March 7, 2014
Even as public attention is focused on the Affordable Care Act, another health care overhaul is underway in many states: an ambitious effort to restrain the ballooning Medicaid cost of long-term care as people live longer and survive more disabling conditions.
At least 26 states, including California, Florida, Illinois and New York, are rolling out mandatory programs that put billions of public dollars into privately managed long-term care plans, in hopes of keeping people in their homes longer, and expanding alternatives to nursing homes.
via Pitfalls Seen in a Turn to Privately Run Long-Term Care – NYTimes.com.
February 23, 2014
According to the 2011-12 National Survey of Children’s Health, families with the lowest incomes have the highest percentage of children who are overweight or obese.
via Children from poor families more likely to be overweight or obese – The Washington Post.
January 5, 2014
What is it about upward mobility that undermines the health of these young Americans? In our studies, most participants are the first in their families to attend college. They feel tremendous internal pressure to succeed, so as to ensure their parents’ sacrifices have been worthwhile. Many feel socially isolated and disconnected from peers from different backgrounds. They may encounter racism and discrimination.
Some young people respond to the pressure by doubling down on character strengths that have served them well, cultivating an even more determined persistence to succeed. This strategy, however, can backfire when it comes to health. Behaving diligently all of the time leaves people feeling exhausted and sapped of willpower. Worn out from having their noses to the grindstone all the time, they may let their health fall by the wayside, neglecting sleep and exercise, and like many of us, overindulging in comfort foods.
via Can Upward Mobility Cost You Your Health? – NYTimes.com.
December 28, 2013
The so-called bodega clinicas that line the streets of Los Angeles’ immigrant neighborhoods blend into a dense forest of commerce. Wedged between money order kiosks and pawn shops, these storefront doctors’ offices treat ailments for cash: a doctor’s visit is $20 to $40, a podiatry exam is $120 and at one bustling clinica, a colonoscopy is advertised on an erasable white board for $700.
County health officials describe the clinicas as a parallel health care system, servicing a vast number of uninsured Latino residents, yet the officials say they have little understanding of who owns and operates them, how they are regulated and the quality of the medical care they provide. Staffed with Spanish speaking medical providers, few of these low-rent clinics accept private insurance or participate in Medicaid managed care plans.
via As ‘Bodega Clinicas’ Fill Void, Officials Are Torn on Embracing Them – Kaiser Health News.
November 22, 2013
the reason the richest country in the world doesn’t have the best health is because it takes more than health care to make a country healthy.
“These complex histories reveal an American tendency to funnel resources earmarked for health toward medical care,” the authors write. And “these historical realities make clear that Americans have been complicit in the creation of the current approach.”
via Spending More and Getting Less for Health Care – NYTimes.com.
September 4, 2013
For most Americans, life expectancy continues to rise—but not for uneducated white women. They have lost five years, and no one knows why.
via Whats Killing Poor White Women?.
September 2, 2013
The current welfare system provides such a high level of benefits that it acts as a disincentive for work. Welfare currently pays more than a minimum-wage job in 35 states, even after accounting for the Earned Income Tax Credit, and in 13 states it pays more than $15 per hour. If Congress and state legislatures are serious about reducing welfare dependence and rewarding work, they should consider strengthening welfare work requirements, removing exemptions, and narrowing the definition of work. Moreover, states should consider ways to shrink the gap between the value of welfare and work by reducing current benefit levels and tightening eligibility requirements.
via The Work versus Welfare Trade-Off: 2013 | Cato Institute.
August 18, 2013
by Irena Dushi and Kalman Rupp
Using Health and Retirement Study data, the authors examine three groups of adults aged 51–56 in 1992 with different disability experiences over the following 8 years. Our analysis reveals three major findings. First, people who started and stayed nondisabled experienced stable financial security, with substantial improvement in household wealth despite substantial labor force withdrawal. Second, people who started as nondisabled but suffered a disability shock experienced a substantial increase in poverty rates and a sharp decline in median incomes. Average earnings loss was the greatest for that group, with public and private benefits replacing less than half of the loss, whereas the reduction in private health insurance coverage was more than alleviated by the increase in public health insurance coverage. Third, people who started and stayed disabled were behind at the baseline and have fallen further behind on most measures. An important exception is substantial improvement in health insurance coverage because of public safety nets.
via Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 73 No. 3.
August 17, 2013
it’s clear that people with cancer diagnoses continued to have a higher rate of bankruptcy than people without such diagnoses.
How much higher? About 2 ½ times, on average, across all cancers.
via Beware Of Cancer Metastasizing To Your Wallet – Forbes.
April 1, 2013
This paper presents a theoretical and empirical analysis of the role of life expectancy for optimal schooling and lifetime labor supply. The results of a simple prototype Ben-Porath model with age-specific survival rates show that an increase in lifetime labor supply is not a necessary, nor a sufficient, condition for greater life expectancy to increase optimal schooling. The observed increase in survival rates during working ages that follows from the “rectangularization” of the survival function is crucial for schooling and labor supply. The empirical results suggest that the relative benefits of schooling have been increasing across cohorts of US men born 1840-1930. A simple quantitative analysis shows that a realistic shift in the survival function can lead to an increase in schooling and a reduction in lifetime labor hours.
via Life Expectancy, Schooling, and Lifetime Labor Supply: Theory and Evidence Revisited by Matteo Cervellati, Uwe Sunde :: SSRN.