Private Information and Long-Term Care Insurance

‘Adverse selection’ and ‘moral hazard’ are phenomenons which affect any analysis of the insurance market.  For instance, Cutler and Zeckhauser (1997) speak of an adverse selection ‘death spiral’ which made untenable the continued offering of a generous health insurance benefit at Harvard University.  In their NBER paper, Finkelstein and McGarry (2003) attempt to estimate the effect…

Welfare vs. Workfare

In 1996, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act (PRWORA) brought ‘workfare’ into the spotlight.  In addition to replacing the old AFDC program with the new TANF (Temporary Aid to Needy Families), the law required welfare recipients to work or to look for work in order to receive benefits.  This was not the first time in history…

Medicaid and IT

The National Governors Association (“Florida Invests $308 Million in New Medicaid Computer System“) reports that Electronic Data Systems (EDS) has won a contract to “develop a new Medicaid computer system beginning March 1, 2008” for the state of Florida. The system is supposed to help participants navigate Florida’s Medicaid system, file claims, and report fraud.…

Reshaping Medicaid

Medicaid currently covers 55 million poor and disabled Americans; these 55 million individuals have much change to look forward to.  In February of this year, the President signed the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA)of 2005.  According the Kaiser Family Foundation, the act will reduce federal spending on Medicaid by $39 billion between 2006 and 2010, while giving states…

Social Assistance and Employment rates

Is a welfare system a welfare improving?  On the one hand, this form of social insurance gives money to those who have come upon rough times, facing low income and unemployment.  On the other hand, giving individuals money conditional on not having low income gives these same people an incentive not to work.  The field…

World Cup 2006

Today begins the biggest event in sports.  No, I am not talking about the NBA finals (although the Dallas Mavericks did win game one); I am speaking of the World Cup 2006 and it begins at 9am today in Germany.  The schedule gives us 29 consecutive days of futbol.  If you think that soccer is just a game,…

Mapping the Majority

How many people in Mexico have access to the Internet in their home?  What proportion of the Domincan Republic’s poorest fifth of citizens has access to sanitation service?  What proporation of the richest 10% of people in El Salvador have access to electricity?  In Chile, how many people own their home? [Answers below] If you…

Economics Jokes

To lighten your mood… A traveller wandering on an island inhabited entirely by cannibals comes upon a butcher shop. This shop specialised in human brains differentiated according to source. The sign in the shop read: Artists’ Brains $9/lb Philosophers’ Brains $12/lb Scientists’ Brains $15/lb Economists’ Brains $19/lb Upon reading the sign, the traveller noted, “My…

Commentary from other blogs

The Healthcare Economist realizes that he is not the only game in town and in this post I would like to call attention to the opinions some other blogs who have discussed issues about which I have written.  On Sunday I wrote a post regarding end-of-life treatment for cancer patients and the correct amount of…