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LGBTQ Economics. Does health insurance improve health outcomes for cancer patients? Shattered. Mr. Jim. KHN: “Moderna…announced in October that it would not enforce its covid-related patents during the pandemic. Even so, no known independent producer has used the available patents to replicate the company’s mRNA vaccine. Experts say that’s telling.”

Communicable disease: Origin story

An interesting discussion from This American Life (“The Herd“, transcript) talking about the origin of the term “communicable disease” with respect to public health monitoring for the 1918 flu pandemic. Ira Glass: Howard says [St. Louis Commissioner of Health] Dr. Starkloff had all kinds of messages, telling people to wash their hands, don’t cough on…

Fewer Pharmacies In Minority Neighborhoods

One reason for worse health outcomes for racial minorities could be reduced access to pharmacies. However, how big a problem is pharmacy access? A recent Health Affairs paper by Guadamuz et al. (2021) uses 2007-2015 data from the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) to identify pharmacies, which were then geocoded and linked to…

COVID-19 vaccination update

This weekend I received my second COVID-19 vaccine. While I certainly feel lucky to live in a country with ample vaccine supply, other countries are not so lucky. Let’s take a look at the numbers from the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center. These numbers are updated through May 2, 2021. First, you’ll see that…

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Disability and distress. COVID-19 vaccine showdown: California vs. Texas. Opioid trajectories. “beliefs…are insufficiently skeptical about nondisclosed information in the absence of repeated feedback” What is ARPA-H?

Will health plan outreach increase take-up by enrollees that are healthier or sicker?

Why don’t people eligible for health insurance exchange plans (i.e., Obamacare plans) enroll? One reason could be that they value the health insurance benefit at less than the cost. Another reason could be behavioral frictions; informational search costs and psychological frictions are costly and may preclude enrollment even when benefits are more than cost. For…

Health Insurance and Investment Risk

Getting sick creates risk over two dimensions. First, you risk getting sick which of course decreases your utility. Second, getting sick impacts you financially as (i) medical procedures are often expensive and (ii) if you can’t work due to your illness your income may fall. With respect to financial risk, health insurance may provide a…