Biden v. Medicare Advantage

Biden v. Medicare Advantage

When does the failure to answer a phone call in 8 seconds cost the company receiving the call $190 million? When the caller is a spy working for the agency that runs Medicare and the receiving entity is a private insurance company. More.

Two Cheers for the Bipartisan Tax Deal

Two Cheers for the Bipartisan Tax Deal

A rare bipartisan agreement in Congress would create a larger child tax credit for parents and extend some key business tax breaks in the 2017 (Trump) tax reform bill that have expired. Democrats are said to favor the former and Republicans the latter.

Opinions on the accord are all over the map, with pros and cons – both on the right and the left. I give it two cheers. If it were funded by reducing means-tested welfare spending, I would give it a third cheer.

More at Forbes

What Are We Getting for All That Obamacare Spending?

What Are We Getting for All That Obamacare Spending?

Obamacare spending has now reached $214 billion a year, insuring people through Medicaid (which is mostly contracted out to private insurers) and the Obamacare exchanges.  At $1,731 for every household in America, that’s a great deal of money being transferred from taxpayers to insurance companies every year.

So, what are we getting in return?

One scholarly study finds there has been no overall increase in health care utilization in the U.S. since the enactment of Obamacare. The number of doctor visits per capita actually fell over the last decade.

See my latest post at Forbes.

Can We Reduce Health Care Costs with Better Primary Care?

Can We Reduce Health Care Costs with Better Primary Care?

A typical doctor’s office is quite spartan. The seating is usually austere. The flooring is low-budget (if there is carpeting, it is probably worn). And there are no free drinks or free food. If there is a restroom, it is probably located somewhere else in the building. More.

Washington Doesn’t understand Obamacare

Washington Doesn’t understand Obamacare

In the House of Representatives, the GOP’s “number-one priority for health care reform” is lowering health insurance premiums. However, the vast majority of folks who buy their own insurance are getting hefty subsidies. So much so, that 8 in 10 enrollees in the exchanges pay $10 a month or less. For a family with average income, the premium is usually zero. More.

ObamaCare still desperately needs fixing

ObamaCare still desperately needs fixing

The American Rescue Plan injects new life into ObamaCare with more generous subsidies, expanded eligibility and premium limits that make insurance more affordable. Unfortunately, the stimulus proposal just passed by Congress does nothing to correct the most serious...

Our Tattered Health Care Safety Net

Our Tattered Health Care Safety Net

We are probably as close to universal health insurance as we are ever likely to be. Yet we are doing a poor job of delivering care to families at the bottom of the income ladder. These families find that as their income goes up and down and as their job opportunities ebb and flow, they bounce back and forth among eligibility for Medicaid, eligibility for subsidized insurance in the Obamacare exchanges, eligibility for employer-provided coverage and sometimes eligible for none of the above.  More.

Biden v. Medicare Advantage

Biden v. Medicare Advantage

When does the failure to answer a phone call in 8 seconds cost the company receiving the call $190 million? When the caller is a spy working for the agency that runs Medicare and the receiving entity is a private insurance company. More.

Two Cheers for the Bipartisan Tax Deal

Two Cheers for the Bipartisan Tax Deal

A rare bipartisan agreement in Congress would create a larger child tax credit for parents and extend some key business tax breaks in the 2017 (Trump) tax reform bill that have expired. Democrats are said to favor the former and Republicans the latter.

Opinions on the accord are all over the map, with pros and cons – both on the right and the left. I give it two cheers. If it were funded by reducing means-tested welfare spending, I would give it a third cheer.

More at Forbes

Biden v. Medicare Advantage

Biden v. Medicare Advantage

When does the failure to answer a phone call in 8 seconds cost the company receiving the call $190 million? When the caller is a spy working for the agency that runs Medicare and the receiving entity is a private insurance company. More.

ObamaCare still desperately needs fixing

ObamaCare still desperately needs fixing

The American Rescue Plan injects new life into ObamaCare with more generous subsidies, expanded eligibility and premium limits that make insurance more affordable. Unfortunately, the stimulus proposal just passed by Congress does nothing to correct the most serious...

What the Debt Deal Ignored

What the Debt Deal Ignored

A month ago, Social Security’s Trustees published their annual reportTable VIF1, buried deep in the Appendix, where no one looks, is the statement that Social Security’s unfunded liability is $66 trillion. This measure of Social Security’s red ink is not just gargantuan on its own. It’s $13 trillion larger than it was just three years ago. More

Social Security Sues invalid for Money He Received 21 Years Ago, At Age 11

Social Security Sues invalid for Money He Received 21 Years Ago, At Age 11

Roy Farmer of Grand Rapids Michigan has Cerebral Palsy. He’s 32. In 2019, out of the blue, he received a claw back letter from Social Security demanding he repay $4,902 that his (now deceased) mother received back when he was 11. Roy has spent over three years appealing this judgement. He’s been denied twice. More from Kotlikoff Forbes editorial.

