So, um, yeah, this week has been crazy busy. One of us is grading. The other of us is crushed under the weight of administrative SNAFUs interfering with research.
Bonners billions neatly explains how amortization works differently than revolving debt, and that means prepaying your mortgage might be better than paying off a higher interest debt depending on the numbers.
New information on the Medicaid experiment from Oregon. We’ll be talking about this in a post more at some point in the future if we ever get some time to write it.
“The big news is that Medicaid virtually wiped out crippling medical expenses among the poor: The percentage of people who faced catastrophic out-of-pocket medical expenditures (that is, greater than 30 percent of annual income) declined from 5.5 percent to about 1 percent. In addition, the people on Medicaid were about half as likely to experience other forms of financial strain—like borrowing money or delaying payments on other bills because of medical expenses.”
“The other big finding was that people on Medicaid ended up with significantly better mental health: The rate of depression among Medicaid beneficiaries was 30 percent lower than the rate of depression among people who remained uninsured.”
Miser mom has been updating.
Justin Wolfers makes me laugh sometimes. Cupcake deflation.
We were in this week’s carnival of personal finance.
May 18, 2013 at 6:34 am
Medicaid just makes those f*cken poor people dependent on the government, instead of self-reliantly taking personal responsibility and pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps. FREEDUM!1!11!!!111!!!11!
May 18, 2013 at 8:35 am
May 18, 2013 at 4:41 pm
I love the medicaid study. Partially out of sheer joy in a study well done- a lottery distribution is a social justice fail, but an experimental win.And somewhat big Ns are always nice to have.
But also because of the huge mental health benefit. Though it may just be that mental health providers are *that* effective, I also suspect the link between buffering out those catastrophic financial hits and mental health due to seeking more healthcare is synergistic.
The utter cynic in me also wonders if on some level our society already knew this… and that, best case scenario, we don’t value poor people’s mental health. Worst case scenario, mental health issues among the poor is a feature, not a bug. Keeping masses of people stressed and scared gives you more levers for social control. But I may be reading too much Kim Stanley Robinson…
As a medically minded type, I also wonder if the health outcomes they picked (blood pressure, blood sugar, diabetes rates, ect.) are appropriate. Unless there are other studies out there showing going from insurance plan X to insurance plan Y can make a huge dent in these numbers, *in a pre-medicare age population* and *in a period of two years*, it strikes me as asking a lot, and maybe asking for something which isn’t even the best bang-for-buck (edited: yep, the linked post of the first post mentions some of these issues).
Because while high blood pressure, out of whack blood sugar and diabetes are all pretty concerning health issues, they are *exactly* the kind of thing that are deadly only in the context of chronic long-term disease. They tend to take a while to develop, and take a while to build up into really nasty situations. If it’s the case that it simply takes a while to have an impact in those kinds of output, I don’t think that’s a reason to give up on healthcare.
May 18, 2013 at 4:45 pm
In the 1980s we learned about the effect of health insurance on health from the RAND Health Insurance Experiment.
I am sure that the authors will be looking at long-term outcomes from this study once they’ve happened.
May 20, 2013 at 9:29 pm
Thanks for the link love!