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April 2023 Mercatus on Healthcare
Updates on healthcare research and commentary from the Mercatus Center's Open Health Project
Last Saturday, after a pandemic-long break, states began reviewing their Medicaid rolls and removing ineligible enrollees. With Medicaid rolls nationwide nearing 100 million beneficiaries, the redetermination process represents a gargantuan administrative task. But the human consequences of the process is what has journalists and patient advocates panicking: What will happen to the people who lose Medicaid coverage? Open Health’s Kofi Ampaabeng tempered fears in a blog post.
Kofi Ampaabeng notes that Medicaid redeterminations are unlikely to render many Americans uninsured.
Peter Nelson and Elise Amez-Droz break down President Biden’s budget items on Medicaid, including drug pricing, managed care, home and community-based services, expansion-like coverage and 12-month postpartum coverage.
Charles Blahous explains that the White House’s budget proposals would only improve the appearance of Medicare’s finances while disguising their actual deterioration.
Public Health and COVID-19
Vitor Melo and Liam Sigaud draw upon their research to highlight the effects of city-level indoor vaccine mandates on COVID cases and deaths. They also highlight specific findings for the District of Columbia and Philadelphia.
Vitor Melo and Conor Norris highlight findings from a recent Mercatus paper: nursing homes that implemented strict isolation measures experienced more total deaths during the pandemic than did nursing homes with less strict measures.
Rapid Antigen Tests: A Missed Opportunity (blog post)
Markus Bjoerkheim shows how, at $5 per test, rapid antigen tests were a bargain compared to other public health interventions and could have saved lives, especially in nursing homes.
Kofi Ampaabeng argues that deputizing medical professionals to fix social problems is doomed to fail, with unintended but often foreseeable consequences.
Kofi Ampaabeng recommends that, rather than artificially cap the price of drugs stateside, we should ensure that other wealthy countries pay a fair price.