The end of Obamacare?

As reported in NPR: A federal judge in Texas issued a ruling Friday declaring the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional, apparently setting the stage for another hearing on the health care law by the U.S. Supreme Court. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor invalidates what’s commonly referred to as Obamacare nationwide, and casts into…

HEALTH REFORM UPHELD

Today the Supreme Court upheld the large majority of Affordable Care Act (a.k.a., Health Reform, ObamaCare, ACA) including the individual mandate. Why was the individual mandate allowed to remain in the law?  According to Justice Ginsburg and others, it is a form of a tax. “Justice Ginsburg makes clear that the vote is 5-4 on…

How to drop the individual mandate and avoid the collapse of the private health insurance market

Today, the Supreme Court is deciding  whether to let many of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. ACA, a.k.a. Health Reform, a.k.a. Obamacare) stand.  One of the key provisions is the individual mandate.  The individual mandate requires all individuals to purchase health insurance.  If you don’t buy health insurance, you must pay a…

The End of Health Reform Starts in Ohio?

One of the key tenets of health reform is that insurers cannot charge different premiums to individuals based on their pre-existing conditions.  Under this type of system, the optimal strategy for many individuals is to not buy any health insurance until one gets sick.  Since insurers cannot charge these sicker people higher premiums based on…

Effect of Massachusetts Health Reform on Hospital and Preventive Care

Kolstad and Kowalski (2010) examine how the Massachusetts individual mandate affected uninsurance rates, hospital and outpatient utilization, and preventive care: “Among the population discharged from the hospital in Massachusetts, the reform decreased uninsurance by 28% relative to its initial level. Increased coverage affected utilization patterns by decreasing length of stay and the number of inpatient…