November 8, 2017
This Tuesday the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released draft guidance to help chain restaurants and groceries comply with a little-known provision within the Affordable Care Act that requires chain food locations to post calorie counts for all their menu items....
February 7, 2017
Hans Rosling, the Swedish doctor and professor who saved countless lives in the world’s poorest countries (and gave TED talks), has died of pancreatic cancer. In December, Nature had an interesting feature with him, discussing his life’s work.
Rosling was an antidote to uninformed pessimism. As Nature...
January 18, 2017
If all goes according to President-elect Donald Trump’s plan, the next Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will be Rep. Tom Price. While Price is perhaps best known for his opposition to the...
December 15, 2016
The death rate increased 1.2% last year, and life expectancy fell in 2015, the most recent year for which data is available. Female life expectancy dropped from 81.3 to 81.2...
November 28, 2016
This week on RealClear Radio Hour, Drs. Debra Patt and Kerry Emanuel discuss the politics of cancer care, chaos theory, and climate science.
We open the show with Dr. Debra Patt, practicing oncologist and Vice President of Texas Oncology. Debra explains how the well-intentioned federal 340B Drug Discount Program is actually driving up cancer care costs. With preferred vendor hospitals applying their 30-50% drug discounts to all patients, not just the underserved, industry-wide prices are being forced up to subsidize the program. On the whole, however, she is optimistic about the diagnostic innovations, therapeutic success, and a drastic drop in cancer mortality rates.
November 24, 2016
We have arrived at another divisive debate about the future of Americans’ access to health insurance and health care services and our ability to protect it. And no one can claim that the recent election provided a mandate for a specific path forward. With the flood of news about 2017 exchange pricing and Republicans working on how they can make good on their vows to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), now is a good time to examine “what might have been” in light of “what is” regarding our nation’s health care insurance and delivery system.
The reality is unspeakably ugly—skyrocketing premiums, disappearing competition, enormous unbudgeted federal spending on the exchanges, and unappreciated second-order effects like large increases on the group market (where most people obtain health care coverage) and rising small employer costs. These rising costs depress...
November 8, 2016
Obamacare policies are unpopular, and people often dump them months later. That’s John Graham’s conclusion at the National Center for Policy Analysis’s Health Policy Blog. Taxpayers pay billions of dollars a year subsidizing policies on Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges, including an estimated $75 billion in subsidies for 2017. Yet the Obamacare exchanges are providing little lasting coverage:
There is a significant discrepancy between the four million Obamacare beneficiaries estimated by the NHIS and estimates produced by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and the Congressional Budget Office, which estimate about 11 million...
November 3, 2016
It’s perverse to drive up the costs of someone’s health insurance...
October 28, 2016
Health care insurance premiums will increase significantly next year as a result of the Affordable Care Act, and many consumers will be left with access to only a single insurance provider, according to administration officials. Arizona will see the biggest spike in prices (a whopping 116 percent), while Oklahoma will see a spike of 69 percent and Tennessee, Minnesota, and Alabama will see spikes of around 60 percent. The national average will be about 25 percent, the administration says.
Columnist Mary Katharine Ham wrote recently about how “My Defective Obamacare Health Insurance Product Just Blew Up.” Last year, her insurance plan’s cost went up...
September 6, 2016
Last Friday, Hillary Clinton announced a new plan to “respond to unjustified price hikes” on certain pharmaceutical drugs. This comes after weeks of public debate over the rising price of...