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

Town Hall Meetings on the Ryan Budget Raise Concerns

Various congressional representatives held town hall meetings recently, and the news channels and print media were abuzz with the lively give-and-take, including shouting matches. See, e.g., House G.O.P. Members Face Voter Anger Over Budget, New York Times, Apr. 26, 2011; Republicans facing tough questions over Medicare overhaul in Budget Plan, Washington Post, Apr. 22, 2011. […]

Guest post: No Assumptions for a Change

Guest Post From Robert Bowman, M.D. No Assumptions for a Change Assumptions are often incorrect and the assumptions are incredibly inaccurate in primary care and in basic health access. When one starts with the assumption of more pay, then it is easy to rationalize more training or more complexity of care – even when there […]

Guest Post: Latest from Cato…

Guest post by Michael Halasy Latest from Cato… Kaiser Health News carries an article from Michael Cannon from Cato Institute on the benefits of Ryan’s proposal on Medicare. Cannon is wrong. First, he begins by advocating for repeal by comparing the roughly 500 billion in cost of the program to the overall debt and deficit, […]

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 […]

The Return of the Myth that Competition will Fix Medicare

Crossposted at The Street Light. Well, it seems as if Congressional Republicans are going to propose a complete refashioning of the Medicare program. Specifically, they are going to recommend scrapping Medicare as a provider of health insurance to seniors, and instead replace it with a system that will provide subsidies to individuals who will then […]

Government Transfer Payments in the US: It’s All About Health Care

There’s been a rather silly news item floating around the internets and business press today about the role of government in the US economy. Here’s an example from the Investors Business Daily: Is America Becoming A Welfare Nation? More than one-third of all wages and salaries in this country are actually government handouts. We should […]

HEALTH CARE thoughts: The Durable Medical Equipment (DME) mess

by Tom aka Rusty Rustbelt HEALTH CARE: The Durable Medical Equipment (DME) mess So you go to an orthopedic surgeon with a complaint of back pain, and the surgeon orders a lumbar back brace for support. Can you stop at a counter and buy the brace on the way out the door? Probably not. Years […]

And the full Medicare Report

Bruce Webb h/t for the link Full Medicare Report (and here it is for your enjoyment). Ken Houghton h/t who linked to a Reuters note: Reuters: The Medicare hospital trust fund is not projected to exhaust its funds until 2029, 12 years later than forecast last year, the trustees said…

Medicare Fee Ordeal- Continued

Tom aka Rusty Rustbelt Medicare Fee Ordeal – Continued As of Friday the Senate has passed a six (6) month patch to counter the Sustained Growth Rate formula cuts directed at most physicians. The average for all physicians was a 21% cut, with changes ranging from primary care (+6%) to cardiology (-42%). The House will […]