Focus on Health

Focus on Health

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On September 13, the census Bureau issued it annual report on income, poverty and health insurance coverage. It found that the number of people without health coverage was essentially unchanged in 2010 over 2009.

On September 8, the journal Health Affairs published an article which found that rising health care costs have wiped-out a decade worth of income gains for the median family. It also published an article showing that increased consolidation among health plans nationally may benefit consumers by lowering hospital prices, at least in those regions where health plans are the most consolidated.

Also on September 8, the Bureau of Labor Statistics published a report on the impact of Medicare Part D on health spending by the elderly. It found that outlays for prescription drugs have fallen from 21 of health spending in 2005 to 14 percent in 2009.

A September 1 YouGov poll found that while a plurality of people would repeal the Affordable Care Act, strong majorities favor many of its individual provisions.

On August 25, the Institute of Medicine published a report which found that vaccines are generally safe.

On July 28, the journal Health Affairs published an article projecting national health spending through 2020. It estimates that the Affordable Care Act will add 0.1 percent to the annual growth rate while giving health coverage to 30 million people who would otherwise be uninsured.

A July 22 Gallup poll found that by a 3 to 2 margin people support higher insurance rates for those who smoke; they are divided on higher rate for the obese.

A July 19 Rasmussen poll found that 69 percent of people believe that free market competition is the best way to reduce health care costs.

On July 13, the New England Journal of Medicine published an article reviewing public opinion on Medicare and the budget deficit.

I last posted items on this topic on July 13.

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 for 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, Imposter: 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.