Daily Policy Digest
|Consumer Price Index: Moderate Health Price Increases
The Consumer Price Index rose 0.3 percent in December. Medical prices rose only 0.2 percent. This is the fourth month in a row we have enjoyed medical price relief. Even prices of prescription drugs rose by only 0.2 percent. Prices of health insurance even dropped a smidgeon, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|Are "Deficit Hawks" Prepared for Trump's Proposed Spending Cuts?
Newly-evolved "deficit hawks" who ignored deficits during the Obama administration (but have now decided that deficits matter) should be pleased that President Trump is proposing to cut federal spending 10 percent, writes NCPA Senior Fellow Pam Villarreal...
|Advice to Trump: Leave Medicare Drug Prices to The Free Market
President-elect Donald Trump has bashed drug prices on numerous occasions. During his campaign, he championed the idea of having the government directly negotiate the price of Medicare drugs for Part D drug plans. Trump seemingly dropped the idea later in his campaign only to resurrect it again mid-January. Many Democrats also believe the government could secure a lower price for the drugs Medicare reimburses on seniors' behalf. However, Republicans have long opposed the idea of government meddling in private markets and codified a non-interference clause in the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, writes NCPA Senior Fellow Devon Herrick...
|The Council of Economic Advisers' Bad Obamacare Economics
President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers has issued its valedictory report on the state of Obamacare. The gist of the argument is that Obamacare is doing fine, on the verge of overcoming its growing pains since 2014. On the contrary, the evidence indicates Obamacare’s problems are getting worse, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|Veterans Deserve Better Health Care
President-elect Trump has nominated David Shulkin, MD, to be the next Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Can veterans hope for better reform than just more tinkering with the current bureaucracy? Or will they have the opportunity to liberate themselves from it? No other public servants, active or retired, are forced to go to government-owned hospitals for care, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|How the Economy Affects Major Asset Classes
Asset performance patterns are not always easy to explain, even over longer time frames. For instance, stock and bond prices are positively correlated, but they are also negatively correlated at various times. Asset prices also move differently in periods of uncertainty than in quieter times, according to David Ranson, president and director of research at HCWE & Co. and NCPA senior fellow.
|Health Jobs Explode Versus Non-Health Jobs
Health jobs exploded in last week's jobs report, growing more than three times faster than non-health jobs (0.28 percent versus 0.09 percent). With 43,000 jobs added, health services accounted for over one quarter of 156,000 new nonfarm civilian jobs, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|Congress Should Take Steps to Make Drugs More Affordable
As Republicans squabble about how to repeal & replace Obamacare, lost in the debate is the way most Americans actually access our health care system. In any given year, most people don't ride in the back of an ambulance heading to the ER. Nor do they convalesce in a hospital bed. Most of the medical care Americans receive is not even provided in doctors' offices. The most common way Americans access our health care system is by taking a pill, writes NCPA Senior Fellow Devon Herrick...
|Zika In Florida: A Case Study in Government Failure
It is remarkable that the American people are not outraged that the U.S. government has let mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus enter Florida, where they continue to infect people. This has happened while the federal government's energy has focused on controlling people's private health choices, such as forcing Catholic nuns to pay for artificial contraceptives, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|How to Make New Drugs More Affordable
Over the past several years, a few high-priced drugs have elevated drug spending to a political issue. Patients are more sensitive to rising costs due to increasing deductibles and, because consumers pay more of their drug costs, pharmaceutical companies are less able to pass on high prices without anyone noticing, writes NCPA Senior Fellow Devon Herrick...