Tag: Healthcare

High U.S. Health Prices from Market Power? »

The National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) recently published a consensus report on healthcare-provider consolidation. Basically, we have a growing problem in that hospitals are buying up each other and also physician practices, which leads to reduced competition and higher prices. The report was promoted with an op-ed in The Hill by the esteemed…
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Did a Health Insurer Pay over Ten Times the Self-Pay Price for Outpatient Surgery? »

A story from Arizona is a cloud with a silver lining: Teresa Anderson was pleasantly surprised how quick and hassle-free her eyelid-lift surgery was at Havasu Regional Medical Center’s outpatient-surgery facility in April 2014. Weeks later, the bills arrived at her Lake Havasu City home. Her surgeon, anesthesiologist and X-ray provider submitted bills and…
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Health Jobs Grow Twice as Fast in April as Other Jobs »

Of the 223,000 jobs added in April, 45,000 were in health services, according to the latest Employment Situation Summary from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Health services employment rose by 0.30 percent monthly, while other nonfarm, civilian employment grew only 0.14 percent. This continues the trend seen in March. As shown in Table 1, jobs…
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The Individual Mandate »

As most people know by now, the Individual Mandate is one of the key elements in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that the Individual Mandate is constitutional. Prior to that ruling, both proponents and opponents of the ACA agreed that it is essential enough that the ACA would…
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Obamacare’s Risk Corridors Are Back, and Bigger and Badder than Ever! »

Last year, I discussed at length Obamacare’s risk corridors, which comprised an unlimited taxpayer bailout of insurers’ profits in the Obamacare exchanges, by transferring money from insurers with extra profits to those whose profits from Obamacare are less than expected. Fortunately, Congress capped this liability last December. The CROmnibus, which funded the government for…
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Florida’s Financial Health Care Follies, and a Problem with a Part-Time Legislature »

The one constitutional responsibility of Florida’s legislature is to pass a budget — something Florida’s solidly Republican House and Senate could not do by the end of their regular legislative session. The big issue that divided them was how to deal with the Affordable Care Act’s mandates. Here’s the issue. Florida has been receiving…
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Obamacare’s State-Based Exchanges Struggle with Surging Costs »

Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges are a real problem. States that established exchanges as “active purchasers” of health insurance, instead of just clearinghouses, have higher premiums. So, what is the point of them? Further, the federal government threw billions of dollars at states to set up exchanges, with zero accountability. Things are not improving. From…
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Why Don’t You Own Your Own Health Information? »

David Brailer, MD, was the first head of the Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology (ONC), appointed by President George W. Bush. Today, he is a venture capitalist. Last week in the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Brailer noted that a law passed in 1996 governs our access to health information. Clearly,…
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Health Spending Crushing a Stalled Economy »

March’s estimate of last year’s fourth quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) showed that health spending was chewing through a weak economy. Today’s release of the advanced estimate of this year’s first quarter GDP might best be described as health spending crushing a stalled economy. GDP barely budged, increasing by a trivial 0.2 percent annualized….
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Barack Obama Has the Last Word on the Medicare “Doc Fix” »

On April 15, President Obama signed the so-called Medicare “doc fix,” a bill that I previously warned would recruit Republicans onto Obamacare’s B-Team. I had also hoped that they would reject the bill, especially after Medicare’s Chief Actuary delivered an even harsher verdict on its consequences than the Congressional Budget Office had. Unfortunately, massive…
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