Health Care Reform in Massachusetts

With healthcare reform having passed, how will the health insurance market look a few years from now?  Although Mitt Romney may (or may not) deny it, Massachusetts has been a model for President Obama’s health reform bill.  In 2006, Massachusetts passed its own health reform and when the share of uninsured residents was at 14%. …

Patenting Genes

In general, I am weary of patents (see my Healthcare Manifesto and Against Intellectual Property posts). Sure, they may be useful to spur innovation, but they also harm innovation since one cannot modify or improve a product while there is still a patent. Further, patents generate rent-seeking where inventors spent tons of time wrangling to…

Is licensing tax preparers a good idea?

The USA Today writes that “the IRS has proposed a broad initiative that would require hundreds of thousands of tax preparers to register with the government, pass a competency exam and adhere to ethical standards.”  This sounds like a good idea as it will safeguard individuals from unscrupulous tax preparers.  But who will this truly…

How do state health insurance regulations affect the price of high-deductible policies?

A paper by Kowalski, Congdon and Showalter (2009) examines how state health insurance regulations affect the price of health insurance.  The four regulations are the following: Community rating regulations limit premium differences across policies.  The most stringent form requires insurers to offer the same premium to every individual, regardless of age, gender, or health status.…

The Four-Party System

Who does health care reform affect?  Charles Kroncke and Ronald White organize individuals into the following four major stakeholder groups: First-party patients.  The patients who seek care. Second-party providers.  These include hospitals,  physicians, nurses, physical therapists, dentists, and pharmaceutical companies. Third-party payers.  The payers are generally either private insurance companies or government programs such as…