Trade Deficits: A Poor Focus for Public Policy

On June 3, 2018, the Appleton Post-Crescent published the below guest column.  The hard-copy edition does not contain either the graphics or hyperlinks provided here. President Trump views trade deficits in goods (imports greater than exports) as bad for the US and claims policy should be directed at reducing the total of $811 billion excess … More Trade Deficits: A Poor Focus for Public Policy

Physician Workforce Composition Matters in Explaining Health Care Spending Differences From Those of Other High Income Countries

In a March 13, 2018 article in JAMA (2018;319(10):1024-1039), Papanicolas, Woskie, and Jha (PWJ) provide an in-depth description of “Health Care Spending in the United States and Other High-Income Countries.”  Through detailed comparisons of demographics, insurance system characteristics, workforce composition, service and pharmaceutical use, and specific indicators of access and health outcomes, the authors conclude … More Physician Workforce Composition Matters in Explaining Health Care Spending Differences From Those of Other High Income Countries

To Improve the Health of the Community

The Appleton Post-Crescent has invited me to be a guest columnist.  This means that I can submit a column roughly every three months.  My first contribution was published online Friday, March 9th and appears below. Nonprofit health care organizations, such as ThedaCare and Ascension, exist to serve their local communities. Their nonprofit status gives them … More To Improve the Health of the Community

Make America Mercantilist Again: 6 False Premises That Underpin New US Tariff Policy

In this blog posting, I make the argument that using tariffs to reduce trade deficits and increase domestic economic well-being will be counterproductive. Furthermore, the claims made by the President (and his Commerce Secretary) to support tariffs related to steel and aluminum imports are based on false premises. In a previous posting, I defined mercantilism … More Make America Mercantilist Again: 6 False Premises That Underpin New US Tariff Policy

Tax Reform Based on Shared Principles “trumps” One Based on Competing Interests

As T. R. Reid points out in his marvelous new book, A Fine Mess, fundamental tax reform in 2018 is due if we are to follow the major reform every 32 years established in the 20th Century (with such reforms in 1986, 1954, and 1922.)  The 1986 reform was exemplary in many ways; let me … More Tax Reform Based on Shared Principles “trumps” One Based on Competing Interests

How Should Wisconsin Respond To The New Opportunities To Expand Medicaid With Federal Funding?

Recently, I sent a letter to State Representative Amanda Stuck, a supporter of “BadgerCare for All”, indicating some ideas about how the state of Wisconsin, given its current political alignment, might reform its Medicaid program.  “Badger Care for All” proposes that any individual (independent of his or her income) could purchase a BadgerCare insurance option (Wisconsin’s Medicaid program) , and that … More How Should Wisconsin Respond To The New Opportunities To Expand Medicaid With Federal Funding?

If the Question Relates to Efficient and Equitable Health Policy Reform, Single Payer is Not the Answer

Advocates for a single payer health insurance plan, such as the Physicians for a National Health Program, have been making their case for decades. According to a just published survey by Merritt Hawkins , 56 percent of physicians now somewhat or strongly support a single payer system in the United States. Furthermore, in recent months, … More If the Question Relates to Efficient and Equitable Health Policy Reform, Single Payer is Not the Answer