NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Daily Policy Digest

Health Issues

EpiPen: A Case Study in Health Insurance Failure

EpiPen is a case study in how health insurance distorts our choices and increases their cost. I learned this by following an Internet advertisement for EpiPen down its rabbit hole. The ad induced me to download my "EpiPen Savings Card" which would ensure I paid nothing for my EpiPens, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John. R Graham...

Do Transparency Tools Work in Health Care?

Encouraging workers to reduce unnecessary spending is all about creating the appropriate incentives, writes NCPA Senior Fellow Devon Herrick...

Recent Rise In Health Coverage Due To Return of Jobs With Benefits

Over seventy percent of residents, age 18 to through 64, had private health insurance in the first quarter of this year, which is which is the same rate as persisted until 2006. Obamacare has not achieved a breakthrough in coverage. It has just restored us to where we were a decade ago. Further, the contribution of Obamacare’s exchanges to this is almost trivial, covering only four million people, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...

EpiPen: A Case Study in What's the Matter with Health Care

Americans throw away unused epinephrine auto-injectors worth more than $1 billion annually. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that Americans waste more than $1 billion annually on $50 million worth of epinephrine auto-injectors that are discarded unused. The devices should only cost $20 a pair. So, why do they cost $608 instead, writes NCPA Senior Fellow Devon Herrick...

EpiPen: A Case Study of Government Harm

Much has been written about the dramatic price hikes for EpiPens, which inject a drug that counters severe allergic reactions (anaphylactic shock). The federal government changed its guidelines such that the EpiPens have to be sold in packages of two (while customers might prefer just one, or at least an odd number). Also, the federal government gave public-emergency grants to states on condition they stockpile EpiPens. Further, the Food and Drug Administration has hindered other manufacturers' ability to compete, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...

Telehealth Opportunity or Telehealth "Parity"?

Telemedicine, which allows physicians to consult patients over the phone, by text, or video, promises to cut costs and increase quality. However, some advocates demand government regulate prices, which will inhibit adoption, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...

The Administration Believes Obamacare's Costs Went Down!

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has just made the remarkable claim that medical costs paid by health insurers operating in Obamacare's exchanges declined in 2015 from 2014. In fact, the average Obamacare premium increased 5.2 percent in 2015, more than employer-sponsored coverage, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...

Do You Have A "Right to Shop" For Health Care?

Anyone who has undergone a medical procedure knows it is very difficult to figure out how much an insured patient will pay out-of-pocket. This has led to a bunch of state laws attempting to impose "price transparency" on medical providers, which do not work. A new proposal would legislate a "right to shop," writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...

Incentives Matter: Medicare's Hospital Readmission Penalties Are Having An Impact

In 2012, Medicare began to penalize hospitals which had too many readmissions. For a small number of targeted conditions, the program compares actual readmissions within 30 days to what an acceptable readmission rate should be. Evidence so far suggests reducing readmission was low-hanging fruit, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...

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...


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