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Tag: Medicare

Why Won’t Medicare Pay for Medical Tourism? »

In a working paper published by the Mercatus Institute at George Mason University, Marc D. Joffe notes that Aetna, Blue Shield, and HealthNet offer health insurance in California that gives beneficiaries access to Mexican providers. The U.S. insurers rent a provider network from a Mexican insurer. The costs of health care in Mexico are...
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Let’s Start a Tax Revolt with Our iPhones »

Tax Day is upon us and at the federal level we’re told that Washington spends $3.5 trillion a year. The annual federal deficit stands at $514 billion. The national debt has climbed to $17.6 trillion. All of these numbers are staggering, and that’s the problem. Few people can relate to such large numbers because...
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Why Is Obamacare a Rube Goldberg Contraption? »

Paul Krugman has written another one of those columns where almost every single sentence is wrong. But he did get one thing right: The crucial thing to understand about the Affordable Care Act is that it’s a Rube Goldberg device, a complicated way to do something inherently simple. The biggest risk to reform has...
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Hooray! The Medicare Doc Fix Is Fixed Until Next April! »

Congress has given up on repealing the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) as a way to pay physicians under Medicare. Last June, John Goodman wrote in this blog about the futility of politicians’ efforts to “fix” the way they pay physicians. At the end of 2013, Congress passed another short-term fix that prevented physicians’ reimbursements...
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Can Obamacare Be Fixed? Part II »

The reason we have so many problems in health care is that almost everywhere we look, people face perverse incentives — patients, doctors, employers, employees, etc. When they respond to those incentives, they do things that make costs higher, quality lower, and access to care more difficult than otherwise would have been the case....
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The Coming U.S. Government Default? »

Social Security, Medicare, and the federal component of Medicaid are easily the leading sources of the U.S. government’s worsening fiscal nightmare. By 2037, the ongoing growth in spending for these programs will have pushed up total federal spending to 35.7 percent of GDP, according to the Congressional Budget Office. This share is about 75...
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A Better Way to Cut Medicare Spending »

Over the next 10 years, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is scheduled to cut Medicare spending by $716 billion, primarily by reducing payments to doctors and hospitals. Further, those cuts in spending will continue indefinitely into the future. By 2060, one-fifth of Medicare will be gone. The Medicare actuaries and others have warned that...
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Take the Money and Run? GAO Reports Significant Dropping Out of Government Electronic Health Records Program »

A previous blog entry noted that Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense have utterly failed to execute a plan to develop an interoperable Electronic Health Record (EHR), despite five million beneficiaries receiving health benefits from both bureaucracies. Despite its inability to manage this for two closely related federal departments, the federal government decided...
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Intergenerational Transfers and Political Support for the Welfare State »

Supporters of the welfare state might see it as a mechanism for transferring income from rich to poor with the idea of helping those at the bottom end of the income distribution, but in the United States, the welfare state is increasingly transferring income from the young to the old, regardless of the wealth...
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What Republicans and Democrats Don’t Understand About the Insurance Company “Bailout” »

Last week I testified before the House Oversight committee on the “risk corridors” in the (ObamaCare) exchanges. Republicans claim that this is a device to bail out the insurance companies. Democrats, in the unusual position of defending the insurance companies, actually claimed that the government was going to make a “profit” because of it....
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