John R. Graham Archive

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

More Bad News about the Medicare Doc Fix



Opposition to the outrageous so-called Medicare doc fix bill, which will increase the federal deficit by $141 billion, is growing. Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute explains how this will “bust the budget.” My Forbes editor, Avik Roy, pleads that the Senate stop this monstrosity (which passed the House by a huge majority). On…
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This Doc Fix Is an Outrage



Yesterday’s Health Alert warned against the so-called Medicare doc fix that is being jammed through the Congress this week. More voices are rising up against this flawed legislation. The Health Alert was written and published before the Congressional Budget Office published its estimate of the bill’s effect on the deficit. Here it is: Over…
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Are Health Plans That Cover Yoga the ‘Next Frontier’?



When a leading benefits consultant writes an article in the Harvard Business Review recommending that health plans cover yoga, it should be glaringly apparent that we have perverse incentives in U.S. health benefits: Cigna insurance CEO David Cordani says the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services’ recent payment changes that emphasize quality over quantity…
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Prostate Cancer Treatment Costs Can Differ by 400 Percent. Here’s Why



The body of evidence that prices for medical and hospital treatment in the United States are all over the map is growing: UCLA researchers have for the first time described cost across an entire care process for a common condition called benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) using time-driven activity-based costing. They found a 400 percent…
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Obamacare Costs Are Shrinking – So Should Its Taxes



The Congressional Budget Office’s March budget baseline updates the agency’s estimates of costs and insurance coverage due to Obamacare. The March baseline estimates that the gross cost of Obamacare’s subsidies and Medicaid spending for the years 2016 through 2025 will be $1.7 trillion, $286 billion less than it had estimated in the January baseline. The CBO…
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Weak Health Jobs Growth; Mostly in Hospitals and Physicians’ Offices



Last Friday’s employment report, cheered as positive, had a grey lining for health workers, corroborating last December’s signal of weakness. Total nonfarm payroll increased by 295,000 from January, but only 24,000 (fewer than 8 percent of the total) were health jobs. And 9,000 of those jobs were in hospitals. Physicians’ offices saw 7,000 jobs,…
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Senate Dems: Get Pregnant, Then Get Health Insurance



While everyone else is wondering whether or not the Supreme Court will strike down the Obamacare tax benefits in 37 jurisdictions (36 states plus Washington, D.C.) with the actual Affordable Care Act as written, some Democratic U.S. Senators are urging women to dig deeper into Obamacare by encouraging them to delay getting health insurance…
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How Much of Federal Transfer Payments Are Obamacare Subsidies? More than You Think!



January’s Personal Income and Outlays report from the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis shows how significant Obamacare’s subsidies to households have become. Last month, they accounted for 21 percent of the increase in total government transfer payments to households: Personal current transfer receipts increased $24.8 billion in January, compared with an increase of $13.8 billion…
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Health Spending Chews Through a Weak Economy



The federal government’s second estimate of fourth quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP), published Friday by the U.S. Department of Commerce, confirmed what we pointed out from the initial estimate released on January 30: Health spending is chewing up more and more of the weakening economic recovery. GDP growth was actually revised down from the…
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Half of State Medical Boards Perform Poorly When Licensing Out-of-State Doctors



A new research article in the Telemedicine and E-Health Journal shows how difficult state regulatory barriers are making it for doctors to practice effective telemedicine. Telemedicine embraces technologies as diverse as surgeons operating robots remotely, radiologists reading scanned images remotely, or psychiatrists conducting therapy sessions via videoconference. One barrier to effective adoption of telemedicine…
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