Focus on Health

Focus on Health

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On December 6, the American Enterprise Institute published a study warning that pharmaceuticals donated to developing countries are routinely stolen by criminal gangs.

In a December 3 commentary, Princeton economist Uwe Reinhardt explained how the Medicare fee schedule works for doctors.

A December 2 article in the New England Journal of Medicine examined the growing importance of amenities to hospital attractiveness for both patients and doctors.

Also on December 2, Stanford economist Victor Fuchs published a commentary examining reasons why health spending is so much higher in the U.S. than other countries. Culprits include the greater power of special interests here, a greater commitment to redistribution in other countries, and a system that requires government to pay for much health care in the U.S. but denies it the power to control spending. Thus we have “the worst of all worlds,” Fuchs says.

In a November 29 blog post, George Mason University economist Tyler Cowen expressed concern that negative trends in the health market that would have occurred anyway will be blamed on the Affordable Care Act.

Also on November 29, Princeton economist Uwe Reinhardt posted a commentary in which he discusses how Republicans might respond if the Affordable Care Act is repealed or found unconstitutional. He believes they are incapable of putting forward a responsible alternative at this time. Note: Reinhardt was interviewed in The Fiscal Times on November 28.

And on November 29, Marist College released a poll that asked people several questions about the Affordable Care Act. It finds that while strong opposition remains, it breaks down when people are asked whether they would keep the law with changes and when they are asked about specific provisions.

In a November 26 commentary, Princeton economist Uwe Reinhardt explained how Medicare sets the prices it will pay for medical services.

A November 22 McClatchy poll found that a majority of voters want to keep the Affordable Care Act or even expand its coverage. Only 33 percent favor the Republican position that it should be repealed in total.

Also on November 22, the World Health Organization issued its annual World Health Report. It estimates that between 20 percent and 40 percent of all health care spending is wasted.

I last posted items on this topic on November 23.

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. Read his most recent column  here . 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.