COVID-19 and Nursing Homes: National Updates and Early Evidence on the Second Wave

Evidence from the initial coronavirus outbreaks within the United States has shown that the fate of nursing home residents is tightly linked to the severity of the virus within the nursing home’s state. With a “second wave” of COVID-19 in many southern states and a host of policy changes, it is worth investigating whether the evidence suggests this vulnerable group is now better protected.

House Committee Calls for CMS Action on Biosimilars

“‘One of the ways to align these incentives would be for CMS, in particular the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation, to launch a demonstration project, a shared savings program in Medicare Part B for biosimilars. This would reward physicians for increasing their utilization of biosimilars, which would both create that incentive for physicians and align that incentive with the desire of taxpayers to lower overall costs in the biologic spend category,’ [Alex Brill] said.”

The Evolving Opioid Crisis

As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept across our country and claimed more than 100,000 lives in a few short months, the opioid epidemic, which dates back to at least the early 2000s, has received less attention. But the toll of the opioid crisis in the United States remains enormous by any measure.

COVID-19 and Nursing Homes: Understanding State-Level Variation

Nursing homes have borne the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic, but recently released data show that the severity of outbreaks in these facilities has varied substantially across the United States. Some have argued that policy decisions have driven the variation in outcomes observed in nursing homes, while a competing theory is that nursing home outbreaks largely mirror the surrounding area.

Progressivity, Redistribution, and Inequality

Last October, a new controversy erupted over the progressivity of the American tax system. The brouhaha was prompted by a new book, The Triumph of Injustice, by economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman. In it, the authors claim that the highest-earning Americans’ tax rate has fallen below everyone else’s.

Maybe Every Good Turn Deserves A Tax Break

“The result of those changes is a 4 percent dip in total charitable giving, and, ‘for middle- to upper-middle-income tax filers, the doubling of the standard deduction is responsible for nearly all the change in giving,’ Alex Brill and Derrick Choe, both of the American Enterprise Institute, explained in a 2018 analysis.”