Our Fiscal System Needs Reform

Our Fiscal System Needs Reform

Over half of working-age Americans face lifetime marginal tax rates (including direct taxes and loss of entitlement benefits) above 43 percent. One in ten in the bottom fifth face tax rates above 70 percent, effectively locking them into poverty. For some would-be-workers, the tax rates exceed 100 percent.

Extremely high LMTRs reflect the complete loss of family benefits, in the current and future years, from programs such as Medicaid – which ends benefits abruptly if one’s income or assets exceed specific thresholds by even one dollar. More.

Social Security’s Massive Malfeasance

Social Security’s Massive Malfeasance

Social Security has committed and continues to commit huge fraud against 13,000 plus widow(er)s who collectively have been swindled out of $130 million. Those are the figures of Social Security’s own Inspector General.  More

America’s Fiscal Gap

America’s Fiscal Gap

That’s the difference between the federal government’s spending commitments and its income – looking indefinitely into the future. Closing the gap through time requires an immediate and permanent 41.3 percent increase in all federal taxes or an immediate and permanent 35.3 percent cut in all non interest federal spending. More

Social Security Benefits: Heads They Win, Tails You Lose

Social Security Benefits: Heads They Win, Tails You Lose

One disabled lady was clawed back for over $300,000 for a mistake that Social Security admitted in writing was theirs! If she doesn’t repay, Social Security will almost always stop sending people like her a single penny until they pay “what they owe.” This can take years or decades.  More

ObamaCare still desperately needs fixing

ObamaCare still desperately needs fixing

The American Rescue Plan injects new life into ObamaCare with more generous subsidies, expanded eligibility and premium limits that make insurance more affordable. Unfortunately, the stimulus proposal just passed by Congress does nothing to correct the most serious...

ObamaCare still desperately needs fixing

ObamaCare still desperately needs fixing

The American Rescue Plan injects new life into ObamaCare with more generous subsidies, expanded eligibility and premium limits that make insurance more affordable. Unfortunately, the stimulus proposal just passed by Congress does nothing to correct the most serious...

Julian Simon, Vindicated Again

Julian Simon, Vindicated Again

Each year, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) has a dinner in Washington, D.C., honoring the economist Julian Simon, who died in 1998. Simon was a rare optimist in the fields of population and natural resources. He disagreed with most environmentalists of his day (especially in the 1980s through 1990s). They feared passionately that growing population would overwhelm agriculture and industry and that the world would run out of natural resources such as oil and minerals.

The “Madness of Crowds”?

The “Madness of Crowds”?

Can history help us understand today’s panic over global warming? While the Earth is warming and human activity is probably contributing to it, the overheated efforts to make people fear the long-term future suggest that this is more of a crusade than a rationally considered enterprise. Extreme fear of global warming is negatively affecting politics, the economy, the media, international relations, and education.

Economic Growth Theories Fall into the Dustbin of History (And That’s Okay)

Economic Growth Theories Fall into the Dustbin of History (And That’s Okay)

Economists like Samuelson failed to understand economic growth in developing countries. Unbeknownst to them, cost-reducing innovations in transportation and communication led to increased trade and lifted people out of poverty. The Industrial Revolution benefited only a small portion of the world. Trade spurred prosperity and development on its own.

Conservation Leases? 

Conservation Leases? 

This guest post by Shawn Regan is a substantive analysis of the recent proposal by the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management to allow leasing of public land for conservation purposes. Regan is vice president of research at the Property and Environment...

Can There Be Too Many Trees?

Can There Be Too Many Trees?

Drought-resistant trees are replacing grasslands around the world, and, specifically in the western United States. This is a problem? More.

Economic Freedom IS good for the environment

Economic Freedom IS good for the environment

Yes, data from the Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy and the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World Index send a resounding message: Economic freedom brings about environmental protection. Why? Because economic freedom leads to prosperity and only prosperous countries can truly protect their environment. Are you skeptical? More.

Why California Needs Higher Prices for Water

Why California Needs Higher Prices for Water

California’s extreme drought will force rationing of water or higher prices, say John McKenzie and Richard McKenzie. Raising water prices has a great advantage: “Higher water prices can increase the state’s available water supply—without additional rainfall or...

Should We Even Try to Recycle Plastics?

Should We Even Try to Recycle Plastics?

