Category: Health

Wondering about 2.5%

I can’t help wondering how the election outcome would have been different if the headline that was prominently featured in the news for the last month had been the one we just received in the email message from the Boston University Human Resources Department that said: Contribution rates for 2017 – we are pleased to […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

#6 Raise the minimum wage for jobs not offering health insurance

Time to change the policy discussion. Congress has been unwilling to raise the minimum wage despite strong public support for doing so. This blog suggests a concrete approach for getting even broader public support and potentially reducing the need for federal taxes. As of January 1, 2015 29 states and DC have minimum wages above […]

Recommended book on US health care system

I highly recommend this book as a useful summary of the US Health Care System. I have made it required reading (as a reference) for my classes at BU. The Health Care Handbook: A Clear and Concise Guide to the United States Health Care System, 2nd Edition Paperback – November 15, 2014 by Elisabeth Askin […]

Useful Data Links to US Government data

Websites for Federal Administrative Data sets: US Administration for International Development: Foreign aid from the U.S: Data and Tools Department of Agriculture: Economic Research Services: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Data System Food and Nutrition Services: Commodity Supplemental Food Program Data Food Safety Inspection Services: Recalls and Quarterly Enforcement Reports Forest Inventory Data National Agricultural Statistics Service: Cropland Data Natural Resource Conservation Service: […]

Re-envisioning Ebola, including updated story about Nigeria from Kas Nwuke

Arlene Ash, Professor and Division Chief, Biostatistics and Health Services Research, at UMass Medical School, has compiled a useful series of original thoughts, emails, and links about Ebola which I am broadcasting and reposting on my blog site here. This posting repeats some of the information already posted in my earlier blog: Ebola is being […]

Ebola is being contained in Nigeria

Amid so much negative and scary news about Ebola, this research paper on the experience of Nigeria where it has not spread widely after arriving by airplane gives great hope. I recommend it if you have time (It is 6 pages – updated to include references.). Containing Ebola: A success story from an “unexpected” place? […]

Important Reposting on Placebo surgery from TIE

I am forwarding this excellent TIE post since every health researcher and indeed every consumer should realize how serious the lack of evidence is on many common surgical procedures. Here are some quotes organized in a succinct way. “2002… arthroscopic surgery for osteoarthritis of the knee … Those who had the actual procedures did no […]

NEJM: Sham Controls in Medical Device Trials

Rita F. Redberg, M.D. N Engl J Med 2014; 371:892-893September 4, 2014DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1406388 (Bold emphasis added by RPE) The problem: “Only 1% of all medical devices reach the market through the premarket-approval route — the only pathway that requires the submission of clinical data. Research has shown that premarket approvals are often based on data […]

Employer Sponsored Insurance Also Surged in MA in 2007.

There has been a great deal of surprise expressed in the media over the RAND’s latest report suggesting that more people have become insured through employer sponsored insurance (ESI) than through either Medicaid or the Exchanges under the ACA. One example is Adrianna McIntyre on The Incidental Economist who posted on Wednesday: “I can’t overstate […]