- James Pethokoukis: the latest numbers confirm that inequality has been exaggerated.
- Study: illegal immigration causes voters to prefer smaller government; and less money for education (with social benefits ) and more law-and-order spending (with private benefits).
- House Republican leader Mike Johnson’s views on how to reform health care.
- Medicare ACOs did not improve mental health outcomes.
- Universal health care in Canada: the health service refuses treatment for cancer and refuses to reimburse the patient for the cost of treatment in the U.S.
- Criticisms of pot legalization do not hold up.
Hardly a week goes by but what I read something critical of Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. MA plans have become somewhat politicized with Democrats preferring government-run (traditional) Medicare, while Republicans like the idea of competition among private plans. Here is the thing that critics forget: MA plans are popular with seniors. They are growing and now cover more than half of all people enrolled in Medicare, about 31 million seniors and disabled individuals.
- What the left and right are coming to agree on: Obamacare is encouraging consolidation and that is bad for patients.
- New study: If you count all welfare spending as income in kind to poor families, the real poverty rate is only 1.6%.
- FDA: A treatment for cancer may cause cancer.
- Avalere study: For patients in traditional Medicare use of skilled nursing homes was 12% higher and hospital inpatient care was 37% higher than for Medicare Advantage patients.
If all Medicare beneficiaries were in Medicare Advantage, the hospital trust fund would remain solvent until 2048.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is beefing up its scrutiny of private equity investments in health care. This past September the FTC sued U.S. Anesthesia Partners (USAP) and the private equity firm Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe in Houston federal court. The investors are accused of buying up a significant portion of large anesthesia practices in major Texas cities, allowing them to aggressively boost prices. FTC chair, Lina Khan, claims private equity investors “bought up the largest anesthesiology practices, then jacked up prices and entered into price-setting and market-allocation schemes.” Research has found that physician prices rose due to private equity investments.