CBO: Healthcare projected to consume increasing share of federal outlays in next decade

Every year, the Congressional Budget Office projects how the federal budget will look over the coming decade. For the coming decade, the numbers look grim. Federal deficits in CBO’s baseline average $1.2 trillion per year and total $11.6 trillion over the 2020– 2029 period…Those deficits would average 4.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Other…

Medicaid expansion and prescription drug use

How did Medicaid expansion affect prescription drug use? At first glance, one would think that prescriptions increased; more insurance lowers patient out-of-pocket cost so we would expect more prescriptions. Medicaid insurance may crowd out other forms of insurance; if those other forms of insurance covered more drugs, then perhaps utilization would go down. A study…

Positive externalities of Medicaid expansion

From Sen and DeLeire (2018): …premiums of Marketplace plans are 11% lower in Medicaid expansion states, controlling for demographic and health characteristics as well as measures of health care access. These results are consistent with evidence on the composition of the private insurance risk pool in expansion versus nonexpansion states and associated differences in expected…

CHIP take-up is high among children

Federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) ended in September 2017.  This caused a stir as many parent’s relied on CHIP for their children’s health insurance.  In January 2018, however, the federal government’s passed a six-year CHIP funding extension and resolved to continue to fund this program. The headlines at the time showed pictures of…

Health insurance is not enough

Having health insurance is great.  It largely protects people against financial losses that accrue when you become ill.  It provides coverage for medical services.  And improves patients health. Well, that last one is only true if health insurance allows you to access care.  When health insurance provider reimbursement is low as is the case for…

Medicaid and paperwork

When you buy a typical product, the vendor does its best to make the purchasing process as easy as possible.  There is a reason for this, clearly; they want your business.  State and federal governments, however, have no such incentive.  In fact, oftentimes reducing the number of people using government services saves money. Thus, it…

What happens to CHIP?

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is a federal program that provides matching funds to states in order for them to provide health insurance to children.  The program was designed to cover uninsured children in families with incomes that are modest but too high to qualify for Medicaid. Currently, however, the program is in jeopardy.  In fact, federal funding for…