John R. Graham Archive

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

Gross Domestic Product: Is Health Spending Figured Out?



Relying on a government agency to tell us the value of goods and services produced in our nation may not be the best way to estimate Gross Domestic Product. Nevertheless, it is widely accepted. Health spending was a non-issue in the Department of Commerce’s release of the advanced estimate of second-quarter GDP, which came...
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Obamacare Architect Warned That Tax Credits Would Be Available Only in States with Exchanges



Halbig versus Burwell is the famous lawsuit that claims that Obamacare federal health-insurance exchanges cannot pay tax credits to health insurers. The plain language of the law is that only state-based Obamacare health-insurance exchanges can channel these tax credits. The real champions of this argument are Michael Cannon and Jonathan Adler of the Cato...
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How to Pay for the Next Sovaldi?



Imagine a pill that could cure cancer with one course of therapy or reverse an inherited, deadly disease. If it cost $1 million, could you access it? This was the question asked at a recent panel discussion held by the American Enterprise Institute. The panel discussed a couple of new proposals to finance new...
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Is Medicaid Crowd-Out the Only Effect of Obamacare?



Medicaid “crowd-out” is the hypothesis that enrolling more people in Medicaid will cause some people to drop private coverage in favor of Medicaid. The rate of crowding out may reach 60 percent. Now, courtesy of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), we have evidence that the entire effect of Obamacare so far is to...
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Households Finance Only 70 Percent of Their Own Consumption, Down from 93 Percent in 1959



The leftish think tank Demos has published a very thorough criticism of how we measure Gross Domestic Product. Scholar Lew Daly argues that we give government too little credit for its spending, because government invests in goods and services that increase total GDP. For example, household incomes increased dramatically in the 20th century due...
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“Prize-Grants” or Patents for Pharmaceutical Innovation?



Over at the American Enterprise Institute’s online magazine, Arnold Kling has proposed “prize-grants” in favor of patents for pharmaceutical research. Kling dislikes patents: Patents have always been a problematic way to promote innovation. They raise prices of products far above marginal cost. They impose legal costs involved in obtaining, attacking, and defending patents. They...
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Health Spending Grew Slower in U.S. than in Other Developed Countries, 2007-2011 (but the Trend Won’t Last)



It is unlikely that Obamacare explains the slowing rate of growth in health spending. A new research paper by Luca Lorenzoni and colleagues, from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, confirms not only that the slowdown occurred well before Obamacare, but that health spending has slowed more in the United States than in...
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Understanding Waiting Times for Health Care



In Sunday’s New York Times, reporter Elizabeth Rosenthal discusses evidence that that waiting times for medical care in the United States do not always compare favorably with those of other developed countries: “I fully expect wait times to be going up this year for Medicaid and Medicare and private insurance because we are expanding...
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Another Cover-Up? IRS and Social Security Administration Not Cooperating with Obamacare Fraud Investigation



In early June, we learned that over two million (of a total of eight million) Obamacare applications lacked income, citizenship, or immigration data to verify eligibility for Obamacare’s tax credits. In the middle of the month, the Obama administration began contacting “hundreds of thousands of people with subsidized health insurance to resolve questions about...
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Does the United States Over Diagnose Cancer?



Ezra Klein challenges the notion that patients in the United States get better cancer treatment than patients in other developed countries. Klein was writing in response to the Commonwealth Fund’s comparison of health systems in eleven developed countries. As I noted previously, one problem with this survey is that there is no apparent relationship...
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