Focus on Health

Focus on Health

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A June 13 CBS News poll found that only 31 percent of people support the Republican plan to privatize Medicare; 58 percent are opposed including 45 percent of Republicans.

A June 6 Pew poll found strong opposition to the Republican plan to privatize Medicare among those over age 50.

In a June 5 blog post, Indiana University medical professor Aaron Carroll reviewed common American criticisms of Canada’s health system and showed that they are either misinformed or erroneous.

On June 1, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science issued a report on changing Medicare’s system of adjusting payments based on geographical factors.

On May 25, KPMG published its 2011 hospital nursing costs study. It finds that while the base wage for hospital nurses is about $26 per hour, the total cost of employment to the hospital is about $45 per hour. The difference is accounted for by taxes, paid time off, insurance and other costs.

On May 18, the New England Journal of Medicine published an article which estimated that Americans waste $640 billion per year on health care costs that do not improve their health.

In a May 14 commentary, economists Joan Costa-i-Font, Stefan Felder, and Andrew Felton counter the popular perception that increasing longevity is a key cause of rising health costs. They find that technological progress is the primary cause.

In a May 13 commentary, Princeton economist Uwe Reinhardt explained why privatizing Medicare, as Republicans propose, is unlikely to reduce medical cost inflation.

Also on May 13, the World Health Organization published new international health data for virtually every country on earth.

I last posted items on this topic on May 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 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, 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.