Tag: Insurance

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 transition to...
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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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Hospitals’ Bad Debt: Part of the Problem—or Part of the Solution? »

My previous blog entry tried to shed some light on the phenomenon of hospital charges that are out of control, such as $500 for a single stitch. Well, the hospitals have their challenges, too. They increasingly have to worry about collecting money directly from patients, instead of insurers. According to recent articles, it is...
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Who Loses the Most Under Obamacare? »

Chris Conover writes about ...the 3.8 million Americans that the RAND Corporation estimates will become newly uninsured as a result of this law. 2.5 million of these currently have employer-based coverage and another 1.3 million have non-group coverage. While there arguably are tens of millions of other losers created by this ill-conceived law, these...
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Sky-High Hospital Prices Are a Result of Government Interference »

Despite its editorial position in favor of more government control of people’s access to medical care, the New York Times has an excellent track record of journalism covering the real problems in U.S. health care. A fine example is Elisabeth Rosenthal’s report last Monday (“As Hospital Prices Soar: A Stitch Tops $500”, December 2,...
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Obamacare Risk Adjustment: Moving the Goalposts »

As noted in a previous blog entry, the Obama administration has ways to partially immunize health insurers from losing money in Obamacare’s exchanges. A later entry proposed that early results of open enrollment for Obamacare, which began on October 1, suggest that health insurers will require a bigger bailout than originally anticipated, and the...
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