November 22, 2013
the reason the richest country in the world doesn’t have the best health is because it takes more than health care to make a country healthy.
“These complex histories reveal an American tendency to funnel resources earmarked for health toward medical care,” the authors write. And “these historical realities make clear that Americans have been complicit in the creation of the current approach.”
via Spending More and Getting Less for Health Care – NYTimes.com.
September 4, 2013
For most Americans, life expectancy continues to rise—but not for uneducated white women. They have lost five years, and no one knows why.
via Whats Killing Poor White Women?.
September 2, 2013
The current welfare system provides such a high level of benefits that it acts as a disincentive for work. Welfare currently pays more than a minimum-wage job in 35 states, even after accounting for the Earned Income Tax Credit, and in 13 states it pays more than $15 per hour. If Congress and state legislatures are serious about reducing welfare dependence and rewarding work, they should consider strengthening welfare work requirements, removing exemptions, and narrowing the definition of work. Moreover, states should consider ways to shrink the gap between the value of welfare and work by reducing current benefit levels and tightening eligibility requirements.
via The Work versus Welfare Trade-Off: 2013 | Cato Institute.
August 18, 2013
by Irena Dushi and Kalman Rupp
Using Health and Retirement Study data, the authors examine three groups of adults aged 51–56 in 1992 with different disability experiences over the following 8 years. Our analysis reveals three major findings. First, people who started and stayed nondisabled experienced stable financial security, with substantial improvement in household wealth despite substantial labor force withdrawal. Second, people who started as nondisabled but suffered a disability shock experienced a substantial increase in poverty rates and a sharp decline in median incomes. Average earnings loss was the greatest for that group, with public and private benefits replacing less than half of the loss, whereas the reduction in private health insurance coverage was more than alleviated by the increase in public health insurance coverage. Third, people who started and stayed disabled were behind at the baseline and have fallen further behind on most measures. An important exception is substantial improvement in health insurance coverage because of public safety nets.
via Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 73 No. 3.
August 17, 2013
it’s clear that people with cancer diagnoses continued to have a higher rate of bankruptcy than people without such diagnoses.
How much higher? About 2 ½ times, on average, across all cancers.
via Beware Of Cancer Metastasizing To Your Wallet – Forbes.
April 1, 2013
This paper presents a theoretical and empirical analysis of the role of life expectancy for optimal schooling and lifetime labor supply. The results of a simple prototype Ben-Porath model with age-specific survival rates show that an increase in lifetime labor supply is not a necessary, nor a sufficient, condition for greater life expectancy to increase optimal schooling. The observed increase in survival rates during working ages that follows from the “rectangularization” of the survival function is crucial for schooling and labor supply. The empirical results suggest that the relative benefits of schooling have been increasing across cohorts of US men born 1840-1930. A simple quantitative analysis shows that a realistic shift in the survival function can lead to an increase in schooling and a reduction in lifetime labor hours.
via Life Expectancy, Schooling, and Lifetime Labor Supply: Theory and Evidence Revisited by Matteo Cervellati, Uwe Sunde :: SSRN.
April 1, 2013
We aim to disentangle the relative contributions of (i) cognitive ability, and (ii) education on health and mortality using a structural equation model suggested by Conti et al. (2010). We extend their model by allowing for a duration dependent variable, and an ordinal educational variable. Data come from a Dutch cohort born around 1940, including detailed measures of cognitive ability and family background at age 12. The data are subsequently linked to the mortality register 1995-2011, such that we observe mortality between ages 55 and 75. The results suggest that the treatment effect of education (i.e. the effect of entering secondary school as opposed to leaving school after primary education) is positive and amounts to a 4 years gain in life expectancy, on average. Decomposition results suggest that the raw survival differences between educational groups are about equally split between a ‘treatment effect’ of education, and a ‘selection effect’ on basis of cognitive ability and family background.
via Education and Health: The Role of Cognitive Ability by Govert Bijwaard, Hans Van Kippersluis, Justus Veenman :: SSRN.
March 26, 2013
the gap between the health haves and the have-nots has narrowed dramatically in recent years.
The haves are those who enjoy great health into their 90s. The have-nots are those who suffer from serious health problems and do not live to see adulthood. As we pointed out in a recent study, among those Americans who were born in 1975, the unluckiest 1 percent died in infancy, while the luckiest 1 percent can expect to live to age 105 or longer. Now let’s fast forward to those born in 2012. The bottom percentile of this cohort can expect to survive until age 18. At the other end of the spectrum, the luckiest 1 percent can expect to live to age 108. That’s a much bigger gain in life expectancy among the have-nots than among the haves. Of course, life expectancy is but one measure of health and well-being, but understanding these trends offers a more complete picture than considering income alone.
via The Shrinking Health Gap — The American Magazine.
March 21, 2013
This research uses data from a longitudinal study to examine how two provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act could affect health insurance coverage among young women who have aged out of foster care. It also explores how allowing young people to remain in foster care until age twenty-one affects their health insurance coverage, use of family planning services, and information about birth control. We find that young women are more likely to have health insurance if they remain in foster care until their twenty-first birthday and that having health insurance is associated with an increase in the likelihood of receiving family planning services. Our results also suggest that many young women who would otherwise lack health insurance after aging out of foster care will be eligible for Medicaid under the health care reform law. Because having health insurance is associated with use of family planning services, this increase in Medicaid eligibility may result in fewer unintended pregnancies among this high-risk population.
via Health Insurance Coverage and Use of Family Planning Services among Current and Former Foster Youth: Implications of the Health Care Reform Law.
March 21, 2013
We investigated the impact of Massachusetts health care reform on low-income women’s experiences accessing insurance and health services, specifically reproductive health services such as contraception. Our findings suggest that concentrated efforts are needed to make sure that health services are available and accessible to populations who fall through the cracks of health care reform, including immigrants, minors and young adults, and women living outside urban areas. In addition, systems changes are needed to ensure that women going through common life transitions, such as pregnancy, marriage, moving, or graduating from school, have continuous access to insurance, and therefore health services, as their lives change. These groups face barriers enrolling in and maintaining their insurance coverage as well as obtaining timely health care benefits they are eligible for through their insurance benefits or public health programs. Without intervention, many in these groups may delay or avoid seeking health care altogether, which may increase health care disparities in the long term. Family planning providers in Massachusetts have played a critical role in mitigating barriers to insurance and health care. However, recent threats to defund family planning providers call into question the ability of these providers to continue providing much-needed services.
via What Happens to the Women Who Fall through the Cracks of Health Care Reform? Lessons from Massachusetts.