Posts by John R. Graham
John R. Graham is a Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute.
Obama Economists’ Bad Obamacare Economics


President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) has issued its valedictory report on the state of Obamacare. The gist of its argument is that Obamacare is doing fine, on the verge of overcoming its growing pains since 2014. Critics (like me) who suspect the 25 percent increase in premiums for 2017 are a problem...
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U.S. Life Expectancy Drops First Time since 1993


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a federal agency, has reported the remarkable news that U.S. life expectancy has dropped for the first time since 1993. According to Mortality in the United States, 2015 (NCHS Data Brief No. 267, December 2016): Life expectancy for the U.S. population in 2015 was 78.8 years,...
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EPA Undermines the Fight Against Zika Virus


Other than anarcho-libertarians, most agree that government has a role to play in preventing and suppressing epidemics, a classic public-health problem. Viral or bacterial infections are not passed from animal to person, or person to person, by voluntary exchange. Instead, proximity to another’s infection can lead to an individual’s becoming infected, notwithstanding any market...
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A Post-Holiday Health Policy Vignette: Eye Surgery


If your Christmas dinner table had a cross-border contingent, different national characteristics almost certainly came up for discussion. I enjoyed Christmas in Naples, Florida, with a mixed group of Americans and Canadians. One couple consisted of a Canadian husband and an American wife. She insisted Canada’s single-payer health system was superior in every way...
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Illustrating Obamacare’s Effect on Employers’ Health Costs


The Bureau of Labor Statistics has published a chart showing how health-benefit costs among private employers have increased over the past decade. The chart shows health benefits increased from 6.9 percent of total compensation in September 2006 to 7.6 percent last September. The 0.7 percentage point absolute increase is a relative increase of ten...
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Congress Just Punched a Big Hole in Obamacare


President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act on December 13. Promoted as a pro-innovation bill, the new law will improve the Food and Drug Administration’s regulatory processes; as well as fund Vice-President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot, the National Institutes of Health, and steps to reduce the opioid epidemic. However, the final version of the...
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Zeke Emanuel, Obamacare Architect, Visits Trump to Urge One-Term Presidency


Last Wednesday, the Trump transition team disclosed the remarkable news that Ezekiel Emanuel, MD, an architect of Obamacare, was Mr. Trump’s first official guest of the morning. The spokesman demurred with respect to the details of the conversation, but I can guess: Dr. Emanuel was urging Mr. Trump to remain in office only one...
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More Good News for Health Reform: HSAs Continue to Grow


One of Donald Trump’s campaign promises was to make Health Savings Accounts more widely used. The purpose of HSAs is to give patients greater control over health spending and to reduce the share of spending controlled by insurers. Unfortunately, the 2003 law that established HSAs requires they be linked with a highly regulated type...
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Trump’s Pick for Labor Secretary Another Win for Health Reform


Soon after announcing his intention to nominate Rep. Tom Price, MD, for Secretary of Health & Human Services, Donald Trump announced his intention to nominate Andrew Puzder for Secretary of Labor. This is yet another good sign for the repeal of Obamacare. Since the election, the media have asserted that repealing Obamacare will yank...
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Banning Human Organ Sales in Free Countries Encourages Coercive Organ Harvesting in Unfree Ones


Two new films, one a documentary and one a drama based on the same facts, expose one of the most horrific markets operating today: Communist China’s selling of organs harvested from prisoners of conscience. Ten thousand “transplant tourists” travel annually to communist China, where they pay top dollar to get organs transplanted on demand....
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