Economics @ ITT

Why Are American Health Care Costs So High?

Posted in economics, Policy Issues by ittecon on September 20, 2013

Well,

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Corporate Hunger for Profits Has Devastated American Life—and the World

Posted in economics, environment, externalities, International Economics by ittecon on May 20, 2013

The damage caused by the relentless corporate drive for profits has become more clear in recent years. In the most important areas of American life, devastating changes have occurred:

Health Care: Almost half of the working-age adults in America passed up doctor visits or other medical services because they couldn’t afford to pay. The system hasn’t supported kids, either.

via The 4 Big Ways That Insatiable Corporate Hunger for Profits Has Devastated American Life — and the World Along with It | Alternet.

The Supreme Court Has the Constitutional Power to Hike Medicine Prices to 5x Their Cost?

Posted in antitrust, economics, Policy Issues, Regulation, Taxation by ittecon on March 30, 2013

U.S. pharmaceuticals get a very good deal from the federal government. For every new drug they produce, they get rewarded with long-term patents that grant them exclusive rights to market and sell the product for as much as 20 years – which guarantees them billions in profits and no competitors in the marketplace. Drug companies claim that they must be allowed to profit off of products they nurtured with expensive research and development. In reality, taxpayer-funded research from academia or the National Institutes of Health account for the vast majority of vital drugs brought to market every year, and R&D is a small fraction of the overall drug company budget. What’s more, drug companies routinely use their monopoly power to jack up pharmaceutical prices, which cost far more in the U.S. than anywhere in the world.

via Where Does It Say the Supreme Court Has the Constitutional Power to Hike Medicine Prices to 5x Their Cost? | Alternet.

Why an MRI costs $1,080 in America and $280 in France

Posted in economics by ittecon on March 16, 2013

The answer: a lack of moral suasion and greed.

In 2009, Americans spent $7,960 per person on health care. Our neighbors in Canada spent $4,808. The Germans spent $4,218. The French, $3,978. If we had the per-person costs of any of those countries, America’s deficits would vanish. Workers would have much more money in their pockets. Our economy would grow more quickly, as our exports would be more competitive.

via Why an MRI costs $1,080 in America and $280 in France.

Black Lung Surges Back in Coal Country

Posted in economics, environment by ittecon on July 10, 2012

A Center analysis of databases maintained by the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration found that miners have been breathing too much dust for years, but MSHA has issued relatively few violations and routinely allowed companies extra time to fix problems.

via Black lung surges back in coal country | iWatch News by The Center for Public Integrity.

Conservatives Are Not Against Big Government

Posted in economics, Income Redistribution, Policy Issues, Regulation, Taxation by ittecon on June 19, 2012

Conservatives just want to distribute income upwards instead of downwards.

[An] example of big government that conservatives support, highly paid professionals e.g. doctors, dentists and lawyers use licensing restrictions to limit both foreign and domestic competition. While the government has been using the banner of “free trade” to drive down the wages of manufacturing workers, it has simultaneously been increasing the protection afforded doctors in order to prevent any similar downward pressure on their wages.

If doctors in the United States were paid the same as doctors in Western Europe, it would save us more than $80 billion a year. The big government subsidy to doctors alone is close to two times the money involved in Bush’s tax cuts to the wealthy.

via Dean Baker: Liberals Working for the Right.

Illegal Immigrant’s Transplant, Cheaper Over Life, Isn’t Covered

Posted in economics, Policy Issues by ittecon on June 18, 2012

This is what happens when xenophobia trumps economics, humanity, and common sense. This operation would pay for itself in about a years and a quarter, but ignorant policy prevails.

[T]he government would pay for a lifetime of dialysis, costing $75,000 a year, but not for the $100,000 transplant that would make it unnecessary.

via Illegal Immigrant’s Transplant, Cheaper Over Life, Isn’t Covered – NYTimes.com.

A Big Enough Soda Tax Could Have Legs

Posted in economics, microeconomics, Regulation by ittecon on June 18, 2012

When the USDA crunched the numbers PDF on a 20 percent increase in cost of sugared beverages in 2010 study, it found that more expensive drinks could spur an average loss of 3.8 pounds a year for adults and 4.5 pounds a year for kids.

via A Big Enough Soda Tax Could Have Legs | Mother Jones.

Single-Payer Health Care: $570 Billion Cheaper

Posted in economics by ittecon on April 16, 2012

Economist Gerald Friedman has what looks to be the silver bullet against the claim that single-payer health care is infeasible on economic grounds, showing how “Medicare for all” could save billions of dollars while improving millions of lives.

via Single-Payer Health Care: $570 Billion Cheaper – Truthdig.

Hospitals Buy Back-Door Drugs Due to Shortages

Posted in economics, microeconomics by ittecon on August 26, 2011

Fifty-two percent of hospital purchasing agents and pharmacists reported they’d bought drugs from so-called “gray market” vendors during the previous two years, according to a just-released survey of 549 hospitals by the Institute for Safe Medication practices, an advocacy group.

Gray-market suppliers are those that operate outside official channels, often buying drugs from uncertain sources and reselling them at a steep profit. A report issued last week by a one hospital association found their average mark-up was 650 percent.

via Half of hospitals buy back-door drugs – Health – Health care – msnbc.com.