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  • Medicare Variation Revisited: Is Something Wrong with McAllen, Texas, or Is Something Wrong with Medicare?

    Health economists and policy analysts have long known that Medicare spends much more, per patient, in some parts of the country than in others. In fact, the primary project of a large research group at Dartmouth is devoted to analyzing the geographic patters in Medicare spending. Last year, Atul Gawande … More

    If You Like Your Medicare Advantage Plan, You Probably Cannot Keep It

    Earlier this year, Richard Foster, the Chief Actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), issued a report projecting that about half of all seniors and disabled Americans enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans will be pushed out of that program due to the new health care reform law, … More

    Massive Medicare Advantage Cuts

    President Barack Obama has repeatedly said, “If you like your health plan, you can keep it.” But is that true? Most likely not, if your plan is a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan. MA is the “private option” within Medicare in which private health insurers are paid a fixed monthly fee … More

    Junk Economics: A Closer Look at Those Shocking Health Insurance Profits

    The advocacy group Health Care for America Now (HCAN) has released yet another report decrying what they claim are “huge profit gains” by the five largest for-profit health insurance companies for the first three months of 31%.  Shocking?  Well, one thing the report glosses over is, “31% of what?”  The … More

    The House Health Fix: Even Higher Job Killing Employment Taxes

    While the House reconciliation bill keeps many of the Senate provisions that will already slow economic growth, the reconciliation bill goes even farther in punishing employers who do not offer sufficient health care. These penalties will slow employment growth and given employers a disincentive to hire anyone who purchases subsidized … More

    Obamacare's Biggest Losers

    A recent study by the Urban Institute, a prominent liberal think tank, lists “the biggest losers” should congressional health care legislation fail to become law.  Interestingly enough, this is oddly similar to an earlier Heritage Foundation assessment of the “biggest losers”—if the liberal bills  do become law.  Here, we outline … More

    A Taste of Health Care Reform

    Anthem Blue Cross, the California subsidiary of Wellpoint, one of the nation’s largest health insurers, recently announced steep premium increases for its individual (i.e., not employment-based) insurance customers.  The political response to these premium increases – of up to 39% for almost 700,000 customers – was swift and blunt.  Health … More

    The DC Blizzard: More Proof of Global Warming!

    We knew this was coming eventually. It came from Bryan Walsh, writing in Time: As the blizzard-bound residents of the mid-Atlantic region get ready to dig themselves out of the third major storm of the season, they may stop to wonder two things: Why haven’t we bothered to invest in … More

    Why the White House Is Wrong - Again - On Health Care Spending

    Nancy-Ann DeParle, the Director of the White House Office of Health Reform, posted a note – ironically titled “Reality Check” – on the White House blog this morning claiming that a new report from the federal government’s health actuaries supports the administration’s position on health care reform. But all that … More

    Could the Senate Bill Eliminate Private Insurance?

    The Senate health care bill no longer contains an explicit “public option,” but it does include heavy regulation of private health plans, including minimum amount they must spend on medical claims, and taxes that will not count toward those limits, limits on deductibles and co-payments, and authority for federal regulators … More