Health insurance non-benefit expenditures unnecessarily excessive

The U.S. remains on track to spend twice as much for health care as for food, yet millions are without insurance or uninsured. “Health insurance premiums also continue to rise – on average another 9 percent in 2011,” says Merton Bernstein, JD, leading health insurance expert and the Walter D. Coles Professor of Law Emeritus at Washington University in St. Louis. “Medical care costs can change direction if policy makers stop whistling past a significant contributor – non-benefit costs.”

New insured numbers show tug-of-war between economy and health care reform

The estimates of the population without health insurance in the U.S. remained unchanged in 2010, as compared to 2009, reflecting the counteracting effects of not only the sluggish economic recovery but also the preliminary benefits of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), says Timothy McBride, PhD, leading health economist and associate dean of public health at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

Discrediting official uninsured estimates only minimizes the real health care problem, says health economist

McBrideThe health reform debate to date has been characterized by a lot of confusion and misinformation. “The conclusion that most of the uninsured either are voluntarily uninsured or do not need assistance is erroneous,” says Timothy McBride, Ph.D., leading health economist and associate dean of public health at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. The Census Bureau will announce the official health insurance estimates on Thursday, Sept. 10. According to McBride, because of the economic downturn, the number of uninsured may top 50 million.

Health economist and leading policy expert believes health reform legislation will pass in ’09

The United States has attempted to pass major health reform legislation eight times in the last century, starting in the mid 1910s up through 1993-94 with the failed Clinton health reform effort. “Only once in that period was any legislation passed — in 1964-65 when Medicare and Medicaid were passed,” says Timothy McBride, Ph.D., associate dean of public health at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. “Yet, for many reasons, I feel that it is much more likely that legislation will pass this year.” At this point, McBride believes that President Obama has the political support necessary to make health reform happen, and he has made it his top domestic priority. McBride has been active in testifying before Congress and consulting with important policy constituencies on Medicare, insurance and health policy issues. He is a member of the Rural Policy Research Institute Health Panel that provides expert advice on rural health issues to the U.S. Congress and other policymakers.

Mexico’s health insurance success offers lessons for U.S. reforms, Lancet study suggests

As America considers major healthcare reforms, it may have lessons to learn from Seguro Popular, Mexico’s ambitious plan to improve healthcare for its estimated 50 million uninsured citizens, suggests Ryan Moore, co-author of a new evaluation of the program. Conducted through a partnership of Mexican health officials and researchers from leading American universities, the study offers a model U.S. policymakers might use to scientifically explore solutions to America’s own looming healthcare crisis.

U.S. health care system headed for perfect storm

McBride”We are headed into a time when a confluence of changes are going to lead to a perfect storm, making us finally realize that our health care system needs a major overhaul,” says Timothy D. McBride, Ph.D., leading health economist and professor of social work. McBride is available to discuss candidates’ health care plans and universal health care.
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