Cancer outcomes continue to improve, and spending has grown slower than several other diseases |

February 15, 2016

Compared to similar countries, the United States has higher rates of mortality for most of the leading causes of death, and generally performs worse on a variety of quality indicators. Cancer, however, is one area where the U.S. stands out with better outcomes across a range of measures.  The U.S. has lower-than-average mortality rates and disease burden caused by cancer, and also has somewhat higher-than-average survival rates for certain cancers.

Source: Cancer outcomes continue to improve, and spending has grown slower than several other diseases |


Surge in Medicare Advantage Sign-Ups Confounds Expectations – The New York Times

February 15, 2016

Five years into Medicare spending cuts that were supposed to devastate private Medicare options for older Americans, enrollment in private insurance plans through Medicare has shot up by more than 50 percent, confounding experts and partisans alike and providing possible lessons for the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges.

Source: Surge in Medicare Advantage Sign-Ups Confounds Expectations – The New York Times


Justice Scalia’s death leaves healthcare cases, makeup of Supreme Court in limbo – Modern Healthcare Modern Healthcare business news, research, data and events

February 15, 2016

The death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia leaves a number of healthcare-related cases in limbo. The news also quickly sparked a debate over who would replace him amid the presidential campaign.

Source: Justice Scalia’s death leaves healthcare cases, makeup of Supreme Court in limbo – Modern Healthcare Modern Healthcare business news, research, data and events


CBO Releases Report On Private Health Insurance Premiums And Federal Policy

February 12, 2016

On February 11, 2016, the Congressional Budget Office (with the Joint Committee on Taxation) released a report on Private Health Insurance Premiums and Federal Policy. The report examines the effects of federal subsidies, fees, and taxes; federal regulations; and actions taken by insurers on health insurance premiums. In particular it considers how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has affected health insurance premiums. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) did not conduct any original research on these topics. Rather the report describes what economic theory would predict regarding these effects and the limited empirical work that has been done as to what has happened so far under the ACA.

Source: CBO Releases Report On Private Health Insurance Premiums And Federal Policy


The Single-Payer Sacrifice: 11.6 Million Jobs | RealClearPolicy

February 11, 2016

Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders recently released his health-care plan: a government-run single-payer system for the U.S., similar to what many European countries have. Criticism of the plan has so far focused on its lack of political feasibility, but there is an even more important reason to be wary: Accounting for costs and tax increases, it would reduce labor supply by 11.6 million. In a struggling economy, with tepid wage growth, hurting employment should be the last thing on any politician’s agenda.

Source: The Single-Payer Sacrifice: 11.6 Million Jobs | RealClearPolicy


Positive Spillovers and Free Riding in Advertising of Prescription Pharmaceuticals: The Case of Antidepressants by Bradley Shapiro :: SSRN

February 8, 2016

Television advertising of prescription drugs is controversial, and it remains illegal in all but two countries. Much of the opposition stems from concerns that advertising directly to consumers may inefficiently distort prescribing patterns toward the advertised product. Despite the controversy surrounding the practice, its effects are not well understood. Exploiting a discontinuity in advertising along the borders of television markets, I estimate that television advertising of prescription antidepressants exhibits significant positive spillovers on rivals’ demand. I then construct and estimate a multi-stage demand model that allows advertising to be pure category expansion, pure business stealing, or some of each. Estimated parameters indicate advertising has strong market-level demand effects that tend to dominate business-stealing effects. Spillovers are both large and persistent. Using the demand estimates and a stylized supply model, I explore the consequences of the positive spillovers on firm advertising choice. Compared with a competitive benchmark in which firms optimally free ride, simulations suggest a category-wide cooperative advertising scenario would produce a significant increase in total advertising.

Source: Positive Spillovers and Free Riding in Advertising of Prescription Pharmaceuticals: The Case of Antidepressants by Bradley Shapiro :: SSRN


Clean Up Your Act, PolitiFact: Why Ted Cruz Was Right On Obamacare And Jobs – Forbes

February 5, 2016

According to PolitiFact, however, while discouraging the buying of labor eliminates jobs, discouraging the selling of labor does not. On this arbitrary distinction, PolitiFact hangs its entire ruling. Without it, they would have to admit that the CBO’s projection that Obamacare will reduce employment by 2.5 million jobs supports Cruz’s statement.

Source: Clean Up Your Act, PolitiFact: Why Ted Cruz Was Right On Obamacare And Jobs – Forbes