Category Archives: Health Care Economics

Memo to David Brooks: look deeper on health costs


David Brooks, the right-of-center pundit for the New York Times, a balancing attempt on its left-leaning pages, is onto something – health care cost inflation is trending lower – but he hasn’t figured out why. In a recent column, he summed… Read more

Companies hold health inflation to 2%

Thomas J. Doney, President of Cypress Benefit Administrators

Tom Doney, an old hand in the health plan and network discount business, has 421 self-insured employer clients in 50 states that are proving health costs can be held to 2% annual increases. That track record for his Cypress health plan clients… Read more

Health care mergers demand antitrust oversight

Dr. John Toussaint

Someone has to convince me that bigger is better in health care. The Big Five health insurers are flirting with mergers that could result in the Big Three. And health systems have aligned themselves with former competitors. In Wisconsin, that means… Read more

A tale of two health plans, one far less costly


Compare and contrast the performance of Steinhafels Furniture and the State of Wisconsin in managing health costs. The Steinhafel family and Lynda Malmberg, senior human resources manager at the retail furniture and mattress chain, have… Read more

Walker shifts more health costs to business

Gov Scott Walker

Governor Scott Walker The proposal by the Walker Administration to shift public employees to the health plans of employers in the private sector is petty lame. Gov. Walker has proposed a $2000-per year incentive to state employees to induce… Read more

Missing in campaign: debate on health cost management

The campaign for governor has come and is almost gone, and both Gov. Walker and challenger Mary Burke have managed to largely avoid the biggest economic issue in the state: out-of-control health costs. They have debated mightily over how many… Read more

Six health systems could make Wisconsin more competitive

Even as political candidates for this fall’s elections duck health costs as a major issue, payers continue to demand better value and providers continue to reorganize for improved outcomes. Even Obamacare, with all its defects, all its… Read more

Free UW chancellors to manage benefits

The faculty at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee (UWM) has received no general raises over the last five years, so it has become a target for poaching. The campus has lost 40 faculty members recently to competing institutions. Crippled… Read more

Why U.S. spends 17% of GDP on health care

A comparison of health costs between Europe, Canada and the U.S. by Sue Davis, chair of the political science department at Denison University, Granville, Ohio, surfaced a major insight on why other countries spend far less on care as a percentage… Read more

Unconditional political warfare in Wisconsin


You learn early on in physics courses that for every reaction, there is an equal and opposite reaction. So it seems in politics in Wisconsin these days. Or from the arena of war and peace, we have learned that unconditional victory can sow the… Read more