Tag: Healthcare

Why Won’t Medicare Pay for Medical Tourism? »

In a working paper published by the Mercatus Institute at George Mason University, Marc D. Joffe notes that Aetna, Blue Shield, and HealthNet offer health insurance in California that gives beneficiaries access to Mexican providers. The U.S. insurers rent a provider network from a Mexican insurer. The costs of health care in Mexico are...
Read More »

Obamacare’s Cost Is Down 8%, but That May Not Be Good News »

But so is access to doctors and hospitals in the plans offered on the health insurance exchanges. A Congressional Budget Office report estimates lower federal spending (see the figure). The reason: Health plans in the exchanges look more like Medicaid than like employer-based coverage. Jason Millman reports: The CBO report points out that it...
Read More »

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s Health Reform Proposal: Pros and Cons »

Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) has joined the number of Republicans with an alternative health reform. His Freedom and Empowerment Plan doesn’t mince words on repealing Obamacare: The American people are in favor of repealing Obamacare. But conventional wisdom in Washington holds that the law cannot be fully repealed. I couldn’t disagree more. A country that...
Read More »

Uninsured Patients Are 36 Percent More Likely To Get Medical Appointments Than Are Medicaid Patients »

According to data compiled by the Kaiser Family Foundation, in fiscal year 2010 the average Medicaid payment per enrollee was $5,563. To be sure, there was a wide variance: For aged Medicaid enrollees the average payment was $12,958, and for disabled enrollees it was $16,240. The average for adults was $3,025, and for children...
Read More »

Why Is Obamacare a Rube Goldberg Contraption? »

Paul Krugman has written another one of those columns where almost every single sentence is wrong. But he did get one thing right: The crucial thing to understand about the Affordable Care Act is that it’s a Rube Goldberg device, a complicated way to do something inherently simple. The biggest risk to reform has...
Read More »

Medicaid Patients’ Access to Specialists Has Dropped Almost One-Fifth in Five Years »

According to Merritt Hawkins’ 2014 survey of physician appointment times in fifteen urban markets (press release here, full report available by request from the firm), the proportion of physicians in five specialties (cardiology, dermatology, orthopedic surgery, ob/gyn, and family practice) accepting Medicaid patients dropped from 55.4 percent in 2009 to 45.7 percent — a drop...
Read More »

Hooray! The Medicare Doc Fix Is Fixed Until Next April! »

Congress has given up on repealing the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) as a way to pay physicians under Medicare. Last June, John Goodman wrote in this blog about the futility of politicians’ efforts to “fix” the way they pay physicians. At the end of 2013, Congress passed another short-term fix that prevented physicians’ reimbursements...
Read More »

Can Obamacare Be Fixed? Part II »

The reason we have so many problems in health care is that almost everywhere we look, people face perverse incentives — patients, doctors, employers, employees, etc. When they respond to those incentives, they do things that make costs higher, quality lower, and access to care more difficult than otherwise would have been the case....
Read More »

Employer-Based Health Insurance: “Job Lock” Is Not the Problem, “Insurance Lock” Is »

Over at The Incidental Economist, Austin Frakt is publishing an interesting series on “job lock”. This is the idea that, because most of us get our health benefits from our employers, we are “locked” into jobs we don’t like because they offer benefits which we do like (or need). We get our health benefits...
Read More »

This Large Health Insurer Has Effectively Admitted Obamacare Is Failing »

People can be forgiven for being confused about the effects of Obamacare. For over a year now, there has been a lot of evidence that the upward trend of medical costs has tempered. Some have said that we have finally bent the cost curve. Much of the declining rate of growth of medical spending...
Read More »