Tag: Medicare

Intergenerational Transfers and Political Support for the Welfare State »

Supporters of the welfare state might see it as a mechanism for transferring income from rich to poor with the idea of helping those at the bottom end of the income distribution, but in the United States, the welfare state is increasingly transferring income from the young to the old, regardless of the wealth...
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What Republicans and Democrats Don’t Understand About the Insurance Company “Bailout” »

Last week I testified before the House Oversight committee on the “risk corridors” in the (ObamaCare) exchanges. Republicans claim that this is a device to bail out the insurance companies. Democrats, in the unusual position of defending the insurance companies, actually claimed that the government was going to make a “profit” because of it....
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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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Hooray! The Medicare “Doc Fix” Is Fixed Until March 31 »

Hooray! The Medicare “Doc Fix” Is Fixed Until March 31. Once again, Congress pretends to have fixed the unfixable: The way Medicare pays doctors. An earlier blog entry describes how Medicare pays physicians by using a method that puts the old Soviet Gosplan to shame. The simplest description is that a government-authorized committee determines...
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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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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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U.S. Ranks Third Lowest of Eleven Countries on Health Care Spending »

Every year, scholars from the Commonwealth Fund report the results of a survey of eleven developed countries, which questions thousands of residents about their health costs and access to health care. The media invariably cherry pick the report to produce headlines like this: “We pay more, wait longer than other countries”. Perhaps there is...
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Will Obamacare Finally Cause American Seniors to Turn Against Government Health Care? »

Although most Americans are now aware of the disastrous rollout of Obamacare health-insurance exchanges for privately insured people, they may not yet have noticed that Obamacare is inflicting pain on Medicare beneficiaries, too. On November 16, the Wall Street Journal reported that UnitedHealth Group has dropped thousands of doctors in at least ten states...
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Tattering the Safety Net »

Here is irony: the people who talk the most about the need for a social safety net (including the president himself!) are cheerleaders for a health reform that is going to shred it. How is that happening? By means of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Through the Medicare and Medicaid programs, the federal government...
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Can You Hear Me Now? We Have Too Much Health Insurance »

Hearing aids have been expensive—until now. An interesting story in the New York Times a little over a year ago related the journey of a woman who had broken the shell of one of her hearing aids. Shocked at the price of hearing aids from private audiologists—at least $2,000 for a set, and usually...
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