John R. Graham Archive

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

Average Wait Time to See a Doctor up 30 Percent in Three Years



Merritt Hawkins, a physician-staffing firm, has published its periodic survey of waiting times for appointments with physicians in 30 metropolitan markets. The results: Average new patient physician appointment wait times have increased significantly. The average wait time for a physician appointment for the 15 large metro markets surveyed is 24.1 days, up 30% from...
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Where Does Your Health Insurance Premium Go?



AHIP, the trade association for health insurers, has a nifty infographic answering the question: “Where does your premium dollar go?” Obviously designed to defray accusations that health insurers earn too much profit, the infographic shows “net margin: of only three percent. A full 80 percent of our premium dollar goes to paying medical, hospital,...
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Veterans Health Administration Realizes It Should Buy, Not Build Software



Imagine that you learned a government agency built its own office furniture, HVAC, or telephones. Even if there were a massive amount of corruption in government purchasing, it would be remarkable if a bureaucracy could do a better job building than buying. Yet, for decades, the Veterans Health Administration has tried to do that...
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Health Insurance Contributes to Past-Due Medical Debt



A new study of past-due medical debt, by Michael Karpman and Kyle J. Kaswell of the Urban Institute, shows that the expansion of health insurance coverage subsequent to the Affordable Care Act is associated with a reduction in the proportion of adults with past-due medical debt. In 2012, 29.6 percent of U.S. adults had...
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New Study Misdiagnoses Elevated U.S. Drug Prices



An interesting research article at the Health Affairs blog last week asserts there is no relationship between high U.S. prescription drug prices and drug companies’ research and development budgets. The point of the article is to debunk the argument that research-based drug companies must earn high profits if they are going to reinvest in...
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Replacing Obamacare with a Means-Tested Tax Credit



In his first joint address to Congress, President Trump promoted the idea of a tax credit to support people’s purchase of health insurance. This is in line with the approach taken by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, when he was in Congress, and by the House Republican leadership. Some self-styled conservatives, however,...
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Why Do Late Middle-Aged Women Allow Obamacare to Gouge Them?



In February, Professor Mark Pauly of the Wharton Business School wrote a short article proposing reforms to individual health insurance, in which he reminded us the biggest premium hike in the market for individual insurance consequent to Obamacare was among women in their 60s. His actual research was published in 2014, but I have...
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Employer-Based Coverage Does Not Equalize Access to Health Care



One reason public policy favors employer-based health benefits instead of individually owned health insurance is that policymakers believe it equalizes access to health care among workers of all income levels. Insurers usually demand 75 percent of workers be covered, which leads to benefit design that attracts almost all workers to be covered. Employers do...
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Why Health Coverage Does Not Equal Healthcare Access



Readers know I disagree with using measurements of “coverage” as measurements of access to health care. New data from the Louisiana Department of Health, which cheers the expansion of Medicaid dependency in the state, shows (unwittingly) exactly why. Healthy Louisiana’s Dashboard shows that 402,557 adults became dependent on Medicaid as a result of Obamacare’s...
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Health Spending and Prices to Rise, 2018 through 2025



Before the Affordable Care Act passed in March 2010, President Obama repeatedly promised that the typical family’s health premiums would go down by $2,500 after implementing the expansion of health insurance we label Obamacare. Nothing of the sort has happened, of course. For the past few years, prices and spending have appeared moderate by...
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