No Obamacare Exchanges – Michael F. Cannon – Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary – Page 1

April 29, 2012

Here are just a few reasons why states should refuse to create them.

Jobs. Refusing to create an exchange will block Obamacare from imposing a tax on employers whose health benefits do not meet the federal government’s definition of “essential” coverage. That tax can run as high as $3,000 per employee. A state that refuses to create an exchange will spare its employers from that tax, and will therefore enable them to create more jobs.

Religious freedom. In blocking that employer tax, state officials would likewise block Obamacare’s effort to force religious employers to provide coverage for services they find immoral — like contraception, pharmaceutical abortions, and sterilization.

The federal debt. Refusing to create exchanges would also reduce the federal debt, because it would prevent the Obama administration from doling out billions of dollars in subsidies to private insurance companies.

The U.S. Constitution. The Obama administration has indicated that it might try to tax employers and hand out those subsidies anyway — even in states that don’t create an exchange, and even though neither Obamacare nor any other federal law gives it the power to do so. If that happens, the fact that a state has refused to create an exchange would give every large employer in the state — including the state government itself — the ability to go to court to block the administration’s attempt to usurp Congress’s legislative powers.

via No Obamacare Exchanges – Michael F. Cannon – Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary – Page 1.


Obama’s Senior Swindle | The Weekly Standard

April 29, 2012

Anticipating a senior revolt, the administration took action. It ran millions of dollars’ worth of taxpayer-funded TV ads featuring Andy Griffith saying things like, “That new health care law sure sounds good for all of us on Medicare!” It mailed out full-color, taxpayer-funded propaganda brochures singing the same tune. It repeatedly claimed (and continues to claim) that money taken out of Medicare to fund Obamacare would—magically—also stay in Medicare and be used to extend its solvency.

But the administration didn’t stop there. Instead, it launched an $8.35 billion “demonstration project” to postpone the vast majority of Obamacare’s Medicare Advantage cuts until after what Obama likes to call his “last election.” In truth, this isn’t really a demonstration project at all. It’s something closer to the opposite: an attempt to keep Obamacare’s effects from being demonstrated until it’s too late for voters to respond.

via Obama’s Senior Swindle | The Weekly Standard.


Stand Up for Fitness – NYTimes.com

April 29, 2012

researchers determined that watching an hour of television can snip 22 minutes from someone’s life. If an average man watched no TV in his adult life, the authors concluded, his life span might be 1.8 years longer, and a TV-less woman might live for a year and half longer than otherwise.

via Stand Up for Fitness – NYTimes.com.


Health Insurers Plan Over $1 Billion in Rebates – WSJ.com

April 27, 2012

The nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, which calculated total rebates at $1.3 billion, says that around $426 million will go to people who bought their own health plans; $541 million will go to large employers; and $377 million to small businesses.

In a separate analysis based on the same filings, Goldman Sachs analyst Matthew Borsch estimated the total rebates at around $1.2 billion.

via Health Insurers Plan Over $1 Billion in Rebates – WSJ.com.


Why the (un)Affordable Care Act should be repealed and replaced – Health – AEI

April 26, 2012

As co-authors of Why ObamaCare Is Wrong for America,1 we strongly recommend that the Affordable Care Act of 2010 should be repealed and replaced as soon as possible. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has become deservedly more unpopular since its enactment.2,3  It is too costly to finance,4 too difficult to administer,5 too burdensome on health care professionals,6 and too disruptive of existing health care arrangements that many Americans prefer.7  It will limit future economic growth,8 distort health care delivery,9 exacerbate already-unsustainable entitlement spending,10 and erase any meaningful constitutional limits on the enumerated powers of the federal government.11  By relying on illusory formulaic reductions in future payments to physicians, on burdensome new reporting requirements, and on top-down restrictions on medical innovation, it will further jeopardize access to quality care.12

via Why the (un)Affordable Care Act should be repealed and replaced – Health – AEI.


Legal Briefing: Medically Futile and Non-Beneficial Treatment by Thaddeus Pope :: SSRN

April 26, 2012

This article comprehensively reviews legal developments involving futile or non-beneficial medical treatment since 2009. These developments are usefully grouped into the following 11 categories:

1. Texas Advance Directives Act

2. Ontario Consent and Capacity Board

3. Surrogate selection

4. Ex post cases for damages

5. Ex ante cases for injunctions

6. Coercion and duress

7. Assent and transparency

8. Brain-death cases

9. Criminal and administrative sanctions

10. Conscientious objection

11. Penalties for providing futile treatment

via Legal Briefing: Medically Futile and Non-Beneficial Treatment by Thaddeus Pope :: SSRN.


