Daily Policy Digest
|Big Pharma and Access to Medicines
A new report ranks research-based pharmaceutical companies on a number of measurements of how they make medicines available to patients in low-income countries. Philanthropic enterprises (such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) are entering these partnerships with for-profit drug makers. It is a far healthier development than the old-fashioned approach of just beating up drug makers for their greed, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|Health Coverage The Same As Ten Years Ago
Critics of Obamacare who focus on its increasing the proportion of people dependent on Medicaid (a welfare program) ignore the great expansion of Medicaid dependency years before anyone had heard of Barack Obama, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|Bill Clinton is Right: Obamacare is Crazy for Workers
Bill Clinton recently referred to high marginal income tax rates that Obamacare imposes on workers through the design of its tax credits, which get clawed back in a very unfair way. The Administration recently confessed premiums for the benchmark Obamacare plans are going up 25 percent, on average. Trying to appease angry enrollees, the Administration feebly claims tax credits reduce net premiums people pay, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|Should Government Pay Family Members to Care For Disabled Patients?
The Department of Justice has had significant success tracking down and charging those who bill Medicaid and Medicare falsely, which often goes hand-in-hand with financial fraud in the area of personal-care services. Personal caregivers funded by Medicaid have been charged with severe neglect, leading even to deaths of disabled patients. Three quarters of caregivers funded by Medicaid are family members, and they are among the culprits, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|Health Policy Election 2016 Post-Mortem
America dodged a bullet on health care -- but still has a lot of work ahead. The high cost of Obamacare is arguably one of the many issues that drove Americans to the polls to vote for Trump or against Clinton. If it did nothing else, Trump’s victory is important because it blocked the plethora of bad health policy ideas championed by Clinton. The leading presidential candidates' positions on health reform could not be farther apart. Whereas Hillary Clinton wanted to double down on Obamacare and expand it, Donald Trump plans to repeal Obamacare in its entirety. Clinton wanted to expand Obamacare subsidies, she wanted to expand Medicaid eligibility in the remaining states that have not done so and she even wanted to expand eligibility for Medicare. She also wanted to enact a Soviet-style system of price controls on drugs and make drug makers justify their prices -- whatever that means, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham.
|Health Jobs Grew Twice As Fast As Non-Heath Jobs in October
Friday's jobs report maintained the trend of high growth in health services, with those jobs growing twice as fast as non-health jobs (0.21 percent versus 0.10 percent). With 31,000 jobs added, health services accounted for almost one fifth of 161,000 new jobs. The disproportionately high share of job growth in health services is a deliberate outcome of Obamacare, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|Divergence in Private Versus Public Health Facilities Construction Continues in September
Health facilities construction accounted for 6 percent of non-residential construction starts. However, construction of private health facilities dropped 1.0 percent, while construction of public health facilities increased 2.4 percent, versus a drop of 1.0 percent for other public construction. Is this what they mean by "infrastructure" spending -- broken bridges and roads, while more VA and county hospitals spring up?
|They Can't Even Give It Away: Global Charity Rejects Free Vaccines
Doctors Without Borders /Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has decided to reject a donation of one million doses of pneumonia vaccine from Pfizer, Inc., writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|Gross Domestic Product: Tame Health Spending in Strong Third Quarter
Overall, real GPD increased 2.9 percent on the quarter, while health services spending increased only 2.3 percent, and contributed only 9 percent of real GDP growth. Growth in health services spending was also in line with other services spending and personal consumption expenditures (PCE). Also, the annualized change in the health services price index increased by 1.6 percent, very close to overall GDP, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|Obamacare 2017 Premium Hikes 25 Percent. What's Next?
The Obama Administration has confessed the average 2017 Obamacare premium hike for the benchmark (second-lowest cost) Silver plan will be 25 percent. Don't worry, says the Administration, tax credits will ensure beneficiaries only pay a fraction of their premiums. It is true, very few people would buy Obamacare plans without the tax credits the Administration cheers, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...