NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Daily Policy Digest

Health Issues

Who Is Responsible for Rising Drug Costs?

Americans’ prescription drug bills are rising. Most drugs are affordable, but prices for a few drugs exceed the average mortgage payment. They can be especially costly when there are only one, two or three patented drugs in a given therapeutic class. Drug makers are free to establish whatever price they believe the market will bear and, depending on the number of competitors, they could have significant pricing power.

Congressional Brief: 12 Fundamentals of Highly Effective Healthcare

Empowering Patients, Providers and the Private Sector by lowering costs, increasing quality and expanding access.

Health Construction Picked Up in December

Health facilities construction turned around in December, growing 0.6 percent versus a decline of 0.3 percent in starts for other construction. Health facilities construction accounted for almost 6 percent of non-residential construction starts. However, the growth was all in private health facilities.

Massachusetts Governor Hiking Taxes To Rescue Failed Health Reform

Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts has proposed a tax of $2,000 per worker on businesses which do not offer health coverage to employees who become dependent on Medicaid. This makes him the second Republican governor of Massachusetts to buy into the notion that imposing taxes (or fines or penalties or fees) on individuals and businesses can force them to accept responsibility for government failure at getting health spending under control, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...

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...

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...

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...


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