Tag: Insurance

Will Republicans Repeal Obamacare’s Risk Corridors? »

This blog’s readers are better informed than most about the (somewhat complicated) question of how health insurers will be compensated for bearing risk in Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges. A previous entry explained the basics of two of the three programs that protect health insurers from losing too much money on Obamacare’s exchanges. These are...
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Price Transparency: What To Do and What Not To Do »

I’ve written about sky-high hospital prices in this blog, especially for uninsured patients who present at emergency rooms. A related issue is price transparency. In most normal transactions, it is not hard to discover the price you will pay for a good or service. Indeed, for most ordinary items, prices are posted and we...
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Medicare Advantage »

Uwe Reinhardt had a column the other day in which he argued that: We are paying Medicare Advantage plans more than we pay for similar patients in traditional Medicare. Enrollees in traditional Medicare are paying higher Part B premiums in order to subsidize the higher MA payments. This is bad public policy; we should...
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Least Surprising Health Research Result Ever: Medicaid Increases ER Use »

Medicaid is a welfare program jointly funded by federal and state governments, which claims to provide health insurance to low-income people. A few years ago, Oregon expanded Medicaid enrollment by lottery. This created an excellent environment to study the effects of being uninsured versus being enrolled in Medicaid, because it approximated a randomized-controlled trial —...
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Contraceptives for Nuns? Government at Its Most Absurd »

How absurd can a law be, to force nuns (who have taken vows of both poverty and celibacy) to explain to the state why they don’t want to pay for contraception? That requirement was too much for Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who issued a temporary injunction against Obamacare’s mandate that health plans...
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A Review of D. Eric Schansberg’s “The Economics of Health Care and Health Insurance” »

The notion that everyone must have health insurance to acquire medical care has reached such a level of obsession that it almost deserves its own entry in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (the guidebook for mental illness that has grown so bloated with diagnoses that even the National Institute of Mental...
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Private Exchanges: Getting Ready For Individual Health Insurance To Be The Standard »

Professor John H. Cochrane of the University of Chicago had an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on December 25, in which he gave a brief description of (among other things) a market in which individuals buy our own health insurance – and not from an Obamacare exchange. According to Professor Cochrane: “...we should...
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Obamacare Health Insurance Has “Narrow Networks,” but Why Are There Any Networks at All? »

Julie Appleby of Kaiser Health News recently reported on a presentation by Paul Mango of McKinsey & Co. to an audience of health-insurance executives. According to Appleby’s report, Mr. Mango’s research found: About two-thirds of hospital networks on the exchanges are “narrow” or “ultra-narrow”; This was defined by surveying 20 urban areas and identifying...
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Are We About to Face a Severe Doctor Shortage? »

“No, there won’t be a doctor shortage,” wrote Zeke Emanuel and Scott Gottlieb in the New York Times the other day. Obamacare will weather that challenge just fine. How? Nurses and other paramedic personnel can substitute for physicians, and new technology is making remote monitoring of patients easier than ever before. All that is...
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“Job Lock” from Employer-Based Health Benefits: What Should Government Do? »

Back in 1993, the economists Jonathan Gruber and Brigitte C. Madrian highlighted the problem of “job lock,” a consequence of employer-based health benefits. Job lock referred to the fact that the U.S. Internal Revenue Code does not tax employees’ health benefits if they are provided through employers’ group plans. However, if employers gave the...
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