Category: BUHealth

ACA premiums are reasonable, grew modestly in 2016, and risk scores are stable.

Here are the results from CMS reports from June 30, 2017 and 2016: 2016 National average premium in the ACA Marketplace: $414.54 (CMS, 2017, page 9.) This is less than the (employee plus employer) premiums offered where I work. This number includes the cost of the subsidies that are not paid by the enrollee. 2015 […]

ACA versus GOP plans side-by-side

This article from the LA Times by columnist Noam Levey links an update on earlier postings online that does a side-by-side comparison of ACA versus the GOP’s replacement AHCA plan. That posting provides the best concise overview I have seen of the latest GOP AHCA proposal. It will take 10 minutes to review/read. Randy Here […]

Performance Timer is excellent App

I was at a conference last week and learned about a terrific timer for my iPhone called Performance Timer. It counts down your specified time, and then changes from green to red as you go over. What makes it superior to the default iPhone timer is its large font, there is no alarm when time […]

Excellent articles about machine learning and replication

There is a wonderful article about Machine learning in the spring 2017 issue of the Journal of Economic Perspectives, and there is also a series of four fine articles in the AER May 2017. I decided to share as a BUHealth blog to all. Whether you are curious, newly interested or an expert working in […]

Economist article about end of life planning

One of my students today just sent me this link to an article in this week’s Economist about end-of-life planning. How to have a better death http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21721371-death-inevitable-bad-death-not-how-have-better-death It led me to also view its link about conversations about serious illness by one of my favorite authors. “Serious Illness Conversation Guide” drawn up by Atul Gawande […]

#stupideconomics and Healthcare Triage on the AHCA

Two interesting links related to the recent Republican health care proposal called the AHCA. The first is a serious but also humorous Forbes article by my BU colleague Larry Kotlikoff in his series about Stupid Economics, this one targeting Tom Price and the AHCA bill. (A 3-minute read.) Tom Price’s Liver And ‘The Coverage They […]

Facts about Tom Price, HHS nominee

Health economists and every concerned citizen should disseminate the facts in this NEJM article about Donald Trump’s nominee of Tom Price to be the next secretary of HHS. Coauthor Richard Frank is also a BU Ph.D. alum! Randy Ellis   Care for the Vulnerable vs. Cash for the Powerful — Trump’s Pick for HHS Sherry […]

I am sorry

Dear BUHealth friends, alumni, students and colleagues. Like most of the people I know, I am immensely saddened by the results of the US presidential elections, which have elected Donald Trump as president and elected republicans to run both houses of congress. My view is that hate and party loyalty won out in the end […]

Recent Marketplace Premium Increases are No Big Deal

By Randall P. Ellis, Boston University, Department of Economics October 28, 2016 A great deal has been made recently about the large increases in certain Health Insurance Marketplace premiums  announced for 2017. I present here five arguments for why these increases are no big deal, and are not the right thing to focus on when […]

The US Should Ban or Heavily Tax Weapons Designed for Mass Shootings

Boston University Working Paper Randall P. Ellis Boston University, Department of Economics August 22, 2016 Abstract This paper presents four arguments for why the US should ban or at least heavily tax the sale or transfer to civilians of weapons designed for mass shootings (WDMS), which would include most semi-automatic guns and weapons with large […]

Obama’s JAMA article is a must read for all professionals

There is a very important  article in this week’s JAMA – Internal Medicine, written by Barach Obama. It highlights the effects of the ACA/Obamacare.  It is free on-line. United States Health Care Reform: Progress to Date and Next Steps http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2533698 If you are short on time, then the following link to just the figures provides […]

Press Interviews and Quotes

Partly just to keep track of them for my BU annual report, this post links to my press interviews and quotes. Meeting basic needs under Trump Fed funds key for landlords, affordable tenants; Trump’s health secretary opposes Obamacare Bay State Banner Jule Pattison-Gordon | 12/7/2016, 1:13 p.m. Effects of Brexit on the world economy and […]

Insurers are doing well under ObamaCare

Much was made recently about how UnitedHealth decided to drop out of the ACA Federal Exchange in several states. It is important to realize that far from being a failure to large insurers (UnitedHealth is the largest insurer in the US), health insurance remains extremely profitably under ObamaCare. Below is a bar chart of the […]

Congratulations to BU’s Class of 2016 Economics graduates!

Please celebrate the students who earned 498 Boston University degrees in Economics at Commencement this May. This year the program mentions: 22 Ph.D. recipients 203 Master’s degree recipients (MA, MAPE, MAEP, MAGDE MA/MBA, BA/MA) 273 BA recipients (including BA/MA) This total of 498 degrees is up from 482  in 2015. These numbers undercount the total […]

Top 100 Economics Blogs of 2016

I just got an email from Prateek Agarwal <prateek@intelligenteconomist.com> He has compiled a list of the Top 100 Economics Blogs of 2016. I am of course not on it since I blog infrequently and do not archive (and make public) on my web site all of my blogs, but I thought I would share the […]

Obamacare reality: It is working

At a time in the US when all of the Republicans presidential candidates are declaring Obamacare a failure which needs to be undone, it is worth noting the REALITY that it is succeeding in its primary purpose of covering more American with health insurance. It does not mandate insurance coverage, but the subsidies and tax […]

Denmark’s Social Capitalism and Switzerland’s Federal Democracy

With Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders both mentioning Democratic Socialism in Denmark, it is interesting to read about what it actually is. Here is one link with one persons discussion. Living with Denmark’s democratic socialism Denmark sounds pretty wonderful to me Switzerland I just returned from Switzerland which is not democratic socialism, […]

Tax to rise on the uninsured next year.

This is why enrollment in health insurance will continue to rise in the US from the ACA. For 2016: Max of  $695 or 2.5 percent of taxable income if uninsured. http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2015/10/19/health-law-fine-uninsured-will-more-than-double/76FbuARARxAmaT9H4nN66K/story.html Full text is below. Health law fine for uninsured to rise Boston Globe Associated Press  October 19, 2015 WASHINGTON — The federal penalty for […]

iHEA Milan attracts twenty BU current and former students, faculty and visitors

Among the 1400 worldwide attendees, BU was again well represented at the International Health Economics Association biennial meetings in Milan Italy, 2015 with 20 current and former students, faculty and visitors present. Present were: Osea Giuntella, Giulia La Mattina, Francesco Decarolis, Ana Balsa, Daniel Maceira, Julie Shi,  Michal Horny, Randy Ellis, Arturo Schweiger, Wenjia Zhu, […]

Ellis SAS tips for experienced SAS users

If you are a beginning SAS programmer, then the following may not be particularly helpful, but the books suggested in the middle may be. BU students can obtain a free license for SAS to install on their own computer if it is required for a course or research project. Both will require an email from […]