Tag: Medicare

Third Parties Control 83 Percent of Prescription Drug Spending, Up from 52 Percent in 1993 »

Adam J. Fein of Drug Channels has written a short article describing the evolution of payment for prescription drugs. In just twenty years, patients’ share of payments dropped from almost half of the spending to just 17 percent. Even worse, Fein forecasts, the share will drop to 12 percent by 2023. Of course, if you look...
Read More »

Federal “Open Payments” Website Stumbles Out of the Starting Gate »

The federal government has launched an intrusive and mischievous Open Payments website, where payments for consulting and similar services provided by doctors to pharmaceutical and medical-device makers are publicized. Paul Keckley aptly summarizes the recent data dump from the Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services (CMS): In the last five months of 2013, drug manufacturers...
Read More »

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...
Read More »

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...
Read More »

“Creepy Uncle Sam” Obamacare Care-nival »

To follow up on the superb “Creepy Uncle Sam” videos satirizing Obamacare (see here and here), the new “Something Creepy This Way Comes: Creepy Uncle Sam Obamacare Care-nival” has now gone viral on the Internet: For the pivotal alternative to Obamacare, please see the Independent Institute’s widely acclaimed book: Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis,...
Read More »

Piketty’s Capital: IV »

I’ve made some observations about Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century already, here, here, and here, and in this post want to note the way that the twentieth-century welfare state has contributed to the inequality that Piketty has observed. Piketty observes that growing inequality is the result of the return on capital being...
Read More »

Medicare’s Physician Payment “Data Dump”: Don’t Stop Now »

In April, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) dumped a treasure trove of raw data into the public domain: The Medicare Provider Utilization and Payment Data: Physician and Other Supplier Public Use File. Resisted for years by organized medicine, this release publicizes a dataset of Medicare payments to doctors by name. The...
Read More »

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...
Read More »

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...
Read More »

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...
Read More »