Daily Policy Digest
|Don't Gut the Texas Workers' Comp System
For decades, researchers have found a myriad of disincentive effects associated with state workers' comp insurance systems that keep workers off the job for too long and on an eventual path to dependency on the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) system, writes NCPA Senior Fellow Pamela Villarreal...
|The Logic-Defying CBO Obamacare Replacement Score Breaks Its Own Rules, among Other Problems
Dr. Tom Price, the U.S. Secretary of Health & Human Services, has said the Congressional Budget Office's recent "score" of the Republican Obamacare replacement bill defies logic. Even worse, it defies the very rules which govern the CBO, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|Veterans Health Administration Realizes it Should Buy, Not Build, Software
For decades, the Veterans Health Administration has made and maintained its owns Electronic Health Record (EHR). It makes as little sense as a health system manufacturing its own MRI machines. Finally, the new VA Secretary has confirmed he will throw in the towel on the VA's home-brew system, VISTA, and buy a commercial EHR, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|The "Troubles" with Pharmacy Benefit Managers
If markets are competitive, there is little need to regulate PBM practices, writes NCPA Senior Fellow Thomas Hemphill in Cato's Regulation Magazine...
|Great Moments in Government Waste, Fraud and Abuse
Donald Trump’s proposed "skinny budget" was released last week. Of course, the outrage and howls of indignation have begun. Already, there are Twitter hashtags referencing cuts to programs for the poor (#Mealsonwheels is trending) and "hair on fire" claims that people and puppies will die because of EPA cuts, education cuts, public television cuts, and of course, the expansion of defense spending, writes NCPA Senior Fellow Pamela Villarreal...
|The Economic Effects of Repealing the Affordable Care Act
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently analyzed the effect of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act on federal revenues and the uninsured. There was much hype about their conclusions that 24 million people would be added to the ranks of the uninsured (although about 14 million of those would choose not to buy insurance because they would no longer be forced to). Also, federal deficits would fall by $337 billion over 10 years. However, the CBO did not measure the economic effects of repealing some of the most burdensome aspects of Obamacare, which would create hundreds of thousands of jobs and increase Americans' personal incomes, according to an NCPA analysis by Dr. David Tuerck, President of Beacon Hill Institute and Paul Bachman, Director of Research...
|Health Insurance A Cause of Past-Due Debt?
Although health insurance is supposed to protect us from medical debt, it often does not. Among insured people, 26.6 percent had past-due medical debt in 2012, versus 22.8 percent in 2015. However, among uninsured people it declined more: 39.8 percent in 2012, versus 30.5 percent in 2015. What to make of this? asks NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|Repealing the ACA Would Bring Economic Growth
The recent CBO analysis of repealing the Affordable Care Act focused on the number of people who become "uninsured" because they would no longer be forced to purchase insurance. What they didn't show, however, was how the Affordable Care Act has been a burden to job creation, GDP growth and personal income growth. The NCPA's analysis finds that repealing the burdensome taxes that were imposed as a result of the ACA would improve the national economy.
|Pharmaceutical Profits and Capital Markets
An interesting research article at the Health Affairs blog asserts there is no relationship between high U.S. prescription drug prices and drug companies' research and development budgets. The point of the article is to debunk the argument that research-based drug companies must earn high profits if they are going to reinvest in R&D. While the data are correct, the article misunderstands the nature of capital markets, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|NCPA Experts Score the American Health Reform Act: Details will be presented at a Congressional Briefing March 15
The National Center for Policy Analysis' Tax Analysis Center recently scored the economic and revenue effects of the American Health Reform Act. The results? The Act would unburden the job market and increase workers' incomes due to the repeal of Obamacare taxes, but would bring in less federal revenues...