Can Trump Save the Republican Healthcare Bill? – The Atlantic

March 8, 2017

Party leaders in Congress and in the Trump administration held up the American Healthcare Act as the GOP’s long-awaited deliverance on its promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act with “patient-centered” market reforms, hoping to pass the bill through the House and Senate within a matter of weeks. But by Tuesday evening, it wasn’t clear whether the legislation would ever make it to a floor vote, and it was far easier to find lawmakers and organizations who were against the bill than it was to find those in favor of it.Republicans in Congress were increasingly looking to President Trump to help lift their flagging legislation.

Source: Can Trump Save the Republican Healthcare Bill? – The Atlantic


Paul Ryan’s Health-Care Vise – The New Yorker

March 7, 2017

Forced to navigate House Republican politics, the lobbying pressure from the insurance industry, and the obscure rules of the budgeting process, Ryan has produced a bill that nobody would ever propose as a sane solution to the problems with Obamacare. Its only chance is speed. If Ryan can rush and muscle it through the House and Mitch McConnell can do the same in the Senate, it might end up on Trump’s desk. But the more scrutiny this House bill is subjected to, the more likely it is to share the fate of most efforts at health-care reform and die somewhere on its journey to the Senate, and perhaps long before then. If his health-care-reform effort fails, Ryan himself may not survive as the House leader. Meadows and his colleagues catapulted Ryan to the Speakership, and they still have the power to bring him down.

Source: Paul Ryan’s Health-Care Vise – The New Yorker


Destructive Creation at Work: How Financial Distress Spurs Entrepreneurship by Tania Babina :: SSRN

March 6, 2017

Using US Census employer-employee matched data, I show that employer financial distress accelerates the exit of employees to found start-ups. This effect is particularly evident when distressed firms are less able to enforce contracts restricting employee mobility into competing firms. Entrepreneurs exiting financially distressed employers earn higher wages prior to the exit and after founding start-ups, compared to entrepreneurs exiting non-distressed firms. Consistent with distressed firms losing higher-quality workers, their start-ups have higher average employment and payroll growth. The results suggest that the social costs of distress might be lower than the private costs to financially distressed firms.

Source: Destructive Creation at Work: How Financial Distress Spurs Entrepreneurship by Tania Babina :: SSRN


How Do Informational Prompts Affect Choices in the School Lunchroom? by Chien-Yu Lai, John A. List, Anya Savikhin Samek :: SSRN

March 6, 2017

Obesity rates have doubled in the last forty years, and a major cause is the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. In this paper, we identify channels through which information – about health benefits or taste – affects beverage choice. We conduct a field experiment in a school lunchroom with 2,500 children, evaluating the impact of informational prompts on beverage choice and consumption over 2 weeks. We find that prompts alone increase the proportion of children choosing and consuming the healthier white milk relative to sugar-sweetened chocolate milk from 20% in the control group to 30% in the treatment groups. Adding health or taste messaging to the prompt does not seem to make a difference. We survey students and find that most prompts affect perceived healthfulness of the milk, but not perceived taste. Finally, we find that the prompts are nearly as effective as a small non-monetary incentive.

Source: How Do Informational Prompts Affect Choices in the School Lunchroom? by Chien-Yu Lai, John A. List, Anya Savikhin Samek :: SSRN


The Life-Cycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program by Jorge Luis García, James J. Heckman, Duncan Ermini Leaf, María José Prados :: SSRN

March 6, 2017

This paper estimates the long-term benefits from an influential early childhood program targeting disadvantaged families. The program was evaluated by random assignment and followed participants through their mid-30s. It has substantial beneficial impacts on health, children’s future labor incomes, crime, education, and mothers’ labor in- comes, with greater monetized benefits for males. Lifetime returns are estimated by pooling multiple data sets using testable economic models. The overall rate of return is 13.7% per annum, and the benefit/cost ratio is 7.3. These estimates are robust to numerous sensitivity analyses.

Source: The Life-Cycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program by Jorge Luis García, James J. Heckman, Duncan Ermini Leaf, María José Prados :: SSRN


HHS Hits the Brakes on ACA Death Spiral – AAF

February 22, 2017

Yesterday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a proposed rule designed to lay the groundwork for stabilizing the individual and small group health insurance markets.

Source: HHS Hits the Brakes on ACA Death Spiral – AAF


US Beats UK in Lives Saved by Health Care | Foundation for Economic Education

February 19, 2017

All of which is to show that your probability of dying from a range of common conditions is much higher in the UK than here. Perhaps that’s why (with no hint of irony) The Guardian’s write-up of a Commonwealth Fund Report suggesting the UK’s health system was “the best in the world” said “the only serious black mark against the NHS was its poor record on keeping people alive.”

Source: US Beats UK in Lives Saved by Health Care | Foundation for Economic Education