The Independent Institute

 
        

John R. Graham Archive

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

Must We Work for Nuns If We Wish to Dodge Obamacare’s Mandates?



Obamacare’s opponents are cheering the Little Sisters of the Poor’s apparent Supreme Court victory over Obamacare’s mandate to cover artificial contraception, about which I wrote when the controversy first erupted. The Little Sisters defied the mandate, which is contrary to their Catholic faith. The mandate is relevant not to the nuns’ themselves (obviously), but...
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Workers Increasingly Prefer Pay More Than “Benefits”



The Employee Benefits Research Institute (EBRI), a research organization with a mission “to contribute to, to encourage, and to enhance the development of sound employee benefit programs and sound public policy through objective research and education,” includes members as diverse as AARP, Aetna, Boeing, Charles Schwab, and Wal-Mart. In the benefits world, it sits...
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Another Hit on Price Transparency in Health Care



JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, has published a research article challenging the doctrine that price transparency leads to lower health costs. Sunita Desai, et al., found: Two large employers represented in multiple market areas across the United States offered an online health care price transparency tool to their employees. One introduced...
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Federal Health Bureaucracy Growing? Don’t Blame (Just) Obamacare



Libertarians and conservatives and others have spent five years complaining about the increased bureaucratic burden of Obamacare. New research by Sam Batkins of the American Action Forum, while not letting Obamacare off the hook, shows the problem predates the current administration. The following chart shows the burden of paperwork has increased linearly since at...
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Is Consumer-Directed Health Care Going the Wrong Way?



Gary Claxton and colleagues, of the Kaiser Family Foundation, have written a concise analysis of the evolution in health payments from 2004 through 2015: From 2004 to 2014, the average payments by enrollees towards deductibles rose 256% from $99 to $353, and the average payments towards coinsurance rose 107%, from $117 to $242, while...
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Insurers Increase Taxpayers’ Costs in Obamacare Exchanges



In the latest budget update, published in March, the Congressional Budget Office estimated 10 million people would be enrolled in taxpayer-subsidized Obamacare health plans with a total subsidy (via tax credits) of $32 billion this year. That would amount to an average subsidy per enrollee of $267 per month. In April, analysts at the...
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Are Prescription Drug Prices Becoming as Meaningless as Hospital Charges?



Professor Jack Hoadley of Georgetown University recently gave an excellent presentation discussing prices of prescription drugs. Two slides stand out. First, a slide showing how much prescription spending is controlled by insurers and governments versus patients directly: As recently as 1990, patients controlled over half of drug spending. Today, it is under 20 percent....
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Obama Administration Continues to Bail Insurers Out of Exchanges



The Obama Administration refuses to concede defeat in its struggle to save Obamacare’s exchanges. The exchanges lost one-quarter of their members in 2015. The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association has reported its insurance plans have enrolled people significantly sicker (and more expensive) than anticipated. Finally, UnitedHealth Group, the nation’s largest insurer, will drop out...
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Health Status Is Associated with Income, Not Health Insurance



An extremely thorough analysis of changes in incomes and mortality in the United States, 2001 through 2014, presents sobering findings for those who think fixing our health system will make us healthier. The study, let by Raj Chetty of Stanford University, ran data on incomes and mortality through a battery of statistical tools. It...
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Obamacare’s Unintended Consequences: People Buy Short-Term Policies



Obamacare has driven individual health insurance premiums up so high that people are forgoing comprehensive health coverage in favor of short-term policies, according to the Wall Street Journal: Robin Herman, the 34-year-old owner of a marketing firm in San Francisco, bought a short-term policy in December. The monthly cost of her short-term coverage, plus...
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