Archive for the ‘Health economics’ Category

Kenneth Feinberg on placing a value on life   Leave a comment


Summary: Kenneth Feinberg discusses the reality of compensating families of victims of horrific tragedies. He advises we all plan for tomorrow.

Original Air Date: March 27, 2015

Length: 3 minutes 35 seconds

One Key Thing No One Knows About Obamacare   Leave a comment


Summary: No one really knows who will sign up for the Affordable Health Care Plan (Obamacare) once it gets introduced. One potential risk of the program is that it will enter the insurance “death spiral,” or the inability for the program to attract healthy people. This could cause insurance premiums to skyrocket causing the whole system to fall apart.

Original Air Date: September 30, 2013

Length: 3 min

Will a Health Insurer Sponsor the Next Jackass Movie?   Leave a comment

health insurerLink:

Summary: As the health insurance market prepares for the changes brought about by implementation of Affordable Care Act, this podcast considers how insurance companies might begin to target their new consumers. Considers marketing and branding strategies as well as how insurers might think about using incentive schemes to retain customers.

Length: 4:04 min

Original air date: July 12, 2013

Why Doesn’t Everybody Buy Cheap, Generic Headache Medicine?   Leave a comment

generic medicineLink:

Summary: A consideration of consumers’ tendency to purchase more expensive name brands rather than identical generics.  Includes discussion of education as a contributing factor to likelihood to purchase generics. Includes one consumer’s belief that there is rational ignorance in his decision to just buy the brand name.

Length: 4:29 min

Original air date: July 4, 2013

Is America’s Obesity for Real?   3 comments



Summary: The obesity crisis in America has economists, politicians and healthcare professionals debating the causes and hidden costs of overeating. This podcast considers the moral and political arguments surrounding this growing concern.

Original Air Date: February 26, 2010

Length: 22 minutes

Does Medicaid Actually Help People?   Leave a comment


Summary: NPR interviews Katherine Baicker, a health economist at Harvard University to discuss questions concerning the efficiency of Medicaid in relation to its cost and implementation.

Original air date: June 15, 2012

Length: 14:38 min

How Do You Decide Who Gets Lungs?   1 comment


Summary: This podcast outlines the organ market or rather the non-existent, scarce organ market that doctors unfortunately have to face when they put their patients on an organ waiting list.

Original air date: May 18, 2012

Length: 15:11 min

Discussion Prompt (1): Consider the ten principles of economics that Mankiw discussions in Chapter 1.  How do they relate to the situation in this podcast?

Discussion Prompt (2): This podcast gives examples of how different systems for allocating lungs create incentives (for doctors, for patients) and thus impact choice.  How do you see that incentives, choices and outcomes are impacted if they allocation is based on: whoever is sickest? What if they allocation system is based on who is on the waiting list first?  What if the system was a market-based system based on ability to pay? Use examples from the podcast or your own thinking that expands beyond the podcast content.

Follow-up Prompt: You all make some good observations here and lead me to think that it is also important to think about the goal of the system – is the goal to be fair? is the goal for patients not to have to wait? is the goal to have the most number of patients live ? Is the goal to save the sickest?  How do you think that understanding the ‘goal’ helps us to see the problems and options for allocation?

Written Assignment Prompt: The podcast mentions doctors signing up patients for lung transplants before they need or are sick enough for them. What are the ethical issues associated with such a decision? Why don’t we see markets at work in this scenario? How might you create an alternate system for allocating this precious item?