I.O.U.S.A.

The U.S. is in a huge amount of debt. This will only worsen in the short- to medium-term as the the baby boomers retire and Medicare and Social Security budgets balloon. Here’s a movie about it. “This country has started consuming more than it produces.” – Warren Buffet

The Health Wonk Review is up

The latest edition of the Health Wonk Review is up at Workers Comp Insider. Here are some of my favorite posts from the HWR: David Williams’ Health Business Blog on the WSJ’s investigative reporting (a newspaper actually used the words “standard error”…amazing!) Bob Laszewski’s HC Policy and Marketplace Review on the UK’s NHS decision to…

Closing the (Happiness) Inequality Gap

Income inequality has generally increased since the 1970s. Even for researchers who find that income inequality has Does this mean that happiness inequality has also increased? An NBER working paper by Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers claims that this is not the case. Below is the a portion of the abstract. While there has been…

Why did the post office lose $1 billion?

The International Herald Tribune reports that the U.S. Postal Service has posted a $1.1 billion dollar loss in the past quarter. What are the reasons for this huge loss? First, total mail volume is down 5.5% from last year, likely due to the economic slowdown and the gradual increase in internet communication over time. Also,…

The uninsured don’t want health insurance?

Economists often state that uninsured individuals do not “want” health insurance. Joe Paduda claims that this is not the case; most uninsured do want health insurance. Mr. Paduda cites a Washington Post, Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University survey which shows that “when asked why they don’t participate in their employer’s program, 1% of survey…

“Spending on bioterror defense has made us less safe”

Merrill Goozner of GoozNews has an interesting interview with Richard Ebright, a chemistry professor at Rutgers University.  The two discuss the Bruce Ivins, anthrax, and bioterrorism.  A few poignant excerpts. Ebright: “We’ve spent $57 billion in biodefense since 2001. The annual budget for NIH is only $30 billion. The spending has been disproportionate to the…