John R. Graham Archive

John R. Graham is a Senior Fellow at The Independent Institute.
Full biography and recent publications

There Is a Market for Human Organs, Whether You Like It or Not



The buying and selling of human organs was in the news this weekend, via an investigative report in the New York Times. People tend to be moved when they learn about someone donating an organ to someone else who needs it, but they also tend to be disgusted by the notion of a market where people...
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Walmart Shakes Up Primary Care—and the Whole System



Walmart has a new take on retail clinics. These newly launched clinics will charge patients $40 for a visit—but only $4 for Walmart associates. Anybody, with or without insurance, can go into one of these clinics and be seen by a qualified health professional, without the usual paperwork. Although the mega-retailer has operated clinics...
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What Is to Be Done with Health-Insurance Exchanges, Post-Obamacare?



Any time a Republican politician suggests that there is anything positive in Obamacare, the media are eager to declare that this means the Republican establishment is backing away from repealing the Affordable Care Act and wants to “fix” it instead. This, of course, is what most businesses and their lobbyists would prefer take place....
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Obamacare Threatens Free Clinics



Obamacare’s most significant effect is an expansion in the number of people dependent on Medicaid, the joint state-federal welfare program for low-income people. Kaiser Health News points out that this expansion is threatening the existence of free clinics. Some clinics are signing up for Medicaid, while others are closing: “We used to say ......
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Medicaid’s Financing Merry-Go-Round



Medicaid, which provides health-related welfare benefits to low-income individuals, is jointly financed by the federal and state governments. Before Obamacare, the split was 50/50 for rich states, but low-income states got more dollars. This mechanism is called the Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage (FMAP). So, if California spent $50 on Medicaid, the federal taxpayer would...
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Gross Domestic Product: Is Health Spending Figured Out?



Relying on a government agency to tell us the value of goods and services produced in our nation may not be the best way to estimate Gross Domestic Product. Nevertheless, it is widely accepted. Health spending was a non-issue in the Department of Commerce’s release of the advanced estimate of second-quarter GDP, which came...
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Obamacare Architect Warned That Tax Credits Would Be Available Only in States with Exchanges



Halbig versus Burwell is the famous lawsuit that claims that Obamacare federal health-insurance exchanges cannot pay tax credits to health insurers. The plain language of the law is that only state-based Obamacare health-insurance exchanges can channel these tax credits. The real champions of this argument are Michael Cannon and Jonathan Adler of the Cato...
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How to Pay for the Next Sovaldi?



Imagine a pill that could cure cancer with one course of therapy or reverse an inherited, deadly disease. If it cost $1 million, could you access it? This was the question asked at a recent panel discussion held by the American Enterprise Institute. The panel discussed a couple of new proposals to finance new...
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Is Medicaid Crowd-Out the Only Effect of Obamacare?



Medicaid “crowd-out” is the hypothesis that enrolling more people in Medicaid will cause some people to drop private coverage in favor of Medicaid. The rate of crowding out may reach 60 percent. Now, courtesy of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), we have evidence that the entire effect of Obamacare so far is to...
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Households Finance Only 70 Percent of Their Own Consumption, Down from 93 Percent in 1959



The leftish think tank Demos has published a very thorough criticism of how we measure Gross Domestic Product. Scholar Lew Daly argues that we give government too little credit for its spending, because government invests in goods and services that increase total GDP. For example, household incomes increased dramatically in the 20th century due...
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