Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Cato has truly shocked me….stupefied really

by Michael Halasy Cato has truly shocked me….stupefied really. Those who have followed me at Angry Bear will recall my series on tort reform that I wrote this past year. In particular, I wrote a piece on the possible safety risks that patients would be exposed to, with a 0.02% increase in patient mortality with […]

Super Committee and GME funding

By Michael Halasy Super Committee and GME funding SO, about that super committee. Surely you remember, the gang of 12 that was created by the showdown over the debt ceiling this summer. Well, they’re hard at work but among the proposals out there, is one that is causing some grave concerns. As a health workforce […]

Committed Funding Streams and Public Support

Does committed funding — as in the Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes — protect programs from cuts ? It is often argued (sometimes here) that the committed funding makes it harder to cut Social Security OASDI pensions. Certainly recipients stress the (perceived) fact that they just want their money back and that it isn’t […]

Guest post: AMA backs the mandate…

Guest post by Michael Halasy AMA backs the mandate… The AMA has its annual House of Delegates meeting last week, and boy, are they concerned. Recent evidence has suggested that they have lost 12,000 members since 2009. Much of this has been due to the AMA’s support of the PPACA. Today, the HOD voted to […]

Guest post: Massachussetts leads the way!

Guest post by Michael Halasy Practicing Emergency Medicine PA, Health Policy Analyst, and Health Services Researcher Massachussetts leads the way We have talked about bundled payments here, and getting rid of the antiquated and inefficient fee for service model. It looks like Massachussetts is on board suggests The Washington Post. Blue Cross is not alone. […]

Guest post: Regional Disparities in Health Spending in Medicare

by Michael Halasy Health Policy Analyst and Emergency Medicine PA Regional Disparities in Health Spending… Jason Shafrin, over at the Healthcare Economist, brings up an interesting paper examining the data from the Dartmouth Atlas. For those that are unfamiliar, the Dartmouth Atlas is a compendium of data examining Medicare spending per beneficiary, and then comparing […]

Drugs, the US solution for all the pain

By: Daniel Becker Just a little something that came across my desk. As you read it, think about the concept: War on Drugs. “In the United States, the therapeutic use of opioids has exploded as witnessed by the increased sales of hydrocodone by 280% from 1997 to 2007, while at the same time methadone usage […]

Atul Gawande Strikes Again

This outstanding article about preventive care for high cost patients is outside the New Yorker paywall. It is very much worth reading. Like Ezra Klein, I found one of the drier examples very informative The firm had already raised the employees’ insurance co-payments considerably [skip] employee health costs continued to rise—climbing almost ten per cent […]