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Author Archive: Peter Ubel

About Peter Ubel

01/22/2015

Should North Carolina Expand Medicaid?

My home state of North Carolina is one of a number of states that refused to expand Medicaid, even though the Affordable Care Act stipulates that the federal government will cover the majority of expenses associated with such expansion. Here … Continue reading

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01/21/2015

What Causes Couch Potatoes To Eat So Many Potato Chips?

Do you eat when you’re bored? So do I. Then again, I eat when I’m not bored, too. So the real question is: do we all eat more when we’re bored than, say, when we’re highly entertained? The answer, according … Continue reading

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01/16/2015

How Effective Are Mammograms?

Mammograms have long been touted as a life-saving preventive test. But recently, people have been re-examining the relative harms and benefits of mammography. This re-examination became quite earnest when the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommended against beginning routine … Continue reading

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01/15/2015

The Era of Mega-Hospitals Has Arrived

The Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, encourages healthcare providers to join together in what are called Accountable Care Organizations. Prior to the passage of Obamacare, hospitals were already pursuing mergers, in an effort to gain market share and have better … Continue reading

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01/14/2015

How Behavioral Economics Could Have Prevented The Harvard Meltdown Over Healthcare Costs

The Harvard faculty recently raised a stink because their benefits now require them to pay out-of-pocket for some of their medical care. Physician appointments will no longer be free, but will cost $20. And Harvard faculty will be expected to … Continue reading

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01/12/2015

Has The “Nudge” Meme Gotten Out of Control?

A tweet recently came across my feed that captures a problem with the popularity of the nudge meme. The meme took off with the justifiable popularity of Thaler and Sunstein’s eponymous book, in which they promote the idea of influencing … Continue reading

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01/09/2015

Brilliant Nudge to Promote Physical Activity

The stairs to the left of the escalator don’t just look like a piano keyboard, but make musical sounds as people walk on each step. Not convinced this will work? Check out this video, which shows people heading towards the … Continue reading

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01/08/2015

Does the Name “the Affordable Care Act” Bias People Against the Affordable Care Act ?

The always informative Jonathan Cohn at the New Republic recently wrote about an opinion poll that seems to show significant support for at least one part of The Affordable Care Act. It showed a majority not only of Democrats and … Continue reading

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01/06/2015

A Picture Putting Risks into Perspective

The National Health Service in the United Kingdom has recently disseminated a wonderful graphic, helping people understand how likely they are to die from scary things, like war and airplane accidents, versus less terrifying but deadlier hazards, such as high … Continue reading

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01/05/2015

The True Cost Of Low Drug Prices

India is not, yet, a wealthy country. Nevertheless its people experience many of the same expensive-to-treat illnesses as wealthier populations in the U.S. and Europe. Therefore the country has made a series of policy decisions designed to lower the cost … Continue reading

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