NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Daily Policy Digest

Health Issues

Transparency Tools Work - But Require Appropriate Incentives

A recent New York Times article blames the slow adoption of online transparency tools on "health care's complexity." Transparency tools are mostly ineffective at reducing health care spending because patients aren't using them. In his Health Alert, NCPA senior fellow, Devon Herrick, argues out that patients will use them if given the appropriate tools, training -- and incentives -- by health plans. He cites the example of an experiment from California which dramatically lower prices and increased hospital competition through cost-sharing incentives.

Reforming Medicare Part D to Improve Access to Medicines

Specialty drugs are typically high-cost prescription drugs used to treat complex chronic and/or life threatening conditions. The Medicare Part D benefit has imposed high out-of-pocket costs as a way to control costs of specialty drugs. Some patients may be adding costs to the system by getting drugs more expensively by injection in doctor' offices, where they are covered by Medicare supplemental insurance, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John Graham.

Obamacare Slightly Increased Short-Term Uninsured

The National Health Interview Survey, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has released early estimates of health insurance. Between 2013 and 2015, the number of people who were uninsured for one year or more declined by 12.7 million, from 30.5 million to 17.8 million. However, the number uninsured for less than a year increased slightly from 16.9 million to 17.7 million, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham.

The Real Lesson of John Oliver's Medical Debt Forgiveness Stunt

Late-night TV host John Oliver recently bought $15 million of medical bad debt, and then forgave it all (on TV). Medical debt collection is characterized by much pain for little gain. The real lesson of John Oliver's stunt is that government regulations make it nearly impossible for patients to discharge their debts in an orderly and responsible way, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham.

Obamacare's 2016 Average Rate Hike 8 Percent

Two pro-Obamacare sources confirm premiums in Obamacare's exchange plans increased by an average of eight percent from 2015 to 2016. General measures of price changes, such as Consumer Price Inflation, were effectively flat over the period. That is, the eight percent Obamacare premium hike was a real, not nominal, price hike, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham.

Pharmacists Group Pushing for Expanded ‘Preferred’ Medicare Networks

Preferred networks are at the root of how benefits managers have lowered drug costs for Medicare recipients, says NCPA Senior Fellow Devon Herrick in an article from Arizona Business Daily...

Billions of Dollars Later, Veterans Health Administration Still Failing

Reacting to scandal, Congress bailed out the Veterans Health Administration, camouflaged as a method of allowing veterans more choice of healthcare providers, outside the government bureaucracy...

Will You Ever Understand Your Hospital Bill?

A new crop of entrepreneurs and the federal government is trying to solve the problem of the medical billing process...

Do We Have to Work for Nuns to Avoid Obamacare's Mandates?

The Little Sisters of the Poor have been winning their litigation against Obamacare's mandate to cover artificial contraception...

Pittsburgh Insurer Highmark Swings for the Fences on Obamacare Bailout

Health insurers have not had much to cheer about lately, when it comes to Obamacare...


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