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November 2022 Mercatus on Healthcare
Updates on healthcare research and commentary by the Mercatus Center's Open Health Project
Election day is around the corner. Healthcare is usually high on the list of top issues for voters, but this year is a little different. Inflation hasn’t hit slower-moving healthcare costs just yet, and Americans feel that they have other fish to fry. But lawmakers can’t avoid it forever: Come 2023, healthcare reform will be on the menu in the new Congress and in the states. We at Open Health are tackling what we perceive to be some of the biggest challenges ahead, including long-term care and the future of Medicaid. Please check out our latest publications.
State testimony: Medicaid Is Rife with Ineligible Enrollments and Ripe for Reform
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives State Government Committee sought out University of Kentucky economist Aaron Yelowitz’s expertise on ineligible enrollees and improper payments in Medicaid, noting the existence of misaligned incentives and proposing principles toward enhanced program integrity.
Liam Sigaud warned that Medicaid expansions have been linked to longer wait times and even higher mortality in other states, and that expanding Medicaid creates incentives for state legislators to prioritize the interests of the newly-enrolled group over those of existing beneficiaries.
Research paper: Pandemic Problem Solvers: Private Markets and the Public Sector
From the development of vaccines to innovations in remote work, many solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic relied on private actors’ ingenuity. Wake Forest healthcare economist Tina Marsh Dalton and Grace Lyons assessed the role played by the public and private sectors to inform future pandemic response strategies.
Research paper: Healthcare Openness and Access Project: Methodology
HOAP, the Mercatus Center’s flagship healthcare index, needed a face lift, so Mercatus Senior Research Fellow Kofi Ampaabeng and Liam Sigaud created a new-and-upgraded methodology exclusively featuring indicators backed by empirical evidence. The authors would be thrilled to help interested scholars at other organizations develop a full-fledged index complete with state scores and rankings.
Open Health Policy blog: Financing Long-Term Care in the US
In the first part of a series on long-term care, Kofi Ampaabeng explained that long-term care in the US is financed through a mix of public insurance (Medicare and Medicaid), private insurance, and out-of-pocket spending, and he detailed the pitfalls of those financing options to underline the urgency of reform.
In part two of the series, Kofi Ampaabeng proposed that the government should set up tax-advantaged savings and investment options to fund long-term care, because it is a major and almost inevitable expense that Americans must prepare for.
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