The Independent Institute

 
          

John R. Graham Archive

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

Insurers Increase Taxpayers’ Costs in Obamacare Exchanges



In the latest budget update, published in March, the Congressional Budget Office estimated 10 million people would be enrolled in taxpayer-subsidized Obamacare health plans with a total subsidy (via tax credits) of $32 billion this year. That would amount to an average subsidy per enrollee of $267 per month. In April, analysts at the...
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Are Prescription Drug Prices Becoming as Meaningless as Hospital Charges?



Professor Jack Hoadley of Georgetown University recently gave an excellent presentation discussing prices of prescription drugs. Two slides stand out. First, a slide showing how much prescription spending is controlled by insurers and governments versus patients directly: As recently as 1990, patients controlled over half of drug spending. Today, it is under 20 percent....
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Obama Administration Continues to Bail Insurers Out of Exchanges



The Obama Administration refuses to concede defeat in its struggle to save Obamacare’s exchanges. The exchanges lost one-quarter of their members in 2015. The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association has reported its insurance plans have enrolled people significantly sicker (and more expensive) than anticipated. Finally, UnitedHealth Group, the nation’s largest insurer, will drop out...
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Health Status Is Associated with Income, Not Health Insurance



An extremely thorough analysis of changes in incomes and mortality in the United States, 2001 through 2014, presents sobering findings for those who think fixing our health system will make us healthier. The study, let by Raj Chetty of Stanford University, ran data on incomes and mortality through a battery of statistical tools. It...
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Obamacare’s Unintended Consequences: People Buy Short-Term Policies



Obamacare has driven individual health insurance premiums up so high that people are forgoing comprehensive health coverage in favor of short-term policies, according to the Wall Street Journal: Robin Herman, the 34-year-old owner of a marketing firm in San Francisco, bought a short-term policy in December. The monthly cost of her short-term coverage, plus...
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Chicken and Egg in Consumer-Driven Health Care



An advocate of consumer-driven health care will often be challenged by this question: “So, when I am hit by a bus, or have a heart attack or stroke, or am suffering from dementia, you want me to go shopping around for medical care?” Obviously not. Nevertheless, this is a serious challenge and invites the...
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Medicare Pays for Prevention – For the First Time



The Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services has announced that Medicare (that is, taxpayers) will pay for lifestyle-intervention program that prevents type 2 diabetes: In 2011, through funding provided by the Affordable Care Act, CMS awarded the National Council of Young Men’s Christian Associations of the United States of America (Y-USA) more than $11.8...
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Blue Cross Blue Shield Confirms Obamacare Death Spiral



The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, which represents 36 Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans covering 105 million Americans, has just released a study of its members’ claims data in Obamacare exchanges 2014 and 2015. It confirms that Obamacare exchange enrollees are sicker and more expensive than enrollees in pre-Obamacare individual plans or...
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Trump’s Health Reform Won’t “Make America Great Again”—or Do Anything



I recently wrote a blog entry on one plank in Donald Trump’s health reform plan: imposing foreign prices on medicines sold in the United States. As Mr. Trump is currently the leading Republican presidential candidate, it behooves us to examine his health plan overall. Don’t worry: It won’t take long. Mr. Trump proposes to...
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The Myth of All-Payer Claims Databases



Most observers agree that it is very, very difficult for patients to choose health services wisely based on prices, because prices in U.S. health care are generally not transparent. The primary reason for this problem is that health providers haven’t relied on patients to pay their bills directly in many decades. Instead, their business...
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