Financial and Non-Financial Support to Formal and Informal Out-of-Home Carers by Marilyn McHugh, Kylie Valentine :: SSRN

April 26, 2012

This report describes the supports and services available to formal and informal out-of-home carers, including existing qualitative evidence from carers, in order to: analyse current gaps in support; build an understanding of carers’ needs and priorities; understand the barriers to undertaking a caring role.

The key questions for this project are: What financial and non-financial support and/or services are currently provided to both formal and informal out-of-home carers? What are the gaps and inequities in the current support system? How do formal and informal out-of-home carers access and experience both Australian and state/territory government services and support? What are the needs and priorities of different groups of carers, and what barriers are there in undertaking a caring role?

The report comprises: an inventory of financial and non-financial support for formal and informal carers (based on information provided by the Commonwealth and each of the states and territories); descriptions of the barriers to the caring role; a review of existing qualitative research on carers’ experiences of supports and services, service gaps and inequities; examples of good practice in out-of-home care (OOHC).

via Financial and Non-Financial Support to Formal and Informal Out-of-Home Carers by Marilyn McHugh, Kylie Valentine :: SSRN.


Can There Ever Be Too Many Flavors of Häagen-Dazs? Anticipatory Beliefs and Choice Overload Behavior by David Ong :: SSRN

April 26, 2012

A growing body of research in psychology and economics has attempted to demonstrate that people can suffer from “choice overload” from too many choices. This large and growing literature was initiated by Iyengar & Lepper’s (2000) (IL’s 2000) field experiment which showed that people were less likely to purchase when faced with more variety. Though intuitively appealing, attempts at replication have yielded mixed results. A 2010 meta-analysis concluded that there was as yet no sufficient. We hypothesized that choice overload behavior was driven by uninformed consumers’ anticipatory beliefs about surplus from sampling. We first surveyed subjects for possible “disgust” in 6 product categories. We then randomly chose 4 among these and secretly observed consumers after we switched between high and low varieties. As predicted, we found that choice overload behavior was an increasing function of surveyed disgust. Hence, surveyed disgust could be a sufficient condition. To our knowledge, this is the first data to separate psychological theories of choice overload behavior (starting with IL 2000), which predicts choice overload behavior to be increasing on the number of options, and contextual inference theory of Kamenica (2009), in which consumers should infer decreasing average surplus for increasing variety. We extend this theory by allowing consumers who like a product more to be more to be tolerant of disappointment in sampling. Now, consistent with the meta-analysis and our data, choice overload or choice loving behavior would be predicted depending upon anticipated surplus.

via Can There Ever Be Too Many Flavors of Häagen-Dazs? Anticipatory Beliefs and Choice Overload Behavior by David Ong :: SSRN.


The Causal Effect of Education on Health: What is the Role of Health Behaviors? by Giorgio Brunello, Margherita Fort, Nicole Schneeweis, Rudolf Winter-Ebmer :: SSRN

April 26, 2012

We study the contribution of health-related behaviors to the health-education gradient by distinguishing between short-run and long-run mediating effects: while in the former only current or lagged behaviors are taken into account, in the latter we consider the entire history of behaviors. We use an empirical approach that addresses the endogeneity of education and behaviors in the health production function. Focusing on self-reported poor health as our health outcome, we find that education has a protective effect for European males and females aged 50 . We also find that the mediating effects of health behaviors — measured by smoking, drinking, exercising and the body mass index — account in the short run for 17% to 31% and in the long run for 23% to 45% of the entire effect of education on health, depending on gender.

via The Causal Effect of Education on Health: What is the Role of Health Behaviors? by Giorgio Brunello, Margherita Fort, Nicole Schneeweis, Rudolf Winter-Ebmer :: SSRN.


The Incidental Economist

April 25, 2012

I think society needs to have this discussion. Almost no one has $250,000, or even $100,000, saved up if they need it to extend their life for one year. So when we say we think that’s the reasonable number, we’re asking others to pay for it, either through government programs or private insurance. Is $100,000 a reasonable amount to pay for an additional year of life? Is it too low? Is $250,000 enough?

There has to be a maximum. Surely $1 trillion is too much for a year of life; that would bankrupt the country. So there is a limit, and this isn’t a theoretical exercise. It’s something we really need to decide at some point. But it’s a conversation America seems determined never to have.

via The Incidental Economist.


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