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economics Uncategorized

Conservative Origins of Obamacare

Romneycare, is a three-legged stool of regulation and subsidies: community rating requiring insurers to make the same policies available to everyone regardless of health status; an individual mandate, requiring everyone to purchase insurance, so that healthy people don’t opt out; and subsidies to keep insurance affordable for those with lower incomes. The original Heritage plan […]

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politics Uncategorized

We’re All Rationers

Certainly telling seniors to buy all their own health care is a complete political (and ethical) non-starter. But telling seniors to pay for more of their own health care — well, it’s hard to see how else we can hope to reduce Medicare’s fiscal burden. Maybe the premium support/voucher model that the Ryan budget proposes […]

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Congress Readies To Mobilize In Favor Of Wasteful Medicare Spending

the very same members of congress who voted this month to privatize Medicare in 2022 and enact draconian cuts throughout the 2020s and 2030s are here in town right now defending health care providers’ right to charge the government high prices for services that don’t work. Indeed, as recently as 2009 no less a figure […]

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economics Uncategorized

We’re actually purchasing shockingly little in the way of improved health for all that money

Americans are getting richer, agriculture is becoming more efficient, apparel is increasingly made by Bangladeshis or robots, etc. At the same time, computers and other electronic gadgets are getting cheaper in real terms. And if some things shrink as a share of our income, other things need to grow. The biggest of those things has […]

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Thomas Jefferson and Government Run Health Care

Greg Sargent, today reports that it wasn’t only John Adams who supported the notion of government run health care. According to Georgetown University history professor and noted historian of America’s early days, Adam Rothman, Thomas Jefferson –the iconic hero of the Tea Party – also supported the legislation. Sargent reprints the following email he received […]

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Malpractice Methodology

The traditional way to reform medical malpractice law has been to impose caps on liability — for example, by limiting punitive damages to something like $500,000. A far better strategy would be to provide safe harbor for doctors who follow evidence-based guidelines. Anyone who could demonstrate that he has followed the recommended course for treating […]

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Reforming Medicare’s Payment System

Three-dimensional radiation costs roughly $10,000. A somewhat newer treatment, I.M.R.T., initially cost $42,000. And an even more recent treatment, proton radiation therapy, costs $50,000. The newer treatments do not seem to be more effective at keeping patients alive than three-dimensional radiation, so under the proposal all three treatments would be reimbursed (after the three-year trial […]

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politics Uncategorized

Will You Go To Jail If You Don’t Buy Health Insurance?

Will You Go To Jail If You Don’t Buy Health Insurance? No. Section 501 of the House bill imposes a tax of 2.5 percent of adjusted gross income. You are exempted from the tax if you already have qualifying health insurance from your employer, if you receive benefits from Medicare or Medicaid, if you are […]

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economics politics Uncategorized

Healthcare Reform

There’s nothing “sure or quick” about changing medical liability laws that will improve healthcare or its costs. Defensive medicine adds very little to healthcare’s price tag, and rising malpractice premiums have had very little impact on access to care. From Healthcare Reform – Salon.com Of course it won’t. And it hasn’t. So far, there have […]

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politics Uncategorized

Our socialist post office

With all the talk about a government take over of health care turning it into the post office, I started to wonder what it would be like if the socialist post office was like private health care companies? Each post office branch would use a totally different zip code system. They would charge different amounts […]