John R. Graham Archive

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

Why Won’t Medicare Pay for Medical Tourism?



In a working paper published by the Mercatus Institute at George Mason University, Marc D. Joffe notes that Aetna, Blue Shield, and HealthNet offer health insurance in California that gives beneficiaries access to Mexican providers. The U.S. insurers rent a provider network from a Mexican insurer. The costs of health care in Mexico are...
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Gov. Bobby Jindal’s Health Reform Proposal: Pros and Cons



Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) has joined the number of Republicans with an alternative health reform. His Freedom and Empowerment Plan doesn’t mince words on repealing Obamacare: The American people are in favor of repealing Obamacare. But conventional wisdom in Washington holds that the law cannot be fully repealed. I couldn’t disagree more. A country that...
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Uninsured Patients Are 36 Percent More Likely To Get Medical Appointments Than Are Medicaid Patients



According to data compiled by the Kaiser Family Foundation, in fiscal year 2010 the average Medicaid payment per enrollee was $5,563. To be sure, there was a wide variance: For aged Medicaid enrollees the average payment was $12,958, and for disabled enrollees it was $16,240. The average for adults was $3,025, and for children...
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Medicaid Patients’ Access to Specialists Has Dropped Almost One-Fifth in Five Years



According to Merritt Hawkins’ 2014 survey of physician appointment times in fifteen urban markets (press release here, full report available by request from the firm), the proportion of physicians in five specialties (cardiology, dermatology, orthopedic surgery, ob/gyn, and family practice) accepting Medicaid patients dropped from 55.4 percent in 2009 to 45.7 percent — a drop...
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Hooray! The Medicare Doc Fix Is Fixed Until Next April!



Congress has given up on repealing the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) as a way to pay physicians under Medicare. Last June, John Goodman wrote in this blog about the futility of politicians’ efforts to “fix” the way they pay physicians. At the end of 2013, Congress passed another short-term fix that prevented physicians’ reimbursements...
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Employer-Based Health Insurance: “Job Lock” Is Not the Problem, “Insurance Lock” Is



Over at The Incidental Economist, Austin Frakt is publishing an interesting series on “job lock”. This is the idea that, because most of us get our health benefits from our employers, we are “locked” into jobs we don’t like because they offer benefits which we do like (or need). We get our health benefits...
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This Large Health Insurer Has Effectively Admitted Obamacare Is Failing



People can be forgiven for being confused about the effects of Obamacare. For over a year now, there has been a lot of evidence that the upward trend of medical costs has tempered. Some have said that we have finally bent the cost curve. Much of the declining rate of growth of medical spending...
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Obamacare’s Risk Corridor “Bailout” Just Got Bigger – Much Bigger



Last Friday, the Obama administration quietly released 280 pages of rules that, among other things, increases Obamacare’s risk corridors (a.k.a. insurers’ bailout): We propose to implement an adjustment to the risk corridors formula..... Such an adjustment could increase a QHP issuer’s risk corridors ratio if administrative expenses are unexpectedly high or claims costs are...
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A Snapshot of the Health Care Workforce



How is the health care workforce changing under Obamacare? This month’s jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics gives us a snapshot of employment in health care versus the rest of the economy. The table below shows the details. Despite the widely touted notion that Obamacare is putting hospitals out of business, hospital...
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Take the Money and Run? GAO Reports Significant Dropping Out of Government Electronic Health Records Program



A previous blog entry noted that Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense have utterly failed to execute a plan to develop an interoperable Electronic Health Record (EHR), despite five million beneficiaries receiving health benefits from both bureaucracies. Despite its inability to manage this for two closely related federal departments, the federal government decided...
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