John R. Graham Archive

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

Obamacare Will Devour Your Pay Raise



Mercer’s latest National Survey of Employer Sponsored Health Plans finds that the cost of employer-based benefits will jump significantly in 2015. Employee-benefits writer Stephen Miller, CEBS, reports: Employers in the U.S. are predicting that health benefit cost per employee will rise by 3.9 percent on average in 2015, preliminary results from a new survey by Mercer...
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A Very Weak Case for Hospital Mergers



One consequence of Obamacare is hich can reduce competition and increase prices. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Kenneth L. Davis, MD, CEO and President of Mount Sinai Health System in New York City, puts forward a number of claims in favor of hospital consolidation. Each assertion is weak, making an unconvincing argument overall. First, Dr....
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After $26 Billion Paid Out, Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Records Only 4 Percent of Target



At a September 3 meeting of the Obama administration’s Health IT Policy Committee, officials disclosed that only 3,154 eligible professionals (doctors, dentists, et cetera) had “attested” to so-called “meaningful use stage 2″ to get their bounties from the federal government for installing electronic health records. Only 143 hospitals had attested. One healthcare leader, who was at the meeting,...
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Costs of Government Administration of Health Care to Almost Double in Ten Years



This week’s report by staff of the Office of the Actuary of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services concluded that the last few years of muted increases in health spending will soon be ending. Health spending will resume its upward march: The combined effects of the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansions, faster economic...
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Obamacare Tax Merry-Go-Round



Get a load of how Obamacare health-insurance premium taxes work. According to Medicaid Health Plans of America: “This situation results in the federal government taxing itself and taxing state governments to fund the higher Medicaid managed care payments required to fund the ACA health insurer fee.” It look me a few times to get...
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Can Taxpayers Recover Hundreds of Millions of Dollars from Obamacare Exchanges?



The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has just released a report on the contracts issued to private vendors to set up the federal pieces of Obamacare’s disastrous health-insurance exchanges. This is only the first of a series of reports, and it limits itself to describing the...
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Medicare Fees: The RUC Is Bad, but There’s No Point in Regulating It



Politico recently ran an interesting story on the Relative Value Scale Update Committee—the “RUC”—a body convened by the American Medical Association that fixes the fees that Medicare pays physicians. It describes the absurdity of a committee of physicians fixing fees that the government pays physicians, and demonstrates how the RUC pays primary-care practitioners much...
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Price Transparency Lowers Healthcare Costs



A study recently published in Health Affairs describes how price transparency drove down the cost of MRIs by almost twenty percent from 2010 to 2012. Compared to patients who did not have the advantage of transparent pricing, patients who knew what their MRI procedure would cost saw a cost reduction of $220 per procedure. Further, price transparency...
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There Is a Market for Human Organs, Whether You Like It or Not



The buying and selling of human organs was in the news this weekend, via an investigative report in the New York Times. People tend to be moved when they learn about someone donating an organ to someone else who needs it, but they also tend to be disgusted by the notion of a market where people...
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Walmart Shakes Up Primary Care—and the Whole System



Walmart has a new take on retail clinics. These newly launched clinics will charge patients $40 for a visit—but only $4 for Walmart associates. Anybody, with or without insurance, can go into one of these clinics and be seen by a qualified health professional, without the usual paperwork. Although the mega-retailer has operated clinics...
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