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OpenMarket: Health Care

  • Death Rate Rose and Life Expectancy Recently Fell in America

    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...
  • RealClear Radio Hour: Cancer Care, Chaos, and Climate

    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. 

  • Reflecting on the Obamacare Disaster and Chief Justice Roberts

    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...

  • Obamacare Policies Are Costly and Unpopular

    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...

  • Obamacare Punishes Hard Work

    November 3, 2016

    Its perverse to drive up the costs of someones health insurance...
  • Obamacare Increases Premiums, Reduces Employment

    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...

  • New Drug Price Proposal Light on Competition, Heavy on Bureaucracy

    September 6, 2016

  • Obamacare Shrinks Economy through Medicaid Expansion and Tax Credit Cliffs

    September 6, 2016

    Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid reduced employment in those states that participated in it by a statistically significant extent, according to a...
  • Are Anti-Science Obama Administration Policies Fostering Zika?

    June 17, 2016

    Former New York Lieutenant Governor Betsy McCaughey, who chairs the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths, says the Obama administration is fostering Zika’s spread through anti-science policies:

    Tragically, Obama’s Food and Drug Administration is delaying the release of genetically modified mosquitoes to kill Zika-carrying bugs. Pandering to eco-radicals. Even though the World Health Organization endorses this new technology, which can wipe out 90 percent of Zika mosquitoes in months.

    Earlier, I wrote about how the Obama administration illegally diverted money that could have been used to fight Zika to the...

  • More Punishment for Thrifty Seniors from Federal Medicare Laws

    September 2, 2015

    If two couples make almost the same amount of money, should one of them be charged $2,000 more in Medicare Part B premiums? Logically, no, but to the federal government, the answer is sometimes “yes.” This problem will get worse in 2016, and much worse by 2018.

    Under federal law, an elderly couple can be charged thousands extra annually for Medicare premiums if their income goes up by just a few dollars (which can occur because they saved their money, and thus have more savings account interest or investment income). That’s because Medicare premiums suddenly jump by big amounts at certain income levels, rather than rising gradually the way your taxes do when your income rises.

    Now, these arbitrary income cliffs will get even worse due to a quirk in federal law. As the Fiscal Times ...


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