John R. Graham Archive

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

Health Spending Slows to a Less Alarming Pace



Last week’s second estimate of Gross Domestic Product for the second quarter confirms that growth in health spending took a welcome break. Unfortunately, it is not a clear break in the trend of health spending consuming an increasing share of our national income. The second estimate revised the advanced estimate, and the update was...
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Bobby Jindal’s Attack on Scott Walker’s Health Plan Is Off-Base



Yesterday, I wrote a column at Forbes addressed Governor Scott Walker’s health plan in largely positive terms. Governor Bobby Jindal, a competing Republican presidential contender, has launched a broadside against Walker’s plan, describing it as a “new federal entitlement.” The charge is way off-base. Governor Jindal proposed a health reform back in 2014, via...
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Bundled Payments, Barely Hatched, Go the Way of the Dodo



Last month, I wrote about Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), medical groups accountable to the federal government for management of healthy populations. Even Zeke Emanuel recognizes that they are failing. Dr. Emanuel advised Medicare to “lump together” all the services associated with a procedure, such as a hip replacement, and pay one fee for the...
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Victory for Free Speech in Medicine



Judges are chipping away at government censorship of communications about prescription drugs. The Food and Drug Administration exerts great power over a medicine’s label, which describes the medicine’s therapeutic claims. Drug makers and the FDA sometimes spend years negotiating a label. The FDA regulates both safety and “efficacy.” So, a drug maker has to...
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Price Transparency Laws Don’t Work



In a functioning market, you know what you owe before you buy a good or service. That is not the case in health care, as we know. Because of increasing deductibles, the failure of price transparency is becoming increasingly irritating to patients. Some believe a solution can be legislated. This has occurred in New...
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Obama Supports Worker Freedom?



Occupational licensing occurs when the state government legislates that a person cannot practice a trade—for example, law, medicine, or hair-braiding—without a license. For years, libertarian and conservative researchers have recognized that occupational licensing increases costs and reduces choices for consumers, and prevents entrepreneurs from entering the market. Now look who’s joined the ranks of...
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Hospital Job Growth Up versus Other Health Jobs



The July Employment Situation Summary from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed health services jobs growing at about the same pace as other jobs: 0.18 percent growth versus 0.15 percent growth. This is a break from most previous months, when health services job growth outpaced other nonfarm civilian jobs significantly. 28,000 of the 215,000...
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New Evidence that Obamacare Is Working?



Obamacare supporters are excited by a research article suggesting Obamacare is working to increase access to care. In an article published in JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers followed up respondents to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index (which I’ve discussed previously). Yes, in an absolute sense, their access to care improved. According...
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Health Spending Growth Moderate in Second Quarter (Maybe)



A recent report by actuaries working for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services estimates that the rate of growth of health spending, subdued for many years, is picking up again: “The health share of US gross domestic product is projected to rise from 17.4 percent in 2013 to 19.6 percent in 2024.” Readers of this...
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Medicaid’s Poverty Trap Illustrated



The tragic story of a disabled woman trapped in poverty by the hodge-podge of ways the U.S. finances health care illustrates why we need to sweep the whole thing away and give everyone a universal, refundable tax credit: On a crisp California morning in February 2012, my sister-in-law, Marcella Wagner, was driving down the interstate...
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