Daily Policy Digest
|Medicare Accountable Care Organizations Continue to Underwhelm
Medicare's Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), which launched in 2012, were supposed to introduce a significant shift away from paying for "volume" to paying for "value." If ACOs pass certain thresholds of cost and quality, they can pocket some of the savings. The 2015 results for Medicare's ACOs have been reported, and the results are underwhelming.
|Medical Prices Rose 10 Times More Than Non-Medical Prices in August
The Consumer Price Index rose 0.2 percent in August. Medical prices, however, continued their upward march, increasing by one full percent -- 10 times more than non-medical consumer goods and services. If prices for medical care had been flat, the CPI would have risen by just 0.1 percent, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|What Is A Health Insurance Market Where No Health Insurance Is Offered?
Obamacare is becoming a Zen philosophical riddle: What is a health insurance market where no health insurance is offered? Obamacare appears to be in a death spiral, with a shrinking pool of insurers offering coverage, far fewer individuals purchasing insurance than advocates had anticipated, and double-digit price increases making policies unaffordable, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John. R.Graham...
|EpiPen: A Case Study in Health Insurance Failure
EpiPen is a case study in how health insurance distorts our choices and increases their cost. I learned this by following an Internet advertisement for EpiPen down its rabbit hole. The ad induced me to download my "EpiPen Savings Card" which would ensure I paid nothing for my EpiPens, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John. R Graham...
|Do Transparency Tools Work in Health Care?
Encouraging workers to reduce unnecessary spending is all about creating the appropriate incentives, writes NCPA Senior Fellow Devon Herrick...
|Recent Rise In Health Coverage Due To Return of Jobs With Benefits
Over seventy percent of residents, age 18 to through 64, had private health insurance in the first quarter of this year, which is which is the same rate as persisted until 2006. Obamacare has not achieved a breakthrough in coverage. It has just restored us to where we were a decade ago. Further, the contribution of Obamacare’s exchanges to this is almost trivial, covering only four million people, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|EpiPen: A Case Study in What's the Matter with Health Care
Americans throw away unused epinephrine auto-injectors worth more than $1 billion annually. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that Americans waste more than $1 billion annually on $50 million worth of epinephrine auto-injectors that are discarded unused. The devices should only cost $20 a pair. So, why do they cost $608 instead, writes NCPA Senior Fellow Devon Herrick...
|EpiPen: A Case Study of Government Harm
Much has been written about the dramatic price hikes for EpiPens, which inject a drug that counters severe allergic reactions (anaphylactic shock). The federal government changed its guidelines such that the EpiPens have to be sold in packages of two (while customers might prefer just one, or at least an odd number). Also, the federal government gave public-emergency grants to states on condition they stockpile EpiPens. Further, the Food and Drug Administration has hindered other manufacturers' ability to compete, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|Telehealth Opportunity or Telehealth "Parity"?
Telemedicine, which allows physicians to consult patients over the phone, by text, or video, promises to cut costs and increase quality. However, some advocates demand government regulate prices, which will inhibit adoption, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|The Administration Believes Obamacare's Costs Went Down!
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has just made the remarkable claim that medical costs paid by health insurers operating in Obamacare's exchanges declined in 2015 from 2014. In fact, the average Obamacare premium increased 5.2 percent in 2015, more than employer-sponsored coverage, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...