John R. Graham Archive

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

Medicare, Medicaid and VA at High Risk for Waste, Fraud and Abuse, Says GAO



The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has published its biennial update of federal programs “that it identifies as high risk due to their greater vulnerabilities to fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement...” Healthcare programs feature high on the list. Medicare, the entitlement program for seniors, and Medicaid, the joint state-federal welfare program for low-income households, are...
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American Patients Can Access Far More New Cancer Drugs than Others Can



New research by scholars at the University of Pittsburgh shows that American patients have significantly better access to new cancer medicines than their peers in other developed countries: Of 45 anticancer drug indications approved in the United States between January 1, 2009, and December 31, 2013, 64% (29) were approved by the European Medicines...
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Capping Federal Medicaid Funding Would Save $110 Billion to $150 Billion in 5 Years



Arguably more important than repealing and replacing Obamacare, a longstanding Republican proposal to change how Congress finances Medicaid would reduce the burden on taxpayers by $110 billion to $150 billion over five years, according to a new analysis by consultants at Avalere. Currently, state spending on Medicaid is out of control because Medicaid’s traditional...
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American Health Insurance Is Upside Down



Writing in The Week, Ryan Cooper shares a chilling story about an Obamacare Gold-level health insurance policy that let its beneficiary down when he needed it most: Stewart is 29 years old, and was pursuing his Ph.D in American history at Texas Christian University until ill health forced him to withdraw. He lives in...
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Fixed-Dollar Tax Credits Would Reduce Individual Health Insurance Premiums



Sonia Jaffe and Mark Shepard of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) have written a new paper, which compares the effects of fixed-dollar subsidies for health insurance to subsidies that are linked to premiums. They conclude that fixed-dollar subsidies reduce taxpayers’ costs and improve access. Unfortunately, the structure of subsidies in U.S. health...
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Over a Decade Later, Tax Hikes Still Proposed to Pay for Romneycare



Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts has proposed a tax of $2,000 per worker on businesses that do not offer health coverage to employees who become dependent on Medicaid. This makes him the second Republican governor of Massachusetts to buy into the notion that imposing taxes (or fines or penalties or fees) on individuals and...
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Pre-Existing Conditions and High-Risk Pools



Obamacare’s most popular provision is its prohibition against health insurers charging higher premiums for pre-existing conditions. It is so popular that Republican politicians have promised to keep it! (Or, at least bring it back once they repeal and replace Obamacare.) Scholars at the Kaiser Family Foundation have estimated that 27 percent of American adults...
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Senator Sanders, There Is No Right to Health Care in Canada



On Wednesday, I watched the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions (HELP) Committee’s courtesy hearing for Representative Tom Price, MD, whom President-elect Trump has nominated to be the next United States Secretary of Health & Human Services. As a game of “gotcha,” the hearing played out predictably. However, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) stood out...
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Obamacare’s Bureaucracy: The Amazing Rise in Health Insurance Jobs



As Congress and President-elect Trump debate how to repeal and replace Obamacare, the obsession with health insurance, rather than actual access to health care, has dominated the debate. It invites the question: How have jobs in health insurance fared before and after Obamacare? They have boomed! Before the Great Recession, nonfarm civilian employment peaked...
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Obamacare’s Individual Mandate and Tax Credits Are Really, Really Inefficient



Obamacare’s least popular feature is the individual “mandate” to have health insurance. This requirement was the subject of the 2012 lawsuit asserting Obamacare was unconstitutional: Never before had the federal government forced any resident to buy a good or service from a private business. The people lost that argument. Nevertheless, whether we label the...
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