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Medical Care Costs: How Much Welfare Loss?

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  • Joseph P. Newhouse

Abstract

Hardly a week goes by without a front-page newspaper article on rising health care costs and the uninsured. In this article, I focus mainly on costs, arguing that the issue has been somewhat misconceived: while the level of medical care spending in the U.S. is a cause for concern, the welfare losses associated with rises in that level of spending may not be as large as the public rhetoric can make them seem. In fact, cost containment may not be as urgent as is widely supposed, and some proposed "cost containment" policies may result in welfare losses for the insured and even increase the number of uninsured

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.6.3.3
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 6 (1992)
Issue (Month): 3 (Summer)
Pages: 3-21

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:6:y:1992:i:3:p:3-21

Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.6.3.3
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  1. Thomas G. McGuire & Mark V. Pauly, 1991. "Physician Response to Fee Changes with Multiple Payers," Papers, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme 0015, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  2. Barry Bosworth & Gary Burtless, 1992. "Effects of Tax Reform on Labor Supply, Investment, and Saving," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 3-25, Winter.
  3. Newhouse, Joseph P. & Phelps, Charles E. & Marquis, M. Susan, 1980. "On having your cake and eating it too : Econometric problems in estimating the demand for health services," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 365-390, August.
  4. Parkin, David & McGuire, Alistair & Yule, Brian, 1987. "Aggregate health care expenditures and national income : Is health care a luxury good?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 109-127, June.
  5. Pauly, Mark V, 1986. "Taxation, Health Insurance, and Market Failure in the Medical Economy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 629-75, June.
  6. de Meza, David, 1983. "Health insurance and the demand for medical care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 47-54, March.
  7. Summers, Lawrence H, 1989. "Some Simple Economics of Mandated Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 177-83, May.
  8. Robert J. Barro & Chaipat Sahasakul, 1983. "Average Marginal Tax Rates from Social Security and the Individual Income Tax," NBER Working Papers 1214, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Cromwell, Jerry & Mitchell, Janet B., 1986. "Physician-induced demand for surgery," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 293-313, December.
  10. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 630-49, November.
  11. Keeler, Emmett B. & Rolph, John E., 1988. "The demand for episodes of treatment in the health insurance experiment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 337-367, December.
  12. Weisbrod, Burton A, 1991. "The Health Care Quadrilemma: An Essay on Technological Change, Insurance, Quality of Care, and Cost Containment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(2), pages 523-52, June.
  13. Browning, Edgar K, 1987. "On the Marginal Welfare Cost of Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 11-23, March.
  14. McGuire, Thomas G. & Pauly, Mark V., 1991. "Physician response to fee changes with multiple payers," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 385-410.
  15. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
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