS headquarters. “We expect this to be a transition period for the marketplace. Issuers are adjusting their prices, bringing them in line with actual data on costs.” Burwell’s comments foreshadow the higher premiums expected when […]

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The End of the Obamacare Exchanges

Princeton economist Uwe Reinhardt things so.  In an interview with Vox he states: The natural business model of a private commercial insurer is to price on health status and have the flexibility to raise prices year after year. What we’ve tried to do, instead, is do community rating [where insurers can’t price on how sick […]

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Physician Access in California Obamacare Plans

Health plans in the health insurance marketplaces have been competing to keep prices low, while still offering all the services mandated under the Affordable Care Act. One way to do this is to restrict provider networks to lower cost providers.   For patients, restricting provider networks may be a good deal if (i) the quality of […]

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