Sloppy Renewal Plans for Obamacare?

I used to work on healthcare insurance enrollment systems. This is a bad sign for the next Obamacare open enrollment period: People will be renewing at the same time that others are enrolling for the first time, starting a week and a half before Thanksgiving, on Nov. 15. To ensure that they have a new […]

Why Obamacare Means Insurance Refunds

At the reliably hyper Addicting Info, Wendy Gittleson is excited over upcoming insurance refunds due to the Affordable Care Act: In a story that’s bound to send Republicans straight into the spin cycle, it was announced on Thursday that insurance companies will be refunding Americans $332 million because they’ve been overcharging them for healthcare. That’s […]

Much Ado About $300

Much Ado About $300

I think the reaction to the Hobby Lobby case is going to make me mental. Case in point: That’s from a Mother Jones article by Erika Eichelberger and Molly Redden titled “In Hobby Lobby Case, the Supreme Court Chooses Religion Over Science”. Does the young woman holding the sign realize that she’s saying it’s not […]

Obamacare Meets Basic Economics

I recently received an email pitch for a petition: My name is “Sue,” and I work at Staples. I can’t tell you my full name because I’m afraid I’ll lose my job for what I’m about to tell you: Staples recently decided to cut part-time employees’ hours just so they won’t have to provide […]

Certificate of Greed

How screwed-up is the economics of our healthcare system? So crazy that stuff like this happens all the time: The proposal by Vista Health System to build a $131 million hospital in Lindenhurst would add more beds to an area that already has a substantial surplus, according to a report released today by the staff […]

Our Stupid Debate on National Healthcare

I’ve held off writing anything about the whole contraceptives/Sandra Fluke/Rush Limbaugh mess because it’s a classic example of an important political debate turning trivial, stupid, and misogynistic. At the top level, we have the ongoing debate about how to reform the healthcare industry in this country. The current big and controversial plan is the Affordable […]

Our Dumb Medical Billing System

Everybody knows at least one line from Shakespeare’s Henry VI: “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” But really, that line is hundreds of years old. Anybody writing today wouldn’t put lawyers first on the list. Not while there are still people alive in medical billing departments. My God, this is a […]

Yet Another Reason Obamacare Is a Bad Idea

The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design. – F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit An AP story by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar explains a glitch in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA): WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama’s health care law would […]

A Bright New Idea From the Change-Master

I guess it’s change of a sort. Obama’s healtcare reform started as a beautiful vision of low-cost healthcare for everyone. I thought that was highly unrealistic, but at least it was clear and straightforward. I guess the Democrats thought it was unrealistic too, because the Democrats soon made a series of compromises and turned it into a […]

The Public Option to Healthcare Reform is Stupid

Putting a public option in the comprehensive healthcare reform bill is a stupid idea. Note that I’m not saying that the public option is a stupid idea, nor am I saying that comprehensive reform is a stupid idea. Either or both of those things could be stupid, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m […]

Of Health Insurance and Hunger

I really don’t understand healthcare reform. People keep saying that one of the biggest problems with our current system is that about 45 million people don’t have health insurance. There are reasons why that number doesn’t tell the whole story, but I can understand why people are concerned. What I don’t understand is how any […]

Is Free Preventive Care The Answer?

In response to my earlier post of a couple of thoughts on healthcare, a reader called “bunkerbuster” throws a few interesting questions my way: What’s your view on demand for health care? The market model would have it increase to infinity if it becomes zero cost to the consumer. Generally, that is the rule, but I […]

A Couple More Thoughts About Healthcare

Back on my latest I’m-going-to-be-blogging-about-healthcare post, reader Seth makes a few points in the comments. Here’s the first one: Making healthcare cheaper by saving money on billing data, etc. is saving money on clerks and bookkeepers. Whether the amount is large or small, it has no effect on the amount of healthcare provided (except perhaps […]

Healthcare Still to Come…

Last August, I boldly announced that I would begin blogging more about healthcare.  Like most such announcements here, it didn’t work out. I had figured the big story for the next administration would be healthcare, but just days later the economy blew up. The story of the Obama administration is turning back toward healthcare now, […]

Solving the Healthcare Crisis at Gunpoint

Hey everybody! I’ve got a plan that will provide high-speed broadband service to every American! Wanna hear it? It’s simple: Just have Congress pass a law forcing every American to buy high-speed broadband service! I’m kidding, but these people aren’t: WASHINGTON – The health insurance industry says it will support a national health care overhaul […]

Open Letter to a Hospital

I’m not really going to send this, but… NAME OF HOSPITAL REDACTEDAttn: Billing Department Dear Sir or Madam, Earlier this year, a family member made several visits to your fine hospital. The treatment was excellant, and we are glad to have such a fine medical resource located so conveniently. Shortly thereafter, however, we started receiving bills […]

Fibbing to Organ Donors

Given all that they ask of other people, the venality of the organ transplant business amazes me. I’ve already complained about their willingness to pay everyone involved in a transplant operation except the person who actually has the organ to be transplanted. To the surprise of nobody who understands economics, there’s an organ shortage. Here […]

Hard to Watch But Sadly True

Michael J. Fox on stem cell research

Cash For Kidneys, Part 3

[This is a followup to Part 1, and Part 2.] Charles B. Fruit, the Chairman of the National Kidney Foundation recently got a couple of letters published declaring his opposition to paying for kidneys. Both of them are worth reading, if only to see how pathetic the arguments are. The first note was printed in […]

Cash For Kidneys, Part 2

[This is a followup to Cash For Kidneys, Part 1.] One of the things that would bother me about donating a kidney is that I’m using it. Granted, living with one kidney isn’t much of a hazard. You really only need one to do the job, and having a spare isn’t all that useful since […]