Compare Medical and College Inflation with Services, not Goods | Cato @ Liberty

July 28, 2017

Have Medical Care prices risen faster than Services prices in general? Yes, but the difference in annualized price increases was typically smaller than one percentage point except in 2002 and 2010, when recession’s aftermath depressed other services prices more than (heavily-subsidized) medical care prices. Recessions’ impact on commodity prices pushed the year-to-year overall CPI below zero at times, which underscores the inaptness of comparing prices of medical or educational services to any price index such as the CPI which is heavily weighted by goods.

Source: Compare Medical and College Inflation with Services, not Goods | Cato @ Liberty

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Subsidizing Health Insurance for Low-Income Adults: Evidence from Massachusetts 

July 28, 2017

Abstract
How much are low-income individuals willing to pay for health insurance, and what are the implications for insurance markets? Using administrative data from Massachusetts’ subsidized insurance exchange, we exploit discontinuities in the subsidy schedule to estimate willingness to
pay and costs of insurance among low-income adults. As subsidies decline, insurance take-up falls rapidly, dropping about 25% for each $40 increase in monthly enrollee premiums. Marginal enrollees tend to be lower-cost, consistent with adverse selection into insurance. But across the entire
distribution we can observe – approximately the bottom 70% of the willingness to pay distribution – enrollee willingness to pay is always less than half of own expected costs. As a result, we estimate
that take-up will be highly incomplete even with generous subsidies: if enrollee premiums were 25% of insurers’ average costs, at most half of potential enrollees would buy insurance; even premiums subsidized to 10% of average costs would still leave at least 20% uninsured. We suggest an important role for uncompensated care for the uninsured in explaining these findings and explore normative implications.

Full report: https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/mshepard/files/finkelstein_hendren_shepard_SubsidizingInsurance.pdf


Senate ‘Skinny’ Repeal Vote Was All About John McCain – WSJ

July 28, 2017

As Mr. McCain entered the chamber, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) was urging his colleagues to find common ground. From a corner of the Senate chamber, Mr. McCain quietly clapped. It would be one of his most visible final gestures before Mr. McCain, at about 1:27 a.m., stuck his thumb down and formally registered himself as the vote that would block the GOP health plan from advancing.

Source: Senate ‘Skinny’ Repeal Vote Was All About John McCain – WSJ


Obamacare Is Not Making Healthcare More Affordable | Economics21

July 26, 2017

In other words, under the ACA, healthcare cost growth has not slowed as much as economic growth has – while the ACA itself has been found to be one of the reasons economic growth has slowed.  Considering all these factors together, the ACA has likely made health care spending less affordable relative to our economic resources, rather than more so.

Source: Obamacare Is Not Making Healthcare More Affordable | Economics21


Explaining the decline in US entrepreneurship • AEI | Pethokoukis Blog » AEIdeas

July 25, 2017

the San Francisco Fed is out with a report on this issue of falling US business formation. It finds that in recent decades “the number of businesses in the United States has moved much more closely with workforce size” and that “[increasing] the labor supply and hence the supply of potential entrepreneurs can stimulate business formation by increasing demand without raising costs.”

Source: Explaining the decline in US entrepreneurship • AEI | Pethokoukis Blog » AEIdeas

Editor’s note: the CBO estimated that the ACA would reduce the size of the workforce by ~2 million workers; this SF Fed report would imply that would have an adverse effect on business formation.


NIHCM – Medicaid Undone? Covering the Safety Net’s New Future

July 20, 2017

Although plans to repeal the ACA and restructure Medicaid financing are struggling to gain ground in the Senate, it remains likely that states across the country will see changes to their Medicaid programs in the years to come. State policymakers will continue to propose plans for reining in spending and tightening eligibility, such as premiums and work requirements, and these types of reforms are likely to win federal approval under the Trump Administration.This webinar will offer a primer for understanding potential changes to Medicaid as well as story ideas for reporters across the country.

Source: NIHCM – Medicaid Undone? Covering the Safety Net’s New Future


NIHCM – The Concentration of U.S. Health Care Spending

July 19, 2017

The Concentration of U.S. Health Care Spending

Source: NIHCM – The Concentration of U.S. Health Care Spending