Daily Policy Digest
|Everybody Gets A Medal: Budget Busting "Incentives" in Medicare Reform
Last April, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services published a new rule in accord with the seriously flawed 2015 Medicare reform law. About half of doctors would be rewarded for meeting quality incentives. In the final rule, published this month, 95 percent of doctors will be rewarded, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|California's Surprise Medical Bill Law Papers Over A Systemic Problem
Insured patients who go into hospital for scheduled surgery are often shocked to find they owe bills well beyond what they expected to pay, especially if they understood the hospital and surgeon to be in their health plan's network. A new law in California will regulate prices out-of-network specialists charge. It addresses the symptoms of the problem, but not the cause, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|What NCPA Experts Said about Last Night's Debate
What did the NCPA experts have to say about last night's debate? According to NCPA Senior Fellow Pamela Villarreal, the candidates discussed policy, but neither were very familiar with their own tax and economic plans! Hillary Clinton's plan will produce less of a 10-year deficit than Donald Trump's plan, but her tax increases will only cover half of her proposed $1 trillion in new spending. Trump's plan will no doubt grow the economy but will leave a deficit of $7 trillion over 10 years. Both candidates need to face that fact that spending cuts are in order. Even a robust economy will not cover a multi-trillion deficit, and anticipated revenue from tax increases will be less than expected. As far as entitlements, again, Donald Trump's pro-growth policies and Hillary's tax increases will not make Social Security and Medicare solvent over the long run. These are band-aid approaches that ignore real reforms.
|Will Tonight's Debate Delve Into Policy, or Am I Asking Too Much?
The last two debates have been dreadfully disappointing as far as the candidates addressing any substantive economic issues. Based on studies from the NCPA’s Tax Analysis Center, Clinton's and Trump's economic plans produce vastly different results. This is not surprising, of course, since these plans are predicated on different visions for the economy. Mrs. Clinton wants to promote a fair economy where the rich pay more taxes, and Mr. Trump wants an economy that can squeak out a growth rate of more than the paltry 1 to 2 percent under the current administration. In an ideal world, an effective moderator that can maintain control without cheerleading one side or the other might ask these questions of the candidates, writes NCPA Senior Fellow Pam Villarreal...
|Mixed News on Generic Drug Approvals
The Food and Drug Administration's Office of Generic Drugs has executed 651 approvals in 2016, the largest number of approvals in a fiscal year in (at least) the last 8 years. The bad news is that OGD received a total of 853 applications in FY 2016 which is 202 more than it approved. The regulatory backlog remains, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|Government and the Cost of Dental Care
Dentistry looks like a consumer-driven market: Insurance is far less prevalent in dentistry than in medicine, and most dental care is routine and preventive. Yet, costs of dental care have risen at the same rate as those of other health care, not at the rate of other consumer goods and services. The problem lies on the supply side, with restrictive licensing, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|Values: The Foundation of our Culture and Economy
Our country is experiencing an ethical malaise that has inspired a value-neutral and morally relative leadership model that continues to negatively impact government policy, business and families, writes David Grantham, Cary Maguire and James Amos, Jr. in Townhall...
|Consumer-Driven Health Plans Reduce Spending One Eighth
The Health Care Cost Institute has released its analysis of claims data for the years 2010 through 2014, comparing consumer-driven health plans with traditional health plans. CDHPs shift payment from third-party bureaucracies (that is, insurers) back to patients directly. The results continue to impress, cutting spending by one eighth, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|The Financial Crisis: Causes, Recollections and the Aftermath
The Financial Crisis of 2007-2009, and the aftermath, is the defining moment of my career in banking. Having served in government for 17 years, 10 of those in the bank regulatory arena, I managed to be present at some interesting places leading up to the events of 2007-2009, and served on the front lines of the recovery effort thereafter. Those experiences gave me insight into how federal policy affects financial markets, the private sector's recovery capabilities and the consequences of government responses, writes C.K. Lee, a former official with the Office of Thrift Supervision...
|NCPA Analysis of Sunday's Presidential Debate
The NCPA experts have been tracking all policy discussion during the debates, and will live-tweet through Sunday's debate and provide detailed analysis afterwards. After two debates, the presidential and vice presidential candidates have left us with more partisan bickering than actual policy. Their discussion of national security and foreign policy left several gaps in need of filling. They name-checked Social Security, but offered no real solutions. And health care -- a problem that impacts Americans on a day-to-day basis - has been startlingly absent from the debates.