Daily Policy Digest
|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...
|How to Get New Drugs to Consumers Faster and Affordably
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi actually agrees on one thing with Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. All three support the 21st Century Cures Act. There is no word about whether Pelosi has actually read the bill. Maybe she wants to pass it to find out what's in it, as she said several years ago about the Affordable Care Act. However, she presumably understands the purpose of the bill is to boost access to advanced drug therapies by making it easier to bring them to market, writes NCPA Senior Fellow Devon Herrick...
|What Holds Back Consumer-Driven Health Plans?
CHDPs became available in 2005. However, they only appear to cover a little over one quarter of employed people or their dependents who are enrolled in their benefits. How can such a small proportion of people be enrolled in CDHPs after over a decade of evidence supporting the case that they cut the rate of growth of health spending?, asks NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham...
|How Federal Regulations Hiked EpiPen Prices
People with severe allergies and asthma often carry an epinephrine auto-injector or have one readily available at all times. The most common model by far is the EpiPen, which enjoys an 85 percent market share. The price of the EpiPen, preloaded with the generic drug epinephrine, has increased by more than 400 percent in less than a decade, writes NCPA Senior Fellow Devon Herrick...
|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...