Study: Majority Of Women Who Had Abortions Say Their Lives Didn’t Get Better

December 21, 2017

Roughly 60 percent of the women said they had abortions to make others happy, 75 percent said there was pressure from others to abort, and 30 percent aborted out of fear of losing their partner if they kept the child. About 50 percent said they believed the fetus was a human being when they aborted, and 65 percent said they knew aborting was a mistake.

via Study: Lives Aren’t Better Post-Abortion | The Daily Caller

JCT | Distributional Effects Of The Conference Agreement For H.R.1, The “Tax Cuts And Jobs Act”

December 21, 2017

This analysis includes the impact of the repeal of the individual mandate penalty.

via JCX-68-17

The Tax Bill And The Individual Mandate: What Happened, And What Does It Mean?

December 21, 2017

As has been widely reported, both houses of Congress have now voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual shared responsibility penalty, effective for 2019, as part of the 2017 tax reconciliation act. This post discusses first what the repeal does and does not do. Second it discusses the repeal’s possible effects.

via The Tax Bill And The Individual Mandate: What Happened, And What Does It Mean?

ObamaCare taxes won’t be delayed until next year

December 21, 2017

Brady introduced a package last week that would delay ObamaCare’s taxes on medical devices for five years, on health insurance for two years and the “Cadillac tax” on high-cost health plans for one year.

The medical device tax and the health insurance tax are slated to go into effect Jan. 1 after being delayed by Congress in 2015.

via ObamaCare taxes won’t be delayed until next year | TheHill

Why Congress Shouldn’t Wait For Medicare Reform

December 21, 2017

Lost in the cacophony of debate surrounding Obamacare “repeal-and-replace” legislation, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in October released an updated analysis of illustrative proposals to create a premium support program for Medicare. The report explained how and why premium support could save even more money than CBO had estimated just a few years ago.

via Why Congress Shouldn’t Wait For Medicare Reform

What The GOP Pols Have Wrought—A Fiscal, Economic And Political Monster, Part 1

December 21, 2017

As we have long insisted, America’s health care system consists of the worst of both worlds. It amounts to socialism for the beneficiaries, which generates uncontainable demand via third-party paid, cost-averaged pricing; and crony capitalism for the providers, where delivery system cartels of doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, pharma suppliers, medical device makers etc. have implanted themselves deep on K-street and have thereby rigged reimbursement systems for maximum private revenue gain (and minimum system efficiency and competitive discipline).

via Contra Corner » What The GOP Pols Have Wrought—A Fiscal, Economic And Political Monster, Part 1

Effects of Minimum Wages on Absence from Work Due to Illness

December 20, 2017

Using longitudinal data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics for 1997-2013 and difference-in-differences (DD) and difference-in-difference-in-differences (DDD) techniques, we estimate the effects of minimum wages on absence from work due to own and others’ (such as children’s) illnesses. We use person fixed effects within both linear and two-part models, the latter to explore changes at extensive and intensive margins. A lower educated group (likely affected by minimum wages) is compared with higher educated groups (likely unaffected). Within the lower educated group, we find higher minimum wages are associated with lower rates of absence due to own and others’ illness combined and due to own illness alone, but not associated with absence due to others’ illness. A $1 increase in the real minimum wage results in 19% (in DD model) and 32% (DDD) decreases in the absence rate due to own illness evaluated at the mean. These findings are strongest for persons who are not employed year-round and among the lowest wage earners. In additional analysis, we show that these effects are likely not due to changes in labor supply or job-related attributes. Instead, we find a possible mechanism: higher minimum wages improve self-reported health for lower educated workers.

via Effects of Minimum Wages on Absence from Work Due to Illness by Juan Du, J. Leigh :: SSRN

Service Systems with Heterogeneous Customers: Investigating the Effect of Telemedicine on Chronic Care

December 20, 2017

Medical specialists treating chronic conditions typically face a heterogeneous set of patients. Such heterogeneity arises because of differences in medical conditions as well as the travel burden each patient faces to visit the clinic periodically. Given this heterogeneity, we compare the strategic behavior of revenue-maximizing and welfare-maximizing specialists and prove that the former will serve a smaller patient population, spend more time with the patients, and have shorter waiting times. We also analyze the impact of telemedicine technology on patient utility and the specialists’ operating decisions. We consider both the case when specialists can freely set their own fee for service and the case when fees are set exogenously by a third-party payer. We prove that with the introduction of telemedicine the specialists become more productive and the overall social welfare increases, though some patients, unexpectedly, will be worse off. Our analytical results lead to some important policy implications for facilitating the further deployment of telemedicine in the care of chronically ill patients.

via Service Systems with Heterogeneous Customers: Investigating the Effect of Telemedicine on Chronic Care by Balaraman Rajan, Tolga Tezcan, Abraham Seidmann :: SSRN

Price Transparency and Incomplete Contracts in Health Care

December 20, 2017

Market-based health reform solutions dominate the post-Affordable Care Act landscape. Under these plans, competition is supposed to bring down ballooning prices, and patients are to act more like consumers, refusing low-value, medically unnecessary care. Whether one embraces these solutions, one thing is clear: they cannot work absent price transparency—which the U.S. system lacks. To the contrary, the law explicitly enforces open price term contracts between patients and providers.

This Article is the first to synthesize theories of incomplete contracts from traditional law and economics and recent work in the behavioral sciences and to apply these theories to the price transparency problem. It argues that doctrine is out of step with theory, and proposes a contract law solution: an information-forcing penalty default rule. Courts should impose an undesirable default to force the parties to contract around the default. When providers fail to include a price, and it would have been reasonable to do so, courts should fill the gap with a price of $0. Rather than risk not being paid, providers will include a price in the patient contract. Legislative action has been both slow and ineffective in fixing the crucial price transparency problem. At no other time in recent memory has the importance of contract theory been put into such sharp relief and, remarkably, in an area of law that is at the very core of the emerging political economy.

via Price Transparency and Incomplete Contracts in Health Care by Wendy Epstein :: SSRN

Why Some Religious Accommodations for Mandatory Vaccinations Violate the Establishment Clause

December 20, 2017

All states require parents to inoculate their children against deadly diseases prior to enrolling them in public schools, but the vast majority of states also allow parents to opt out on religious grounds. This religious accommodation imposes potentially grave costs on the children of non-vaccinating parents and on those who cannot be immunized. The Establishment Clause prohibits religious accommodations that impose such costs on third parties in some cases, but not in all. This presents a difficult line-drawing problem. The Supreme Court has offered little guidance, and scholars are divided.

This Article addresses the problem of religious accommodations that impose third party harms in the context of states’ mandatory vaccination programs and proposes one approach to the line-drawing problem. This approach is consistent with the cases, offers predictable results in many situations, and accounts for relative judicial and legislative competencies. It suggests that in most cases, laws that offer religious exceptions, exemptions, or accommodations that impose third party harms are only unconstitutional if the law offers no comparable nonreligious exceptions.

Under this approach, most states’ religious accommodations in the vaccination context violate the Establishment Clause. The Article also considers the relevant political dynamics and important implications of this conclusion.

via Why Some Religious Accommodations for Mandatory Vaccinations Violate the Establishment Clause by Hillel Levin :: SSRN