Another whirlwind week of wonkery! Here’s what you might’ve missed:
- Breaking: What’s Michigan doing to Medicaid? Hot off the press, there’s a new proposal from Michigan lawmakers to expand Medicaid, but with some major strings attached. Michigan House Republicans are okay with expansion if it limits “able-bodied adults” to only four years of coverage. I’m not the blog’s correspondent on all things Michigan (that’s Adrianna), and details are scant, but at the moment this smells fishy. Aside from the dubious ethics and economic implications, how much do “able-bodied adults” cost Medicaid anyway?
- Skepticism on the chargemaster data: Wonks went wild Wednesday, when the feds released gobs of data on hospitals’ charges to Medicare for their 100 most common procedures. Among other things, they revealed massive variation in the charges for the same procedures at hospitals just miles apart (anyone surprised?). And they signal that the feds are making efforts toward transparency. But this smart post by Paul Levy steps back from the fuss, highlighting how little those charges reflect actual payments and concluding that “the release of bad data is worse than having no data at all.”
- Kids, get in: In this editorial, Ezekiel Emanuel (who advised the President’s healthcare reform effort) voices his fear that “young invincible” millennials, especially us males, may turn their noses at Obamacare’s individual mandate to buy health insurance. He explains why health insurance exchanges need young and healthy enrollees, and offers some ideas to support the cause.
- Scratch that: You probably don’t remember when I told you, just a few weeks ago, that the healthcare cost growth slowdown was largely the result of the recession. I’m glad you don’t remember, because new reports say the recession played a smaller role than once thought—welcome news for those hoping that the system is moving toward more efficient and cost-effective care.
- Oh no you didn’t: Time‘s cover story this week courts us millennials with the charming title “The Me Me Me Generation: Millennials are lazy narcissists who still live with their parents.” Any other day we’d fire back on the offensive, but this The New Republic post does it better, so read it. Time did get one thing right, though—how to spell millennial. Two Ls and two Ns, people!
Karan is a first-year student at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Duke graduate who previously worked in strategic research for hospital executives.