The Demand for Policy Interventions

“Authors of economics books, essays, articles, and political platforms demand interventionist measures before they are taken, but once they have been imposed no one likes them. Then everyone—usually even the authorities responsible for them—call them insufficient and unsatisfactory. Generally the demand then arises for the replacement of unsatisfactory interventions by other, more suitable measures. And…

Predicting a Religious Revival in 2014

The Healthcare Economist predicts a religious revival in 2014.  Let me be more specific, in January 2014.  How do I know this?  Am I a religious man?  Has God spoken to me? Let’s just say I have a certain insight.  In 2014, the individual mandate goes into effect.  All individuals must buy health insurance or…

Setting FDA Standards

To what standard should the FDA hold new drugs?  The FDA has a number of choices.  Drugs companies could be required to prove that the drugs they make: Do no harm. Are more effective than placebos Are more effective than existing drugs Are more cost-effective than existing drugs, or Are both more effective and more…

Egypt: Six Months Later

A lot has changed since I last visited Egypt in early January and since the protests in Midan Tahrir in mid-January.  According to Marketplace, one thing that hasn’t changed is the incredible amount of bureaucracy which still exists in the country. So here’s the crux, according to Ragui Assaad, a fellow at the Economic Research…

Certificate of Need Stringency

Many states have certificate of need (CON) laws which restrict providers supply for certain procedures.  A paper presented by Vivan Ho at AcademyHealth claimed that there were 37 states with a CON law for at least one procedure.  Following up earlier research which found that CON laws decreased quality, Dr. Ho found that dropping CON…

How to stop health premium increases?

California think they have found the answer. “The bill in question is AB 52, introduced by Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles). It would prevent health insurance premium increases from going into effect without the prior approval of the commissioner of insurance or the director of the Department of Managed Health Care, who share jurisdiction over…

Price Competition for UK Hospitals?

Is health reform coming to the UK?  Since the middle of the decade, the NHS has used a tariff system which pays a fixed price per procedure. Now, however, the Financial Times, reports that the UK plans for “public and private hospitals to compete on price for the treatment of NHS patients.”  The reform calls…