Health Reform, Physician Market Power, And Income Disparity
This dissertation investigates the impact of health reform on both the supply and demand for health services. The first essay analyzes the Massachusetts Health and Insurance Reform of 2006 to determine the impact of employer mandates to offer health insurance to employees. This essay finds that employer mandates are extremely effective in preserving employer sponsored insurance coverage distributions, and that allowing more leniency on smaller firms results in higher take up rates of public insurance for employees in smaller firms. The second essay investigates the extent of market power in specialty physician markets. Whether physicians can exercise market power is becoming ever more salient in the face of health reform. This essay finds evidence that physicians do have market power when bargaining with insurers, and that this market power could lead to higher prices in the private market if physicians are allowed to collaborate on health care provided through the public insurance market. The last essay deviates a bit from health reform and analyzes income differences between persons with and without disabilities. This essay finds that the inclusion of health insurance from both public and private sources as income results in a closing of the income gap between persons with and without disabilities over the last three decades, a reversal of the findings in past literature analyzing these two populations and their economic resources.
Health economics; Income disparity; Physician market structure
Burkhauser, Richard Valentine
White, William D; Nicholson, Sean; Simon, Kosali I.
Ph.D. of Economics
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis