The Cumulative Cost of Regulations | Mercatus

June 24, 2016

The impact of regulation on economic growth has been widely studied, but most research has focused on a narrow set of regulations, industries, or both. These studies typically rely on regulatory indexes that measure subsets of all regulation, on country-to-country comparisons, on short time spans, or on surveys in which experts report how regulated they believe their country or industry is. In order to better understand the cumulative cost of regulation, a comprehensive look at all regulations across many industries over a long period of time is imperative.A new study for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University uses an economic model that examines regulation’s effect on firms’ investment choices. Using a 22-industry dataset that covers 1977 through 2012, the study finds that regulation—by distorting the investment choices that lead to innovation—has created a considerable drag on the economy, amounting to an average reduction in the annual growth rate of the US gross domestic product (GDP) of 0.8 percent.

Source: The Cumulative Cost of Regulations | Mercatus


Republicans Have a Shot at Replacing Obamacare – Bloomberg View

June 24, 2016

Could such a plan win approval by Congress? Ummm, maybe. Two factors weigh in its favor: first, the fact that after selling Obamacare as a program for middle-class families who were anxious about losing their coverage if something went wrong, Democrats delivered a plan that made a lot of middle-class families worse off, and few of them better off.Most of the benefits have flowed to people making less than 250% of the poverty line, while most of the costs — in the form of taxes, more expensive and less generous insurance plans, and reduced consumer choice — were borne by folks above that level, including folks who aren’t really all that far above that level. Those people are angry, and they’re more likely to vote than the program’s beneficiaries.

The second thing that might make such a plan politically viable is the continuing problems in the insurance exchanges. Until prices stabilize, we remain at risk of seeing the number of uninsured start to march back upward, as unsubsidized consumers start to drop their high-priced, high-deductible, narrow-network insurance. Those drops will be concentrated in people who don’t qualify for subsidies, and as mentioned in the paragraph above, those folks are more likely to vote than the beneficiaries.

Source: Republicans Have a Shot at Replacing Obamacare – Bloomberg View


The Last Embassy: ACA/Obamacare: When the Price Isn’t The Price Because The Price Is a Political Price

June 24, 2016

“Amid reports that consumers could be hit with Obamacare health insurance premium hikes of 10 percent or more, the administration is providing state insurance regulators with $22 million to encourage them to beef up their reviews of requests for rate hikes from the health insurance industry.

Source: The Last Embassy: ACA/Obamacare: When the Price Isn’t The Price Because The Price Is a Political Price


A country of a quarter-billion people is trying to provide health care for all – The Washington Post

May 19, 2016

In 2014, Indonesia, a sprawling archipelagic nation of 250 million people, began phasing in one of the world’s largest single-payer health-care systems. Two and a half years later, its government guarantees comprehensive health insurance for 165 million citizens and residents, with plans to expand coverage to the entire population by 2019.

Source: A country of a quarter-billion people is trying to provide health care for all – The Washington Post


Early assessment of competition in the health insurance marketplace | Brookings Institution

May 10, 2016

This report, requested by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation of the Department of Health and Human Services (ASPE), analyzes competition in the Health Insurance Marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in six states (Alaska, Florida, Kansas, North Carolina, Ohio, and Texas). The purpose of the study was to focus on a few states that had one or more potential indicators of “insufficient competition”—such as few insurers offering plans, low enrollment, high premiums, inadequately informed consumers, or sparsely populated rural areas—and try to understand how competition was working in these markets and what might be done to make it work better.The report describes the findings for each selected state, discusses common themes across the states, and provides some potential remedies to improve competition. Following is a brief summary of why these states were chosen and what the field researchers found:

Source: Early assessment of competition in the health insurance marketplace | Brookings Institution


Medical errors may kill 250,000 a year, but problem not being tracked – Modern Healthcare Modern Healthcare business news, research, data and events

May 6, 2016

Medical error is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., killing more than 250,000 people each year. But the problem is not being tracked widely, according to an analysis published Tuesday in the BMJ.

When a medical error results in death, the delivery of care issue that led to the death should be tracked, said Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine professor, Martin Makary and research fellow Michael Daniel in their analysis. But the problem is not currently reported explicitly as a cause of death to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or on death certificates. And it is not easily tracked through the diagnostic and procedural coding system used by hospitals and other providers.

Source: Medical errors may kill 250,000 a year, but problem not being tracked – Modern Healthcare Modern Healthcare business news, research, data and events


How Obama’s Economy Spawned Trump – WSJ

May 4, 2016

The only problem with the president’s lament is its chronology. The failure occurred much earlier, in 2009 and 2010, when Mr. Obama still enjoyed the support of a Democratic-led Congress he needed to move boldly. Despite campaigning for a national infrastructure bank in 2008, he didn’t insist on including it in the 2009 stimulus bill. He didn’t even publicly raise the matter until September 2010, when the midterm election was looming and the chance of enacting new legislation was effectively nil.

This was part of a broader strategic decision to move from his initial focus on averting economic disaster to other concerns—notably, the Affordable Care Act and carbon cap-and-trade legislation. Whatever balance of benefits and opportunity costs the focus on health care may have entailed, the months the House spent in 2009 on an environmental bill that never had a chance in the Senate were a total loss. The exodus of white working-class voters from the Democratic Party contributed to this loss of focus on core economic concerns.

Source: How Obama’s Economy Spawned Trump – WSJ


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