Who Pays for Medicare and Medicaid?

In our last post, we found that physicians receive higher payments from the privately insured and the uninsured for office visits than they receive from the publicly-insured (i.e. Medicare and Medicaid), but as long as the publicly-insured pay the variable costs of providing care, most physicians have a financial incentive to treat them. This incentiveContinue reading “Who Pays for Medicare and Medicaid?”

Is Treating Medicare Patients Profitable?

This post is the latest in a series that establishes what an optimal health insurance system would look like, how much it would cost and who would pay for it. Past posts analyzed the number of uninsured people in the US (it’s not as many as officially reported), the cost of a single-payer system (it’sContinue reading “Is Treating Medicare Patients Profitable?”

Who Pays What and Why

It’s time to return to designing an optimal health insurance system. In previous posts we have specified the different types of healthcare that are covered by health insurance, defined and quantified the size of the uninsured population in the US, explained the costs of single-payer healthcare systems, and discussed the high degree of market powerContinue reading “Who Pays What and Why”

The Lone Economist Does Obamacare

In a previous post I said that Obamacare’s long-term chances of survival are poor. And that assumes that enforcement of the individual mandate is eventually reinstated. So why am I so pessimistic with regards to Obamacare? It’s popular and it’s responsible for a sizable decline in the number of people without health insurance. Well, I’mContinue reading “The Lone Economist Does Obamacare”

Questions about The Lone Economist

I’ve gotten some questions about The Lone Economist that I need to address. A number of people want to know if there are any analogs for the other characters from “The Lone Ranger”, specifically Tonto. My answer is “no”. I am the Ponied Pontificator, the Country Contrarian, the one and only (quite literally by definition)Continue reading “Questions about The Lone Economist”

Let Me Be More Explicit

Apparently my first blog post, the mask icon and the name, “The Lone Economist” didn’t make it clear what this blog is about. So, let me be more explicit. “The Lone Economist” is an allusion to the 1950’s TV show, “The Lone Ranger”. For those of you too young to remember, the Lone Ranger, wasContinue reading “Let Me Be More Explicit”

The U.S. Healthcare System Might be Better than You Think (Part II)

Last time we outlined the challenges posed by the single-payer model of health insurance adopted by Canada, the UK and several other countries. The gist of that posting was that single-payer systems rely entirely on tax revenues to compensate providers for the costs they incur and therefore the aggregate cost of healthcare is under-reported inContinue reading “The U.S. Healthcare System Might be Better than You Think (Part II)”

The U.S. Healthcare System Might be Better than You Think

In our quest to design an optimal healthcare insurance system, we need to assess the relative strengths and weaknesses of our current system to that of other countries. You might have noticed that the U.S. healthcare system doesn’t get a lot of respect in many quarters nowadays. In the universe of developed countries, the percentageContinue reading “The U.S. Healthcare System Might be Better than You Think”

How Many People Are Truly Uninsured?

In a previous posting I established the need to define a theoretical optimal health insurance system with which to compare to the several legislative proposals now circulating. This posting identifies a source of data, the types of healthcare services covered, how much is spent on them and how many people are truly uninsured. Data ToContinue reading “How Many People Are Truly Uninsured?”

An Optimal Health Insurance System

It is now nine years after the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and there are still 28 million Americans without any form of health insurance. Despite its current strong financial health, the long-term continuation of the ACA exchange market is in doubt. The individual mandate is no longer being enforced by the TrumpContinue reading “An Optimal Health Insurance System”