Archive for October, 2009

Guest Post: 50 cents or “Cap-and-Trade”?

Saturday, October 31st, 2009 by Paul Tousignant (Tooz)

Question: if your monthly electric bill averaged $100, would you even notice a difference of 50 cents?
Idea: A 50 cent per MWh tax on the electricity generated in the US to pay for renewable energy installations: 4,157 million * .5 = $2,078,500,000. per year.
Net generation of electric power in 2007 was 4,157 million megawatthours (MWh). [...]

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You Heard It Here First: Insuring People Increases Healthcare Spending

Friday, October 23rd, 2009 by Al Lewis (alewis)

The Office of the Actuary, which makes the official Medicare cost projections,  just announced exactly what was in this blog last week – that there is no chance of overall health care costs falling as a percentage of GDP, and that the more people who are insured, the greater the level of healthcare spending. 
I myself [...]

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Why People Who Write Op-Eds Don’t Rule The World

Sunday, October 18th, 2009 by Al Lewis (alewis)

We interrupt our health care pontificating for some breaking news.
A couple of well-intentioned do-gooders from Hyannis (www.CleanPowerNow.Org) wrote an impassioned op-ed essay in today’s Boston Globe (http:/a_carbon_tax_not_a_cap_and_trade/) explaining why the proposed cap-and-trade legislation for emissions won’t work.  They say, with plenty of evidence, that cap-and-trade amounts to nothing more than a windfall for industry, as [...]

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Painless Way to Save Money in Health Care #1

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009 by Al Lewis (alewis)

There are a number of ways to save money in health care without anyone (”anyone” being defined as “anyone who is not a special interest”) feeling a reduction in service or quality. 
The first is quite simple.  Believe it or not, when a state Medicaid director puts an expensive new program in place that will ”reduce costs while increasing [...]

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Why healthcare can never fall as a % of GDP, Part Two

Friday, October 9th, 2009 by Al Lewis (alewis)

Last time I ended my entry by observing that as increasingly effective, painless, and expensive procedures,diagnostics and therapies are introduced, they will be over-consumed.  Why?  There is no economic check-and-balance against this because these resources are virtually free at the point of sale, which brings me to the third observation (counting the the last posting as [...]

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why health care costs can never fall as a % of GDP, Part One

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009 by Al Lewis (alewis)

This is the first in a series of blogs over the next week to explain why we need to get used to health care expenses continuing to rise, unless we are willing to discuss the R word (rationing). 
If all doctors and hospitals did was the same procedures we did 30 years ago, spending would be [...]

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Mission Not Accomplished but…

Sunday, October 4th, 2009 by Al Lewis (alewis)

Paul Krugman has it right that hard times are far from over. But his solution — more government spending — is more indication of the “Methadone Economy” approach in which we try to come down from our 2005-2007 heroin high (the “heroin” being the housinng bubble) with the Methadone of stilumus spending. The approach of [...]

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