John R. Graham Archive

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

Will Congress Fix Its Electronic Health Records Fiasco?



There is some hope that Congress will fix—at least partially—the largely bungled Electronic Health Records (EHRs) deployment on which it has spent $30 billion since 2009. Doctors are very frustrated by EHRs, which interfere with their practice of medicine. The current government program to have them installed nationwide should be abandoned. Tomorrow, the Senate...
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Section 1332, Where Are You?



People are starting to get excited about another Obamacare work-around: The section 1332 waiver. This refers to a section of Obamacare that allows states great flexibility in how they deliver Obamacare within their borders. The curious thing about section 1332 waivers is that they can only be issued as of January 1, 2017. Why?...
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Ted Cruz and Health Reform



Senator Ted Cruz has won the Iowa Republican caucuses. Over the weekend, Chris Wallace of Fox News challenged Sen. Cruz on his proposal “to sell health insurance across state lines,” citing my argument that federal action to mandate this would be ineffective. The argument in question appeared in an op-ed in The Hill last...
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Obamacare’s Cost per Beneficiary Explodes with Shrinking Enrollment



The Congressional Budget Office’s latest budget estimate shows Obamacare’s costs per beneficiary have exploded, as enrolment in Obamacare’s broken exchanges collapses. January’s update estimates 2016 exchange enrolment at 13 million people (p. 69). Although the president’s administration had previously downgraded its estimate of Obamacare enrolment, this is the first significant change by the non-partisan...
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Private Sector Vigilance, Not Government Regulation, Protects Patients



Last July, I cheered Arizona for passing a law allowing patients to order blood tests without a doctor’s prescription. The company that lobbied for the change, Theranos, was also interesting because it posted its prices at venues where patients could get blood drawn. It had a widely promoted partnership with Walgreens, which has a...
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Another Reason to Scrap Obamacare’s Exchanges



New estimates project Obamacare will leave behind far more uninsured people than originally estimated. The Congressional Budget Office’s March 2010 estimate figured 26 million uninsured in 2015, while the March 2015 estimate figured 35 million uninsured in 2015. So, Andy Slavitt, the Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, recently announced steps to increase enrollment...
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Guess Who Pays the “Slacker Mandate”? Workers with No Kids!



The “slacker mandate” is the provision in Obamacare requiring employer-based health plans to offer benefits to adult dependents of their workers, up to age 26. I have discussed research showing that the mandate reduced work among adults, aged 19 to 26, and increased the time they spend socializing, sleeping, and exercising. What about the...
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Two Years into Obamacare, No Change in Share of Working-Age Americans with Trouble Paying Medical Bills



The Kaiser Family Foundation and the New York Times have published the results of a survey of Americans, aged 18 through 64, which questioned respondents about their troubles paying medical bills. What is most interesting about the survey, which was conducted in September 2015, is that it shows no change in the proportion of...
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Health Insurers’ Consensus on Obamacare Is Collapsing



The health insurance industry is undergoing a crisis of consensus on how to respond to the failure of Obamacare. That is the only way to interpret the departure of another large, national carrier, Aetna, from America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP). This follows UnitedHealth Group’s departure from the industry’s trade group last June: Those misgivings...
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Unpopular Individual Mandate Fails to Make People Buy Insurance



Just before Christmas, Congress voted to deficit fund Obamacare by imposing moratoria on a number of Obamacare taxes that are unpopular with interest groups. Left in place was the unpopular individual mandate to buy health insurance, which has no organized interest to lobby against it. Nevertheless, it is the most unpopular part of Obamacare....
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