Time To Ban Kid-Friendly Flavors For E-Cigarettes

Cinnamon. Buttered popcorn. Strawberry and banana. Yummy tastes and smells that have lingered in my TV room, after my teenage son and his friends finish vaping. E-cigarette companies like Juul are creating flavors designed to lure young customers, following a tradition established by their cigarette-manufacturing predecessors. For a while, the Trump administration appeared poised to […]

Read More
High Healthcare Costs — Are Insurance Premiums a Cause or an Effect?

In 2010, the state of Rhode Island decided to tackle high healthcare costs. It did so by requiring insurers to meet affordability standards. The plan worked, but not for the reasons you probably suspect. Let’s start with what Rhode Island’s standards look like. It required several things of insurers: Premium caps – with annual inflation equal […]

Read More
Death by Poison – A New American Epidemic

I’ll get right to the dismal data: Americans are dying from poison at an alarming rate. In 2005, death by poison in the U.S. occurred in about 11 of every 100,000 people over age 15. By 2016, that number had more than doubled, to 24. Any guesses at what could explain this horrific statistic? (To […]

Read More
Is Your Boss Discriminating Against You Because You Smoke?

Obamacare gave employers permission to charge smokers up to 50% more for health insurance, as a way to incentivize healthier behavior. But to make sure smokers had a fair chance to avoid these penalties, the law required employers to provide tobacco cessation programs to anyone facing such a surcharge. Almost half of the companies who charge smokers […]

Read More
Tobacco is Taking Over the World!

We’ve done a lot of things in the United States over the last few decades to curb tobacco consumption. We’ve warned people cigarettes will kill them, created persuasive ad campaigns to scare people away from cigarettes, and added a hefty tax to the product. As a result, cigarette use in United States is lower than […]

Read More
Are Doctors Ready to Talk about Health Care Costs with Patients?

While I was on vacation, I spoke with reporter about a topic near and dear to my heart – importance of getting clinicians to talk about health care costs with their patients. The reporter put together a very nice piece on the topic, which I thought I would share with you: Doctors Aren’t Grasping For […]

Read More
Should Death Row Inmates Be Able to Donate Their Organs Before They Die?

Several people have asked me lately whether I think that death row inmates should be able to donate their organs before they die. In effect, to commit suicide through organ donation. Culminating in donation of the heart, of course. They are going to be executed anyway, why not bring benefits to others en route? I see […]

Read More
Should HIV-Positive Patients Receive Scarce Lung Transplants?

Quite a while ago, I was co-author on a New England Journal of Medicine article arguing that HIV-positive patients, stable on anti-retro viral therapy, were now healthy enough to qualify as organ transplant recipients. Nevertheless, this practice remains controversial, as you can see from this story published by Al Jazeera America, telling a tragic tale of […]

Read More
What's Fair About Price Discrimination in Pharmaceutical Markets

A while back, DVD companies hoping to sell their products in countries like Poland faced a dilemma.  They could sell their products at a nice profit in the booming U.S. market, but to sell products in those other countries, they had to lower their prices.  Such variable pricing is a common business practice.  All kinds of services […]

Read More

PeterUbel