Tag: Medicare

How Much of Federal Transfer Payments Are Obamacare Subsidies? More than You Think! »

January’s Personal Income and Outlays report from the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis shows how significant Obamacare’s subsidies to households have become. Last month, they accounted for 21 percent of the increase in total government transfer payments to households: Personal current transfer receipts increased $24.8 billion in January, compared with an increase of $13.8 billion…
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Why Hasn’t Medicare Advantage Collapsed? »

Milliman, the actuarial consulting firm, has published a new report on the impact of the government’s cuts to Medicare Advantage. The report was sponsored by the Better Medicare Alliance, which announced that “Seniors now face soaring maximum annual out-of-pocket costs” due to the cuts. And yet, the purported cuts have not really bitten health insurers. Medicare Advantage enrollment…
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GAO: Medicare, Medicaid and Veterans Health Administration at High Risk for Fraud, Waste, Abuse »

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has published its annual 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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“Site-Neutral” Medicare Payments: A Good Idea from President Obama’s Budget »

Imagine that there are two providers of the same service. Their quality and timeliness are comparable. However, one provider charges significantly more than the other. In a normally functioning market, you would expect that the more expensive provider would have to significantly change its cost structure to stay in business. What if the more…
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Obamacare’s Effect on Uninsured Is Trivial »

At the end of 2014, Jason Furman and Matt Fiedler of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers published an analysis of the uninsured in the first half of 2014. The two economists boasted that “2014 Has Seen Largest Coverage Gains in Four Decades, Putting the Uninsured Rate at or Near Historic Lows.” Their own…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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“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,…
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