Food Prices and Body Fatness among Youths

June 30, 2013

In this paper, we examine the effect of food prices on clinical measures of obesity, including body mass index (BMI) and percentage body fat (PBF) measures derived from bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) and dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA), among youths ages 12 through 18. The empirical analyses employ data from various waves of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) merged with several food prices measured by county and year. This is the first study to consider clinically measured levels of body composition rather than BMI to investigate the effects of food prices on obesity among youths. We also examine whether the effects of food prices on body composition differ by gender and race/ethnicity. Our findings suggest that increases in the real price of one calorie in food for home consumption and the real price of fast-food restaurant food lead to improvements in obesity outcomes among youths. We also find that an increase in the real price of fruits and vegetables has negative consequences for these outcomes. Finally, our results indicate that measures of PBF derived from BIA and DXA are no less sensitive and in some cases more sensitive to the prices just mentioned than BMI.

via Food Prices and Body Fatness among Youths.


Think NSA Spying Is Bad? Here Comes The ObamaCare Database Hub – Investors.com

June 30, 2013

the HHS said the ObamaCare data hub will “interact” with seven other federal agencies: Social Security Administration, the IRS, the Department of Homeland Security, the Veterans Administration, Office of Personnel Management, the Department of Defense and — believe it or not — the Peace Corps. Plus the Hub will plug into state Medicaid databases.

And what sort of data will be “routed through” the Hub? Social Security numbers, income, family size, citizenship and immigration status, incarceration status, and enrollment status in other health plans, according to the HHS.

“The federal government is planning to quietly enact what could be the largest consolidation of personal data in the history of the republic,” noted Stephen Parente, a University of Minnesota finance professor.

via Think NSA Spying Is Bad? Here Comes The ObamaCare Database Hub – Investors.com.


5 messaging challenges for Obamacare – Jason Millman and Joanne Kenen – POLITICO.com

June 30, 2013

The Obama administration and its health-law allies are gearing up this summer to slice through three years of confusion and opposition to Obamacare.

They’ve got their work cut out for them.

via 5 messaging challenges for Obamacare – Jason Millman and Joanne Kenen – POLITICO.com.


Does Medication Waste Cost The U.S. $418 Billion? – Forbes

June 30, 2013

according to Express Scripts:

$55.8 billion was spent unnecessarily on higher-priced medications when more affordable, similar drugs could have been used.

$93.1 billion could have been saved if patients had shopped around pharmacies or used mail order pharmacies

And $269.4 billion was spent on avoidable medical expenses because patients did not stay on the medicines they were prescribed.

via Does Medication Waste Cost The U.S. $418 Billion? – Forbes.


Easing the end of life: Startups that are helping people make the ultimate decision — Tech News and Analysis

June 29, 2013

For end-of-life care companies, that means there’s an opportunity in targeting employers with a service that lets them improve care for their employees while hopefully contributing to productivity. For health plans, the pitch is that these services could help them attract and retain customers. And, in an era of rising healthcare costs, these services could also reduce the number of unwanted and often expensive procedures – an amount some experts peg at $6 billion a year.

via Easing the end of life: Startups that are helping people make the ultimate decision — Tech News and Analysis.


Covering Pre-Existing Conditions in a Market-Driven Health System | e21 – Economic Policies for the 21st Century

June 27, 2013

There’s nothing unsound or contrary to conservative principles about federal funding of high-risk pools. Indeed, a realistic plan to solve the problem of covering persons with pre-existing conditions — without mandates and drastic and intrusive regulations — will necessarily entail some federal funding of such pools. Done right, the end result won’t be “Obamacare-lite” but a market-driven health system in which the federal government’s role is dramatically scaled back, not expanded.

via Covering Pre-Existing Conditions in a Market-Driven Health System | e21 – Economic Policies for the 21st Century.


OVERNIGHT HEALTH: DOMA ruling affects ObamaCare, Medicaid eligibility – The Hills Healthwatch

June 27, 2013

The Supreme Courts ruling Wednesday on the Defense of Marriage Act has big implications for healthcare benefits. The court struck down the central piece of DOMA, which said same-sex couples could not obtain federal benefits, even in states that recognize same-sex marriage.So in the 13 states that have legalized same-sex marriage, same-sex couples will now be treated as a family by the federal government — just as opposite-sex couples have been. The classification makes a big difference in calculating couples eligibility for federal benefits, including Medicaid and tax credits under ObamaCare.

via OVERNIGHT HEALTH: DOMA ruling affects ObamaCare, Medicaid eligibility – The Hills Healthwatch.