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Tag Archives: Health economics

Economic Theory in the White House: An Index of 66 Instances in One Year

It is difficult to exaggerate the usefulness of Chicago Price Theory for economic analysis in the White House.  Below is an index of 66 instances that I can remember where Chicago Price Theory was directly and specifically applied to analysis (usually publicly released) of economic issues over a one year time frame.  As an example of what I mean by "directly and specifically," compare Chicago Price Theory's Figure 19-3 to Figure 7-2 in the 2019 Economic Report of the President. Figure 19-3...

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Marxist Provisions in “Medicare for All”

]]> This post refers to four bills entitled “Medicare for All”: two introduced in the previous Congress (S.1804, H.R.676) and two bills recently introduced in the current Congress (S.1129, H.R.1384).  Although few people have actual read them, they are popular and enjoy enthusiastic support.  The bills’ titles give the impression that they are merely opening up the U.S. Medicare program to all ages. The titles belie the actual text.  Closely following Marxist principles, the “Medicare...

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Marxist Perspectives on White House Staff Turnover

The labor theory of value (a.k.a., law of value) is an aspect of Marxist theory that still thrives in the marketplace of ideas.  It values anything and everything according to how much labor went into it. Therefore, for example, Ben Rhodes contributed at least thrice more to the Federal government than, say, Brian Blase because Rhodes served 96 months in the Obama White House (as Deputy National Security Advisor) while Blase served only 29 (as Special Assistant to President Trump for...

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Who recognizes economic history first: politicians or economists?

]]> Figure 1 is the familiar chart showing the “Laffer curve” relationship between a tax rate and the net revenue from the tax.  A small tax on, say, wireless internet service is expected to provide more revenue (point B) than would be obtained without any tax on wireless internet service (point A).  It is conceivable that the wireless internet tax rate could get so high that further increases in the rate actually reduce revenue (point C) as consumers take steps to evade taxation...

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Critiques of Single-payer: Why Did They Take So Long to be Discovered?

It is now routine for Democrats to be asked in town halls, debates, etc. "Who here would abolish their private health insurance in favor of a government-run plan?"  But why did it take so long to pose this question to advocates of "single-payer" health systems? As a matter of economics, it should be obvious that the health insurance market would not be served by a single seller unless there were tremendous barriers to entry.  E.g., criminalizing any private enterprise that attempts to...

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Cost divergence

Source: Marginal RevolutionThis lovely picture is from Why are the prices so D*mn High? by Eric Helland and Alex Tabarrok. (It's covered in Marginal Revolution: The Initial post,  Bloat does not explain the rising cost of education, and an upcoming summary on health care.)Bottom line: objects got cheap, people got expensive. Technology, automation, globalization (thank you China), and quality improvement made goods cheaper. People, especially skilled people, got more...

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Jenkins on ACA

Holman Jenkins "Obamacare is popular because it failed" from a week ago is worth savoring and has an interesting new idea.On Obamacare's failure:ObamaCare’s user cohort now consists almost entirely of willing “buyers” who receive their coverage entirely or largely at taxpayer expense. It also consists of certain users who take advantage of the coverage for pre-existing conditions and stop paying once their condition has been treated.... ...For a family of four not benefiting from a...

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The Hospitalization Life Cycle

The Canadian Institute for Health Information has just released a report on Hospital Stays in Canada which provides a plethora of interesting tables on hospital stays in Canada at a national and provincial level.  Both the age-standardized hospitalization rate (per 100,000 population) and the age standardized average length of stay (in days) in Canada have fallen since 2013-14 going from 8,205 to 7,944 and 7.0 to 6.8 respectively.  The summary graphic for their report lists the top 5...

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Guest Post: Comparing Technolgical Change in the Health and Taxi Industries

Well, here is a guest post forwarded to me by Ruolz Ariste - a colleague whom I originally met during my annual interactions with the CIHI and with whom I have co-authored.  Ruolz Ariste is currently pursuing a PhD in Industrial Relations in a program run by run jointly by Université Laval and Université du Québec en Outaouais.  Enjoy. Comment Ruolz AristeResearcher, U. Laval and UQOIndustrial Relations and Health Economics(Le français suit)  The impact of technological...

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The death of the healthcare market

People really do not need health insurance for regular small expenses, as they do not need car insurance to "pay for" oil changes. And any insurance system relies on an underlying cash market to find what the right prices are. Collision insurance works reasonably well because there is a supply and demand market for auto repair in which people pay their own money and there are competitive suppliers and free entry, offering services along a wide quality-price spectrum.The underlying cash market...

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