John R. Graham Archive

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

CROmnibus and Cronyism for Blue Health Plans?



Despite the end of Obamacare’s “bailout” for health insurers, some of our friends who seek to repeal and replace Obamacare insist on finding a crony capitalist under every bed and in every closet. Yuval Levin, at National Review Online, appears to have been the first to identify an adjustment to an insurance regulation, buried in the...
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How Obamacare Hurts Its Beneficiaries: Two Vignettes



Last week, the mainstream media ran two stories about two Obamacare “beneficiaries” who were actually victims. The first was about a woman whose husband was already extremely sick, and was subject to the risk of being unable to buy health insurance in the individual market if he lost his employer-based benefits. That was a...
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Hiring in Ambulatory Clinics Back on Track; Other Health Jobs Lagging



Last Friday’s employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics caused some joy in the land: 321,000 jobs were added in November. My Forbes colleague Bruce Japsen cheered about an “Obamacare jobs bump” in health services. If true, this would be an example of Bastiat’s broken-window fallacy: Broken windows create employment for glaziers, so the government should...
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Gallup: Obamacare Hurting the Middle Class



Gallup reports that more Americans are delaying medical care because of cost. It is now 33 percent of respondents, versus only 19 percent in 2001. Some would love to blame this on consumer-driven health plans, which shift medical spending from premiums, which run through insurers’ bureaucracies, to patients’ direct control. However, this increase in...
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Consumer-Driven Plans Increase Share of Employer-Based Benefits



Consumer-driven health plans seized five more points of market share in the employer-based benefits market, according to Mercer’s latest report: Mercer survey finds average total health benefit cost per employee rose 3.9% in 2014; Enrollment in high-deductible, consumer-directed health plans (CDHPs) jumps from 18% to 23% of all covered employees following a surge of new...
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“Cadillac Tax” Will Hit 38 Percent of Employers in 2018



The “Cadillac tax” is the excise tax on high-value health plans, which goes into effect in 2018. If the value of health benefits exceeds $10,200 for an individual or $27,000 for a family, the excise tax will be 40 percent. A new report from the American Health Policy Institute breaks down the effect on employers. As...
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Will Obamacare Hit Its Enrollment Target?



The media seems to think that Obamacare’s second open enrollment is going just swimmingly. (How could it be going worse than last year’s?) Unfortunately, the Obama administration still isn’t counting last year’s sign-ups accurately. Jonathan Cohn of The New Republic has called the administration’s over-counting of Obamacare sign-ups “inexcusable.” And that’s from one of Obamacare’s biggest fans....
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Right-to-Try Laws Now in 5 States



After this month’s elections, the number of states that have “right to try” laws for experimental drugs has hit five. One in ten states: Not bad for an effort run out of one think tank in Arizona. However, I have seen no evidence that any manufacturer of an experimental drug is taking advantage of these...
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Your Kaiser Permanente Doctor Will See You Now—At Target



I am a pretty severe critic of hospitals. Nevertheless, I like innovation wherever we find it happening, and it is happening in some large systems: In a move that reflects the increasing wave of consumer-driven healthcare, Target Corporation is teaming up with Kaiser Permanente to open four in-store Target Clinics in Southern California, taking...
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Hiring in Outpatient Clinics Froze Last Month



Hiring in health care continued its moderate pace in October. Because non-health job growth has picked up, healthcare hiring no longer dominates job growth. (In August, one in four jobs added was in health care.) According to Table B-1 of the employment report (Table 1 below), health care hired 24,500 workers in October (seasonally adjusted),...
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