Tag: Healthcare
Obamacare’s Bureaucracy: The Amazing Rise in Health Insurance Jobs

As Congress and President-elect Trump debate how to repeal and replace Obamacare, the obsession with health insurance, rather than actual access to health care, has dominated the debate. It invites the question: How have jobs in health insurance fared before and after Obamacare? They have boomed! Before the Great Recession, nonfarm civilian employment peaked...
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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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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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Castro’s Death and Cuban Health Care

The recent death of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro brought forth a grotesque encomium from the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, who asserted, “Mr. Castro made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation.” Michael Moore, producer of propaganda dressed as documentaries, made a film in 2007 called Sicko, in which he...
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Everybody Gets a Medal: Performance “Incentives” in Medicare Reform

In April 2015, huge bipartisan majorities passed a milestone Medicare reform bill called MACRA (Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act), which imported all the worst elements of Obamacare into Medicare. At the time, I wrote a series of posts (culminating in this one), which anticipated that physicians would refuse to swallow the medicine MACRA...
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Medicaid Expansion and Obamacare Premiums

Of all the false economies the Obama administration touted in favor of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, the latest claim is a whopper. According to a paper published by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services in August, states which expanded Medicaid dependency experienced lower premiums for individual health insurance offered in Obamacare...
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Telehealth Opportunity versus Telehealth “Parity”

A great opportunity to reduce costs and improve quality in U.S. health care is telehealth, which uses information technology to eliminate distance between a patient and a medical provider. A subset of telehealth is telemedicine, which allows physicians to consult patients over the phone, by text, or by video. Take a couple of obvious...
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Obamacare Authorities Actually Think Health Costs Fell

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has just made the remarkable claim that medical costs paid by health insurers operating in Obamacare’s exchanges declined in 2015 from 2014: Per-enrollee costs in the ACA individual market were essentially unchanged between 2014 and 2015. Specifically, after making comparability adjustments described below, per-member-per month (PMPM)...
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The “Right to Shop” for Health Care

Anyone who has undergone a medical procedure knows it is very difficult to figure out how much an insured patient will pay out-of-pocket. It is often not clarified until months after the procedure, when a flurry of incomprehensible paperwork from insurers, doctors, labs, et cetera, has landed in the patient’s mailbox. (Personal aside: A...
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Medicare Changes Have Reduced Hospital Readmissions, but More Reforms Are Needed

In 2012, Medicare began to penalize hospitals that readmitted too many patients. For a small number of targeted conditions, the program compares actual readmissions within 30 days to what an acceptable readmission rate should be. This measure is an important part of the drive to “pay for value, not volume.” The problem it was...
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