NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Daily Policy Digest

Health Issues

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...

The "Public Option:" Obamacare's Last Bailout

A "public option" would be profitable and low-risk for health insurers, while significantly increasing Obamacare's risks to taxpayers. Expect the "public option" to become the centerpiece of Democrats’ post-Obamacare health reform agenda in this election, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...

Hillary's Plan Won't Lower Drug Costs

Newsflash! Hillary Clinton is concerned about your drug costs. Unfortunately, her plan could actually raise drug prices and force you to pay more, albeit indirectly. She proposes to accomplish both feats simultaneously by capping your prescription drug co-pays at no more than $250 per month. This reckless proposal is central planning of the ilk you would find in Cuba or Venezuela, writes NCPA Senior Fellow Devon Herrick...

Double-Digit Premium Hikes Debunk California's "Active Purchaser" Claim

With some embarrassment, Covered California (the state's Obamacare exchange where people can purchase health coverage) has announced the average premium hike next year will be 13.2 percent. For many subscribers, the hike will be much greater because of the way federal tax credits discount premiums, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...


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