World AIDS Day

There are now 33 million people living with HIV, including 2 million children. About 2.7 million people became newly infected with the virus each year.   Combating this epidemic is one of the top priorities facing public health workers around the world. With limited resources, what strategy should be pursued?  As of now, a vaccine…

Flu Surveillance

Google searches as a public health resource: Google.org has released Flu Trends, an online reporting tool for flu-related search activity. It’s long been theorized that Google’s search data would be useful to predict epidemics. This is the first time they’ve released a tool like this to the public. As they say on the main page: We have found a…

Health Care Expenditures in 2040

According to Health Affairs, the U.S. spent 16.0% of GDP on health expenditures in 2006.  What will we be spending on health care in 2040? Robert Fogel takes a stab at answering this question.  He claims that by 2040, the U.S. will spend 29% of GDP on health care in 2040.   There are four…

Covering the Uninsured

Jonathan Gruber (2008) has a nice review article in the most recent edition of the Journal of Economic Literature.  This article is especially good for those who are not schooled in the basic issues of the uninsured.  It is also useful for professors wishing to teach students about the uninsured in America. The article reviews…

Is American Health Care Inefficient?

Economists generally define efficiency in two manners: productive efficiency and allocative efficiency.  Productive efficiency means producing a good or service using fewest inputs.  A car company who produces a car that costs $20,000 to manufacture is less efficient than a company that can produce that same car (at the same quality) at a cost of…

Fewer Americans were uninsured in 2007

According to the U.S. Census: Both the percentage and number of people without health insurance decreased in 2007. The percentage without health insurance was 15.3 percent in 2007, down from 15.8 percent in 2006, and the number of uninsured was 45.7 million, down from 47.0 million. The percentage of people covered by private health insurance…

Kaiser Fast Facts

The Kaiser Fast Facts website is a useful tool for any health researchers who need basic statistical information regarding medical care in the U.S.  The numerous slides filled with information-filled charts and graphs.

Medical CPI

For many years price increases in the medical sector has outpaced overall inflation by a significant amount. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here is the increase in consumer prices over the last few years. Year Medical CPI CPI Δ 2001 4.7 1.6 3.1 2002 5.0 2.4 2.6 2003 3.7 1.9 1.8 2004 4.2…