Testimonies, Speeches and Comments

The NCPA has a highly effective office in Washington, D.C. that sponsors Capitol Hill briefings, conferences and testimony by NCPA experts before congressional committees. The NCPA serves as a source of "outside the Beltway" thinking for Capitol Hill deliberations.

  • Jan 25, 2017

    NCPA’s John R. Graham testifies before House Ways & Means Committee on ACA individual mandates

    The individual mandate is Obamacare’s least popular feature. It was the subject of the 2012 lawsuit asserting Obamacare was unconstitutional: Never before had the federal government forced any resident to buy a good or service from a private business. The people lost that argument. Nevertheless, Republicans have pledged to eliminate the individual mandate. This commitment remains good politics. Perhaps counterintuitively, it is also good economics.

  • Jan 24, 2017

    Obamacare’s Individual Mandate is Economically Inefficient and Does Not Improve Access to Health Care

    Chairman Buchanan, Ranking Member Lewis, and Members of the Committee, I am John R. Graham, Senior Fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organization dedicated to developing and promoting private alternatives to government regulation and control, solving problems by relying on the strength of the competitive, entrepreneurial private sector. I welcome the opportunity to share my views and look forward to your questions.

    The individual mandate is Obamacare’s least popular feature. It was the subject of the 2012 lawsuit asserting Obamacare was unconstitutional: Never before had the federal government forced any resident to buy a good or service from a private business. The people lost that argument. Nevertheless, Republicans have pledged to eliminate the individual mandate. This commitment remains good politics. Perhaps counterintuitively, it is also good economics.

    According to last November’s Kaiser Family Foundation Tracking Poll, only 35 percent of respondents have a favorable view of the individual mandate. The proportion drops to just 21 percent among Republicans, and just 16 percent among Trump supporters.


  • Sep 21, 2016

    Regulations and Bureaucracy Boosted EpiPen Prices

    Chairman Chaffetz and Members of the Committee, I am Devon Herrick, a health economist and senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organization dedicated to empowering Americans by advancing liberty through free market solutions. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share my views.

    People with severe allergies and asthma often carry an epinephrine auto-injector with them or have one readily available at all times. The most common model by far is the EpiPen, sold by drug maker Mylan. It enjoys an 85 percent market share. The price of the EpiPen has increased by more than 400 percent in less than a decade. 

    Mylan bought the rights to the nearly 30-year old EpiPen in 2007. At the time one EpiPen sold for about $57. By August 2016, Mylan had raised the price of each EpiPen to more than $304. As health plan deductibles steadily rose over the past 10 years, families increasingly had to bear more of the cost out of pocket. Higher cost-sharing made it more difficult for Mylan to mask its price increases. This is an example of why it important to use cost-sharing to enlist consumers in the battle to control drug spending. Without consumers complaining about their share of the cost, there would be little public outcry to stop many of the more egregious price hikes.

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  • Sep 19, 2016

    Letter to the House Armed Services Committee and Senate Armed Services Committee

    On behalf of the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA), we are writing to express support for several amendments currently under consideration for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NCPA is a non-profit, nonpartisan public policy research organization dedicated to developing and promoting private alternatives to government regulation and control. We do not endorse specific pieces of legislation. Nevertheless, we believe that certain policy recommendations within the House-passed version of the NDAA align best with our ideals.

    Over the past two years, the president demanded America’s military forces be downsized to their lowest levels in generations. The Obama administration and some in Congress plan to use the NDAA to further diminish the capability of our military to protect our country. In an increasingly unstable geopolitical environment, now is not the time to weaken America’s defenses. We at the NCPA firmly believe we can achieve a fiscally responsible military that has the capabilities to keep America safe.

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  • Jul 13, 2016

    First, Do No Digital Harm: Regulating Mobile Health Apps for the 21st Century

    Introduction. Chairman Burgess, Ranking Member Schakowsky, thank you for the opportunity to submit this testimony on the impact of mobile health apps on American Health Care. On a bipartisan basis, the Energy and Commerce Committee has taken the lead in ensuring the United States can take full advantage of innovation in mobile apps to improve cost, quality, and convenience in American health care. The 21st Century Cures Act, passed by the House in 2015 with overwhelming bipartisan support, is forward thinking. If passed into law, the policies it would implement would lead to a responsible and responsive regulatory environment for mobile health apps.

    However, misguided policies could also derail the benefits of apps and other digital health technologies. Policies on payment and regulation, well intentioned proposals to move things along quicker, could have the unintended consequence of allowing these digital technologies to be swallowed by an unreformed health system that remains expensive, sluggish, and of uneven quality. The risk of Congress doing too much is at least as great as the risk of doing too little. The principal guiding Congress should be: First, do no digital harm. There are three areas in which Congressional action could have such unintended consequences: State licensing of physicians, interoperability of health data, and Medicare payment for telehealth.

    State Licensing of Physicians. Historically, the practice of medicine has been regulated by the states. As telehealth has emerged, this has led some interested parties to conclude state licensing is (to some degree) obsolete. If technology permits a radiologist in Texas to read an image of a patient taken in any state, should that radiologist have to be licensed in every state? A short cut to solve this problem would appear to be to legislate a federal “safe harbor” for Medicare patients. This would comprise federal overreach that would be constitutionally suspect and unnecessary, because states are already solving this problem.

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