Focus on Health

Focus on Health

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In a December 24 commentary, Princeton economist Uwe Reinhardt explains how physicians have been able to game the Medicare system and raise their income even as service fees remain low. It involves requiring unnecessary tests through companies in which physicians have a financial interest. Reinhardt notes that this problem would exist even if Medicare is privatized, as many Republicans advocate.


On December 22, the Congressional Budget Office published a document summarizing its reports on the Affordable Care Act over the last two years.


Also on December 22, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta posted a working paper which estimates that 12 percent of aggregate saving is devoted to long-term health care in old age, in particular nursing homes.


In a December 16 commentary, Republican economists Douglas Holtz-Eakin and James Capretta reject the idea that the Affordable Care Act is deficit-neutral. They believe that the legislation’s costs will be greater than estimated and its savings less than estimated, thus raising the deficit significantly. They don’t say how much.


On December 15, the Congressional Research Service published a report on the federal food safety system.


A December 6 Harris poll found that many of those that want to repeal the Affordable Care Act also want to keep many of its provisions.


On November 30, the CRS published a report on the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which was established by the Affordable Care Act to reduce Medicare spending.


I last posted items on this topic on December 7.

Bruce Bartlett is an American historian and columnist who focuses on the intersection between politics and economics. He blogs daily and writes a weekly column at The Fiscal Times. Bartlett has written for Forbes Magazine and Creators Syndicate, and his work is informed by many years in government, including as a senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House. He is the author of seven books including the New York Times best-seller, Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy (Doubleday, 2006).

Bruce Bartlett’s columns focus on the intersection of politics and economics. The author of seven books, he worked in government for many years and was senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House.