Tag: Health Care

By Ron Bachman Only political junkies really care about the difference between taxes and penalties in the recently validated Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act also known as ObamaCare. All the average American cares about is, “What is it going to cost me?” Republicans can complain that President Obama lied that the health reform costs were not taxes and Democrats can continue the canard that the now constitutionally defined taxes are still penalties. The reality is that are no new costs; they have been there all along. Most Americans just never knew that politicians were playing a game of “Fooled Ya.” As Nancy Pelosi famously said, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is… View Article
By John Goodman Opponents of the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) have a nifty catch phrase: repeal and replace. Unfortunately, they are much clearer on “repealing” than they are on “replacing.” Until now. The Congressional Health Care Caucus has posted on their website a Health Contract with America, fashioned by yours truly.  I conducted a Capitol Hill briefing on the subject and you can find more details at the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) website. Let’s hope every candidate for office this fall endorses the Contract. Here are the main ideas: Tax Fairness. The federal government should give everyone the same tax relief for the purchase of private health insurance, regardless of where it is obtained — through… View Article
By Ron Bachman Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, it is the undisputed law of the land. The alliance of the conservative Chief Justice John Roberts and the four liberal justices was a surprise to many, as was the logic used. The decision required a curious “jiu jitsu” interpretation of taxes and penalties. Writing for the majority, Roberts declared the law’s penalties are not taxes when dismissing the application of the Anti-Injunction Act, and then defined the penalties as taxes when declaring the individual mandate constitutional, even though the law specifically and purposefully avoided the tax label for the penalties. Roberts ruled the health care law as unconstitutional regulation under… View Article

Why Prices Matter in Health Care

By John C. Goodman The single biggest mistake in all of health policy is the belief that the best way to make health care accessible is to make it free at the point of delivery. This mistake underlies our entire approach to providing health care to low-income families in this country; it is the basis for the organization of the entire health system in most other developed countries; and it is deeply embedded in the Obama administration’s approach to health reform. The major barrier to care for low-income families is the same in the United States as it is throughout the developed world: The time price of care and other non-price rationing mechanisms are far more important than the money… View Article

Second Opinions Can Help Control Health Care Costs

By Tom Emerick At more than $2.5 trillion in total, U.S. health care costs now comprise a staggering 18.2% of our GDP.  This figure has been rising rapidly over the last few decades. Health costs are eroding wages, diminishing our global competitiveness, and bankrupting the government. What’s more, from the perspective of businesses, this problem is likely to get much worse.  As the government seeks to cut back on its health care spending, doctors and hospitals will charge those with private insurance more to make up the difference.  Until now, the only choice has been to start rationing care, something American workers vigorously oppose. But many employees are realizing that there has to be some kind of trade off.   They… View Article
By Mike Klein Kaiser Permanente in Georgia found itself at a crossroads four years ago.  The popular health services and insurance provider was being phased out as a state government employees option, affecting tens of thousands.  Kaiser also admitted internally that it had too few primary care staff physicians, too few specialists of any kind, too few locations and limited service hours. Further, Kaiser had begun to confuse the health care community by signing service agreements with doctors in downstate locations where it had no offices.  One of Kaiser’s senior executives today puts it this way, “It was impossible to know who we were.  You couldn’t describe it.” Kaiser did have a loyal following and considerable strengths.  First, it provides… View Article
By Ronald E. Bachman Conservatives have long promoted the expansion of individual health insurance over employer-based health insurance. Despite the sense in individual ownership, however, only about 5 percent of policies sold in the United States are to individuals. It’s not for want of trying: Interstate insurance purchasing of individual policies was a key item in the Republican “Pledge to America,” right after tort reform. Cross-state selling of health insurance is part of Mitt Romney’s “Repeal and Replace” health reform proposal. There are several reasons for the paucity of sales to individuals: Individuals lack the same employer-based tax advantages; it isn’t as lucrative for agents to sell policies one at a time; group sales reach more people faster,… View Article

Checking Up on Health

By Benita M. Dodd May 29, 2012 – Where to next? While the Supreme Court’s decision is likely a month away, theAmerican people already have made up their minds over the federal health care law, ccording to Grace-Marie Turner of the Galen Institute. Writing in National Review Online, Turner cites opinion polls that show support for the law is at its lowest level since it passed more than two years ago, and two-thirds of Americans say they either want the whole law or the individual mandate overturned. “Meanwhile, Congress, state governments and businesses across the country are puzzling over ‘what if’ alternatives to try to be ready when the decision is issued,” Turner writes. She offers the three most… View Article

Health Policy Checkup

Health Policy Briefs April 3, 2012 Compiled by Benita Dodd Breast cancer surgery or not? In the Health Policy Checkup of February 14 we recommended “Overdiagnosed,” the eye-opening book by Dr. H. Gilbert Welch that reveals the unhealthy impact of too much health care. Excessive medical screening and diagnostic treating in asymptomatic people can produce overtreatment. The quest to detect health problems as early as possible is often more harmful than helpful, as Welch points out. Now comes a study out of Norway that estimates that between 15 percent and 25 percent of breast cancers found by mammograms wouldn’t have caused any problems during a woman’s lifetime, but these tumors were being treated anyway. Researchers estimated that for every 2,500… View Article

Checking Up On Health

Health Policy Briefs: March 20, 2012 Compiled by Benita Dodd Today is your last chance to sign up for “Georgia Health Care Update,” the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’ Leadership Breakfast, 8 a.m. Thursday at Cobb County’s Georgian Club. State Attorney General Sam Olens and health care expert Ronald E. Bachman will give the “Georgia Health Care Update,” just days before the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in the challenge to the constitutionality of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Georgia is one of 26 states and the National Federation of Independent Business that filed the challenge to the law. The cost to register for the Leadership Breakfast is $25. Register here TODAY: http://tinyurl.com/7ldaqnk Find out… View Article

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