October 30, 2013
During President Obama’s Boston visit to talk about the ACA and the Massachusetts experiment, it is important to remember some context. Here are a few pictures that help to illustrate the successes and failures of Mass reform.
However, caution should be used when expecting the same results under the two laws, since the laws are different, and Massachusetts is not the same as Arizona, or Texas, or Alabama, or Ohio, or etc…. For example, read five reasons why employer behavior will not be the same under the ACA as it was under RomneyCare, Part 1 and Part 2. But before we begin, let’s pause to recognize that the ACA will impact Massachusetts in some significant ways.
via In Pictures: 15 Facts Pres. Obama Needs To Know About Mass.’s Healthcare Reform | Pioneer Institute.
October 23, 2013
Critics and supporters alike have framed the Affordable Care Act as an effort primarily aimed at expanding access to health care insurance. As the refrain goes, the legislation placed much less emphasis on pursuing ways to make health care delivery more affordable. This analysis belies significant measures that the legislation pursues, in the name of cost control, which will fundamentally transform the delivery of medical care. These provisions are based on a primary belief that there is a lot of waste in the delivery of medical care. Moreover, the president and his advisers believed that this waste owes largely to the inefficient and sometimes inappropriate decisions made by providers. The legislation sets out, through a collection of policy measures, to restructure the organization and delivery of medical care. Among other things, it consolidates providers around hospitals where they will become salaried employees that are easier to regulate and supposedly less likely to overprescribe services. History shows, such measures do not produce the promised savings. Moreover, this reorganization comes at a significant cost, not only in terms of the quality of medical care, but its affordability. Provider productivity will inevitably decline. Continuity of care will suffer. Entrepreneurship in medical practice will be squelched. Obamacare will dramatically change the practice of medicine. This will perhaps be its most enduring legacy, and its most significant human cost.
via How Obamacare will reshape the practice of medicine – Health – AEI.
October 18, 2013
Obamacare could cause untold unnecessary deaths by destroying healthcare innovation. To explain, let me offer an analogy.
In 1993, almost everyone in the technology industry agreed that the next wave of innovation in computing was going to be related to some global network to which consumers and businesses could be connected and shop and converse.
via What The Internet Teaches Us About Healthcare | The Federalist.
October 9, 2013
Google reduces immortality to a game of data mining and increasingly clever algorithms. The search for the most relevant website becomes a transcendental search for the most relevant sections of the human genome responsible for aging. As Tech Crunch pointed out in its “WTF is Calico?” story, there are actually a burgeoning number of life-extension projects that rely heavily on Big Data for their future success. Transform the genetic code of the human body into a digital code of 1′s and 0′s, and you’re well on the way to making notions like “Immortality” purely a computational problem — like winning a chess match with Death.
Of course, that’s a hasty over-simplification of things. But it does point to the type of innovation that might be unlocked if non-traditional healthcare providers – like Google or Apple – get involved as the result of Obamacare. All of a sudden, you don’t have a bunch of legacy players – pharmaceutical companies, doctors, insurers – with legacy approaches attempting to innovate their way out of the American healthcare debacle. You get people like Arthur Levinson, former Genentech CEO and Apple chairman, who was tapped by Google to lead the Calico venture.
via Google wants to make you immortal (and Obamacare will pay for it).
September 30, 2013
A new analysis from the Clayton Christensen Institute outlines the way many aspects of Obamacare discourage the sort of disruptive innovation that makes previously pricey and complicated products more accessible to more people. For instance, the highly regulated exchanges “essentially put a floor on the low end of coverage, thus limiting opportunities for entrants to provide different types of coverage and methods of care delivery.”Obamacare’s operating system might be fixable; its faulty economic logic surely isn’t.
via Obamacare: Wrong in practice, wrong in theory – Politics and Public Opinion – AEI.
August 22, 2013
Obamacare is going to degrade medicine but its ill effects will fall disproportionately on patients with serious conditions, especially those diagnosed with cancer.
The legislation contains provisions that directly target patients with cancer because their care is perceived as costly. These policies couldn’t be more badly timed.
We’re at a turning point in battling cancer. Doctors are finally able to reliably tailor treatments to the unique genetic composition of each patient’s tumor rather than by its location in the body alone. Other new drugs are able to prime our own immune cells to attack cancers. But Obamacare puts access to this progress at risk.
via How Obamacare will harm cancer patients – Health – AEI.
May 14, 2013
For years, progressives have claimed that they are the party of science. “Our government has forced what I believe is a false choice between sound science and moral values. . . . I believe the two are not inconsistent,” said President Obama in 2009. Science is the reason we need to suppress trillions of dollars of economic activity around the world, because Al Gore — and science! — tell us that if we don’t, “our planet will experience cataclysmic warming by the end of the century.” Gore has even taken to calling conservative climate-policy skeptics “climate deniers,” a clear reference to Holocaust deniers. But there is at least one area of public policy where the Left has abandoned its rhetorical allegiance to science: health care.
via The Medicaid Deniers | National Review Online.
May 2, 2013
We found no significant effect of Medicaid coverage on the prevalence or diagnosis of hypertension or high cholesterol levels or on the use of medication for these conditions. Medicaid coverage significantly increased the probability of a diagnosis of diabetes and the use of diabetes medication, but we observed no significant effect on average glycated hemoglobin levels or on the percentage of participants with levels of 6.5% or higher. Medicaid coverage decreased the probability of a positive screening for depression (−9.15 percentage points; 95% confidence interval, −16.70 to −1.60; P=0.02), increased the use of many preventive services, and nearly eliminated catastrophic out-of-pocket medical expenditures.
via The Oregon Experiment — Effects of Medicaid on Clinical Outcomes — NEJM.
April 29, 2013
Medicare is referring to the newly created Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, which gives the program power to create and expand projects without congressional authorization. This authority could also be used to create projects based on HQP’s lessons. It’s not. Instead, Medicare has created a raft of projects and experiments meant to move the system from fee-for-service toward pay-for-quality — with the hope that if they can get the payment incentives right, then the market will have reason to support programs like HQP.
To Health Quality Partners and its defenders, Medicare’s decision is ludicrous. “We’re spending tens of billions of dollars now on Medicare innovation where Medicare already discovered something amazing and now they’re forgetting what they discovered?” Brenner says. “It’s an amazing government moment.”
via If this was a pill, you’d do anything to get it.
March 21, 2013
We apply meta‐regression analysis to the extant econometric studies and find that unions depress investment in innovation at the firm and industry level in all countries considered. However, this adverse effect has been declining over time and is moderated by country differences in industrial relations and regulations: The adverse effect appears to increase with labor market flexibility.
via Unions and Innovation: New Insights from the Cross‐Country Evidence by Chris (Hristos) Doucouliagos, Patrice Laroche :: SSRN.