Daily Policy Digest
|The Dead-Weight Cost of Obamacare's Confusing Tax Credits
Obamacare's tax credits (which reduce premiums) for Obamacare coverage phase out in such a way that beneficiaries face very high marginal income tax rate hikes at household incomes up to 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. However, even those who increase their incomes despite the higher tax burden face the hassle of figuring out how much they owe in tax and premium at the end of the year. This imposes a dead-weight loss on the economy, wasting people's time and energy writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|The "Public Option:" Obamacare's Last Bailout
A "public option" would be profitable and low-risk for health insurers, while significantly increasing Obamacare's risks to taxpayers. Expect the "public option" to become the centerpiece of Democrats’ post-Obamacare health reform agenda in this election, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|Hillary's Plan Won't Lower Drug Costs
Newsflash! Hillary Clinton is concerned about your drug costs. Unfortunately, her plan could actually raise drug prices and force you to pay more, albeit indirectly. She proposes to accomplish both feats simultaneously by capping your prescription drug co-pays at no more than $250 per month. This reckless proposal is central planning of the ilk you would find in Cuba or Venezuela, writes NCPA Senior Fellow Devon Herrick...
|Double-Digit Premium Hikes Debunk California's "Active Purchaser" Claim
With some embarrassment, Covered California (the state's Obamacare exchange where people can purchase health coverage) has announced the average premium hike next year will be 13.2 percent. For many subscribers, the hike will be much greater because of the way federal tax credits discount premiums, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|Health Construction Shrinks Twice As Fast As Other Construction in June
The see-saw in health facilities construction continues. Health construction starts dropped 1.4 percent in June, versus a drop of 0.6 percent for other construction. However, there was a significant difference between the private and public segments. The remarkable volatility in health construction starts from month to month suggest more uncertainty in the health facilities market than previously data had indicated, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham.
|First, Do No Digital Harm: Regulating Telemedicine
Telemedicine, whereby physicians use email, phone, text, or video for prescribing and consultations, is growing rapidly. Seeking to encourage faster uptake of telemedicine, many well-intentioned parties are prodding Congress to take actions which will likely have harmful unintended consequences, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|Obamacare's Perverse Job Creation Program
The latest jobs report gave the stock market a boost and injected some optimism into public sentiment about our economic prospects. Unfortunately there's a problem with the current employment situation that few understand: Obamacare has likely led to too many jobs in health care, drawing labor from more productive functions, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|Cancer Payment Reform: Medicare is Missing the Elephant in the Room
Last May I wrote about the uproar over Medicare's proposed changes to how it will pay doctors who inject drugs in their offices. I did not think the reform would have a positive impact, but I also thought criticism was overblown. Well, Medicare has managed to irritate all the affected interest groups to such a degree that it is likely to toss the proposal and go back to the drawing board, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|The "Doc Fix" Is In
In March 2015, an overwhelming bipartisan majority in Congress voted for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). The so-called "doc fix," a component of MACRA, was an attempt to fix the very flawed method Medicare uses to pay doctors and other health professionals. Unfortunately, MACRA is fiscally irresponsible and increases the federal government's control over how clinicians practice medicine, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham.
|A Bipartisan "Yes" On A Health Care Tax Credit
Ready for some good news on health reform? Both the presumptive Democratic candidate for President and the Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives agree people should be able to spend more money directly on medical care without insurance companies meddling, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R Graham.