Economists Weigh In

By Greg Scandlen

I’m not going to do this very often, but here is an excellent collection of essays by some of the top health economists in the country, published by Berkley Electronic Press and edited by Aaron Edlin and Joseph Stiglitz (Nobel recipient in 2001). The publication is The Economists’ Voice and it doesn’t usually deal with health care.

I haven’t had a chance yet to read these articles, but they seem to make for some pretty solid analysis. Except, perhaps, for the description of the Goldman-Lakdawalla piece that starts –“Now that we have covered the uninsured, it is time for us to put the priority on health, not health insurance.”

Sorry, guys, but we haven’t covered squat as of yet and the chances are very high that ObamaCare won’t cover very many even if it stays in effect. There’s a big difference between writing it on a piece of paper and actually doing it.

Anyway, here are the articles. Go to The Economists’ Voice to access.


Health Care Reform

The Health Care Reform Legislation: An Overview

Chapin White

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) fundamentally shifts the social contract in the U.S., according to Chapin White of the Center for Studying Health System Change.


The Simple Economics of Health Reform

David M. Cutler

According to David Cutler of Harvard, a key player in crafting health care reform, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could turn out to be the most successful piece of health care legislation ever.


The Economics, Opportunities, and Challenges of Health Insurance Exchanges

Mark G. Duggan and Robert Kocher

Can the health insurance exchanges in the Affordable Care Act substantially improve the functioning and reach of the private health insurance market? They can if executed correctly, according to Mark Duggan of the University of Maryland and Robert Kocher of McKinsey Center for U.S. Health System Reform, who point to new incentives for individuals, employers, and insurers.


Can the ACA Improve Population Health?

Dana P. Goldman and Darius N. Lakdawalla

Now that we have covered the uninsured, it is time for us to put the priority on health, not health insurance, according to Darius Lakdawalla and Dana Goldman, both of the University of Southern California. The authors argue that benefits to population health are likely to be limited under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).


Systemic Reform of Health Care Delivery and Payment

Henry J. Aaron

We need to be better informed about the four formidable obstacles facing The Health Care Act (ACA), according to Henry Aaron of the Brookings Institution. Aaron delves into the tough fights that lie ahead for certain sections of the ACA, given the precarious balance of political forces leading up to the 2012 election.


How Stable Are Insurance Subsidies in Health Reform?

Mark V. Pauly

The case that insurance subsidies will improve health is far from compelling, according to Mark Pauly of The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania, and needs to be strengthened if the program is to be politically stable. The time for this conversation is now, argues Pauly.