John R. Graham Archive

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

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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Why Hasn’t Medicare Advantage Collapsed?



Milliman, the actuarial consulting firm, has published a new report on the impact of the government’s cuts to Medicare Advantage. The report was sponsored by the Better Medicare Alliance, which announced that “Seniors now face soaring maximum annual out-of-pocket costs” due to the cuts. And yet, the purported cuts have not really bitten health insurers. Medicare Advantage enrollment...
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GAO: Medicare, Medicaid and Veterans Health Administration at High Risk for Fraud, Waste, Abuse



The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has published its annual update of federal programs “that it identifies as high risk due to their greater vulnerabilities to fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement...” Healthcare programs feature high on the list. Medicare, the entitlement program for seniors, and Medicaid, the joint state-federal welfare program for low-income households, are...
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“Site-Neutral” Medicare Payments: A Good Idea from President Obama’s Budget



Imagine that there are two providers of the same service. Their quality and timeliness are comparable. However, one provider charges significantly more than the other. In a normally functioning market, you would expect that the more expensive provider would have to significantly change its cost structure to stay in business. What if the more...
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Health Care Spending Is Up, Way Up



The economic data on health spending has been bouncing around like crazy in the age of Obamacare, so we must not read too much into one report. Nevertheless, the January 30 report on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) issued by the Bureau of Economic Analysis indicates that health spending has begun to race up again,...
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Medical-Device Excise Tax Kills Jobs, Obamacare Kills Much More



The sweet smell of success for the medical-device industry is wafting over Capitol Hill. News from Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) is that the Senate will take up repeal of the medical-device excise tax. This is a tax of 2.3 percent on most medical devices that was passed as part of the Affordable Care Act...
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Breaking News: The FDA Will Not Regulate Your Kid’s Skateboard



The Food and Drug Administration has just issued draft guidance saying that it will not regulate products that help with “general wellness” and “promote a healthy lifestyle,” but pose low risk to peoples’ safety. The guidance specifies “exercise equipment, audio recordings, video games, software programs and other products” (although I suppose “other products” is...
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About That CBO Report Claiming Obamacare’s Costs Are Down 20 Percent...



In the January 2015 Budget and Economic Outlook, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) pronounced that Obamacare’s future costs will be one-fifth lower than had been originally estimated: In March 2010, CBO and JCT projected that the provisions of the ACA related to health insurance coverage would cost the federal government $710 billion during fiscal...
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Arkansas: Caving In or Standing Up to Obamacare?



The new governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson, appears to have confused a lot of people in a recent speech about Medicaid, the joint state-federal welfare program for poor people’s health coverage. According to the Washington Post’s Jason Millman, “Republicans are finally learning they can’t undo Obamacare,” because the governor wants to do something different...
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Employers Who Dump Workers onto Medicaid: The New Corporate Welfare Queens?



There have been a lot of predictions about the future of employer-based health benefits under Obamacare. Reports suggest that increasing numbers of small businesses are dropping health benefits and sending their employees to Obamacare’s insurance exchanges, where they are partially subsidized. Other businesses have found a bigger cost-shifting approach. BeneStream, a new benefits advisor,...
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