Archive for March, 2016
Trump’s Health Reform Won’t “Make America Great Again”—or Do Anything

I recently wrote a blog entry on one plank in Donald Trump’s health reform plan: imposing foreign prices on medicines sold in the United States. As Mr. Trump is currently the leading Republican presidential candidate, it behooves us to examine his health plan overall. Don’t worry: It won’t take long. Mr. Trump proposes to...
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The Constitutional Economics of the “Divergent” Films

The third installment in the Divergent movie franchise, Allegiant, inserted itself into cinematic pop culture with a whimper on its opening weekend, but the movie seems to be completing a unexpectedly weighty arc on the nature of politics. While almost certainly unintentional, the thematic arc is intriguing because it brings to life the warnings...
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Ideology—a Lens with Blinders

Every ideology has its Great Satan and a supporting cast of demons. These serve as all-purpose targets of blame and of the hatred that animates the ideology’s adherents. Ideology is not simply the distorted belief system of one’s political enemies. In accordance with the “inclusive” conception that I have employed in my writing for...
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The Myth of All-Payer Claims Databases

Most observers agree that it is very, very difficult for patients to choose health services wisely based on prices, because prices in U.S. health care are generally not transparent. The primary reason for this problem is that health providers haven’t relied on patients to pay their bills directly in many decades. Instead, their business...
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Apple Encryption and the Erosion of Privacy

In the wake of the terror attack in San Bernardino late last year, the FBI and other government agents set out to uncover as much information about the attackers as possible. After searching the suspects’ home, speaking with the families of the perpetrators, and looking for other clues, authorities had uncovered a great deal...
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Here’s an Argument for Not Nationalizing Health Care

National Public Radio, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Harvard University’s T. H. Chan School of Public Health have released findings of a February survey titled “Patients’ Perspectives on Health Care in the United States.” As with many such surveys, it does not send a very coherent signal about whether the people are largely...
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Two-Thirds of Patients’ Hospital Debts Are Unpaid

Healthcare business reporter Holly Fletcher of The Tennessean has written a very informative feature on the hospital revenue cycle, including a seven-deck slideshow that translates the process into layman’s terms. (The Tennessean is the best daily newspaper for understanding hospitals, because Nashville is home to for-profit hospital chains which control 60 percent of the...
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Say No to Reparations: Remembering Slavery, Forgetting the Classical-Liberal Values that Abolished It

Advocates of reparations for the descendants of African American slaves recently challenged socialist Bernie Sanders to embrace their cause, which he refused to do. A leading advocate of reparations, Atlantic contributor Ta-Nehisi Coates, criticizes Sanders for placing class-based politics before race. Lost in the unending debate over reparations is a key point: group reparations ignore the...
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Obamacare Exchange Plans Lose One-Fourth of Enrollees in 2015

The Obama administration recently announced that 12.7 million people selected or were automatically enrolled in an Obamacare exchange plan at the end of the third open season – February 1. Except for special cases, anyone who missed that deadline cannot enroll in an Obamacare plan for 2016. That number is a few more people...
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Apple Shrugs?

Ayn Rand’s 1957 novel, Atlas Shrugged, tells a story about what happens when the men of the mind go on strike. [Spoiler Alert: Plot details revealed ahead.] The book’s protagonist, John Galt, is an engineer who decides he is no longer willing to live in a society where others assert a claim over the...
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