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John R. Graham Archive

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

Ambulatory Surgery Centers Saved $38 Billion in Private Health Spending



New research from the Healthcare Bluebook (sponsored by the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association) indicates the privately insured population saved $38 billion by using Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs) instead of hospital outpatient departments for day surgeries. That figure includes $5 billion of lower out-of-pocket costs paid by patients directly. What is remarkable is that only...
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Should Dissent Be Allowed in Health Care?



An eminent physician has tentatively proposed that published treatment guidelines be accompanied by dissenting expert opinions, much like U.S. Supreme Court decisions. Daniel Musher, MD, of Baylor College of Medicine, served on the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which considered guidelines for a dual vaccine approach...
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More Evidence Against Health Insurance



David Lazarus of the Los Angeles Times, whose columns on health policy tilt heavily towards single-payer advocacy, has done a great service to the cause of consumer-driven health care: In a recent piece he describes how much more sense it makes to pay cash prices for health services than to pay what your health...
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Is It Now Okay to Sell Your Kidney in the U.S.?



There is a global shortage of many human organs for transplantation. Yet, it is illegal to sell your organ for transplantation in the United States. Or is it? Just a few days ago, President Obama announced a series of actions to encourage more organ donation. The president noted that while 95 percent of Americans...
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The Regulatory State Reaches the Wellness Industry



The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has finalized rules on how employers can use wellness programs. By current federal standards, the rules are concise: 19 pages pertaining to the Americans with Disabilities Act and 17 pages pertaining to the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. Both laws are extremely popular. The ADA (1990) passed by 91-6...
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The Real Lesson of John Oliver’s Medical Debt Forgiveness Stunt



Late-night TV host John Oliver recently caused a stir by attacking debt collectors in a clever way. He set up his own collection agency, bought $15 million of medical bad debt, and then forgave it all. This was all done on TV, to the cheers of his audience. Oliver claimed to have outdone Oprah...
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Obamacare Slightly Increased Short-Term Uninsured



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 2015. There are two things to note. First: About 70 percent of residents,...
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Confirmed: Obamacare’s 2016 Average Rate Hike Was Eight Percent



We are already anticipating double-digit premium hikes for Obamacare plans in 2017, based on insurance filings in a sufficient number of states to show the trend. Obamacare’s defenders point out two limits to these leading indicators. First, they are requested, not approved rate hikes. Second, Obamacare beneficiaries can trade down. A person whose plan...
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Obamacare Silver Plan Premiums to Rise 16% on Average in 2017



Caroline F. Pearson of the Avalere consulting firm has surveyed states which have already published 2017 Obamacare exchange premiums. Among eight states and the District of Columbia, the average requested rate hike is 16 percent for popular Silver plans: Specifically, average proposed rate increases across all silver plans in the nine states examined range...
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Don’t Be Fooled by Misleading Rhetoric on Medicare Payment Reform



A few weeks ago, Medicare proposed a pilot program to test a new way to pay doctors who inject drugs. Cancer is the big kahuna, cost-wise, when it comes to injected drugs. Medicare payment policy leads to certain industry practices to profit from the status quo. When the status quo is threatened, the “preservatives”...
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