Sunday, March 29, 2009

This Week in Wonkery

Your weekly guide to the wild world of healthcare policy research.

Joseph Antos of the American Enterprise Institute describes Obama's approach to healthcare as "a meal eaten in reverse order. We started with dessert, in the form of new subsidies for insurance. Whether we like it or not, we will have to eat our vegetables before the year is out."

John Calfee and Elizabeth DuPre of AEI complain about the anti-drug industry bent of The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine.

Newt Gingrich wants to create some new government programs to combat Alzheimer's Disease.

Darrell West and Edward Miller of the Brookings Institution have published a new book entitled Digital Medicine: Health Care in the Internet Era.

Alice Rivlin of Brookings is concerned that Obama won't raise taxes enough to pay for his healthcare plan.

Judy Feder and Harriet Komisar of the Center for American Progress urged the Senate to take "action to improve long-term care services and supports."

J.D. Foster of the Heritage Foundation reflects on how to make Medicare sustainable by means-testing benefits.

James Copland and Paul Howard of the Manhattan Institute think it's a good idea to tax pharmaceutical companies to cover tort liabilities in the wake of Wyeth v. Levine. (Whatever happened to tort reform?)

Uwe Reinhardt, the Princeton economist, explains the terminology behind health care reform.

Joseph DiMiasi and Laura Faden of Tufts reviewed the histories of 298 drugs approved by the FDA between 1996 and 2006 to identify "factors associated with multiple FDA review cycles and approval phase times."

Nicolaus Henke, Sonosuke Kadonaga, and Ludwig Kanzler of McKinsey argue that Japan's healthcare system is unsustainable, and suggest that the Japanese undertake a "comprehensive, well-funded national review of the system." I bet they find that 2 plus 2 still won't equal 5.

John Graham of the Pacific Research Institute "reviews three decades of the Food and Drug Administration's performance and concludes that the agency is overfunded, overstaffed, and denies hundreds of thousands of Americans timely access to new medicines."

Henry Willis et al. of the RAND Corporation believe that the Cities Readiness Initiative has succeeded at improving the ability of large cities to respond to large-scale biological warfare.

Next Week
: On Tuesday, March 31, the Cato Institute will host (and webcast) a policy forum entitled "Can the Market Provide Choice and Secure Health Coverage Even for High-Cost Illnesses?"

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