The Independent Institute

 
        

John R. Graham Archive

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

More than One in Five Americans “Churn” Through Health Coverage within a Year



The U.S. Census Bureau has just released the Current Population Report’s Health Insurance Coverage in The United States, 2015. This report sits alongside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health interview Survey as a critical source of understanding changes in health insurance in recent years. The report discusses coverage during the three...
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Medicare’s Accountable Care Organizations Still Underwhelm



Medicare’s Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), which launched in 2012, were supposed to introduce a significant shift away from paying for “volume” to paying for “value.” Critics of Fee-For-Service medicine claim this system causes physicians to do more to patients so they get paid more, notwithstanding benefits to patients. Those critics seldom identify the moral...
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EpiPen: A Case Study in Health Insurance Failure



I recently wrote a post describing EpiPen as a “Case Study in Government Harm,” describing how the government had made it possible for the manufacturer to increase prices of the life-saving drug multiple times without fear of retaliation. It is also a case study in how health insurance distorts our choices and increases their...
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Almost All Increase in Health Coverage Due to Return of Benefits



The best measurement of people who lack health insurance, the National Health Interview Survey published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has released early estimates of health insurance for all fifty states and the District of Columbia in the first quarter of 2016. There are three things to note. First: 70.2...
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Medicaid Expansion and Obamacare Premiums



Of all the false economies the Obama administration touted in favor of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, the latest claim is a whopper. According to a paper published by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services in August, states which expanded Medicaid dependency experienced lower premiums for individual health insurance offered in Obamacare...
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EpiPen: A Case Study of Government Harm



Much has been written about the dramatic price hikes for EpiPen, a product that injects a drug that counters severe allergic reactions (anaphylactic shock). According to Aaron E. Carroll, writing in the New York Times, the real (inflation adjusted) price of EpiPens has risen 4.5 times since 2004. Both Carrol and the Wall Street...
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Telehealth Opportunity versus Telehealth “Parity”



A great opportunity to reduce costs and improve quality in U.S. health care is telehealth, which uses information technology to eliminate distance between a patient and a medical provider. A subset of telehealth is telemedicine, which allows physicians to consult patients over the phone, by text, or by video. Take a couple of obvious...
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Single-Payer Setback: Canadian Doctors without Contract for Two Years and Counting



Physicians in Canada’s largest province, Ontario, have rejected a contract negotiated between the Ontario Medical Association and the provincial health ministry. The more than two-year-old dispute shows no sign of ending. Every Canadian is covered by a provincial government health plan. Doctors therefore have only one plan with which they must contract. Individual doctors,...
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Obamacare Authorities Actually Think Health Costs Fell



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: Per-enrollee costs in the ACA individual market were essentially unchanged between 2014 and 2015. Specifically, after making comparability adjustments described below, per-member-per month (PMPM)...
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The “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. It is often not clarified until months after the procedure, when a flurry of incomprehensible paperwork from insurers, doctors, labs, et cetera, has landed in the patient’s mailbox. (Personal aside: A...
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