Hits & Misses – 2009/10/2

Huge waste found in Medicaid: 1,800 prescriptions written for dead patients and 1,200 prescriptions written by dead doctors.

Medical pot sales booming: 13 states allow it.

David Leonhardt (NYT) explains why there should not be unlimited tax relief for employer-provided health insurance. But where was he during last year’s election?

Comments (5)

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  1. Neil H. says:

    Why am I not surprised there is waste in Medicare?

  2. Devon Herrick says:

    No wonder Medicaid’s costs are out of control. I’m waiting for a Member of the House or Senate to introduce legislation discouraging dead doctors from prescribing to dead patients! At least with private health insurance, medical bills typically stop accumulating once the patient dies.

  3. Bart Ingles says:

    The Cadillac tax concept doesn’t work very well with small businesses, where employee premiums can vary with age and on the company’s risk rating. You’d have to have a different luxury threshold for every company.

    The McCain flat dollar amount tax credit suffered from the same problem– it would have encouraged younger and healthier individuals to overspend, and others to underspend.

    A better approach would have been to limit the value of the tax break as a percentage of health spending. Forty-three percent for high-end employees (not counting state tax breaks) is simply too much. Of course it encourages overspending. If the percentage were half that amount– say a flat 20 percent regardless of the individual’s tax bracket– then there would not be much incentive to splurge on unnecessary coverage regardless of cost. A dollar cap would then become superfluous.

  4. Neil H. says:

    I agree on Leonhardt. He should have said all this during the campaign when it was an issue that mattered.

  5. Bret says:

    Is anyone surprised to find huge waste in Medicaid?