Pressuring plastic producers to recycle their products has gone on for decades. But two writers at the Atlantic have now concluded, “Plastic recycling does not work and will never work.” In the U.S. in 2021 only 5 percent of all post-consumer plastic was recycled. Furthermore, they say that the plastic producers deny this and those denials are “reminiscent of” the tobacco companies in making false claims. (For years, many tobacco firms  rejected the idea that cigarettes caused cancer.)

Julian Simon, Vindicated Again

Julian Simon, Vindicated Again

Each year, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) has a dinner in Washington, D.C., honoring the economist Julian Simon, who died in 1998. Simon was a rare optimist in the fields of population and natural resources. He disagreed with most environmentalists of his day (especially in the 1980s through 1990s). They feared passionately that growing population would overwhelm agriculture and industry and that the world would run out of natural resources such as oil and minerals.

The “Madness of Crowds”?

The “Madness of Crowds”?

Can history help us understand today’s panic over global warming? While the Earth is warming and human activity is probably contributing to it, the overheated efforts to make people fear the long-term future suggest that this is more of a crusade than a rationally considered enterprise. Extreme fear of global warming is negatively affecting politics, the economy, the media, international relations, and education.

Julian Simon, Vindicated Again

Julian Simon, Vindicated Again

Each year, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) has a dinner in Washington, D.C., honoring the economist Julian Simon, who died in 1998. Simon was a rare optimist in the fields of population and natural resources. He disagreed with most environmentalists of his day (especially in the 1980s through 1990s). They feared passionately that growing population would overwhelm agriculture and industry and that the world would run out of natural resources such as oil and minerals.

Savings and Gramm: How the Fed is Slowing Monetary Growth

Savings and Gramm: How the Fed is Slowing Monetary Growth

The Federal Reserve is buying Treasury bills and mortgage-backed securities at a rate of $120 billion a month. This is apparently being done to support large borrowing by the federal government. At the same time, the Fed has pulled almost a trillion dollars of liquidity out of the financial system by “reverse-repo borrowing.” This has reduced bank reserves and private sector lending. Not surprisingly, the growth of the M2 money stock fell from around 25% in 2020 to around 10% on an annualized basis in the first six months of 2021.

Gramm and Saving in the WSJ: The Fed has lost its ability to control interest rates

Gramm and Saving in the WSJ: The Fed has lost its ability to control interest rates

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, former Sen. Phil Gramm and Goodman institute Senior Fellow Thomas Saving write “Never in the Fed’s 105-year history has it had less control over market interest rates than it has today…. To expect the Fed to hold interest rates above or below the market rate under these circumstances is not only naive but dangerous.”

Tom Saving has a new book

Tom Saving has a new book

Tom Saving has a new book called A Century of Federal Reserve Monetary Policy: Issues and Implications for the Future.

Goodman and Saving: Budget Deal’s Trillion Dollar Surprise

Goodman and Saving: Budget Deal’s Trillion Dollar Surprise

The most significant federal entitlement reform in our lifetime was a little noticed provision that Democrats included in the Affordable Care Act. The provision was a cap on Medicare spending, similar to the cap Republicans proposed for Medicaid last summer.

Savings and Gramm: How the Fed is Slowing Monetary Growth

Saving on CNBC: FED is holding 20% of federal debt

The Federal Reserve System is holding 20% of the federal government’s publicly held debt. It also is holding a lot of bank reserves. For every dollar of required reserves, banks have deposited $12 at the FED.

Gramm and Saving in the Wall Street Journal: Fed Task is Precarious

Gramm and Saving in the Wall Street Journal: Fed Task is Precarious

The Fed balance sheet contains 20% of all publicly held federal debt and 34% of the value of all outstanding government-guaranteed mortgage-backed securities. As the economy returns to normal growth, getting rid of those assets risks runaway inflation or a crippled recovery or both.

Saving: Are Republicans Too Stingy with Medicaid?

Saving: Are Republicans Too Stingy with Medicaid?

Before the Senate voted on a “skinny” alternative to Obamacare, it was considering the House version of repeal and replace – called the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA).

Savings and Gramm: How the Fed is Slowing Monetary Growth

Savings and Gramm: How the Fed is Slowing Monetary Growth

The Federal Reserve is buying Treasury bills and mortgage-backed securities at a rate of $120 billion a month. This is apparently being done to support large borrowing by the federal government. At the same time, the Fed has pulled almost a trillion dollars of liquidity out of the financial system by “reverse-repo borrowing.” This has reduced bank reserves and private sector lending. Not surprisingly, the growth of the M2 money stock fell from around 25% in 2020 to around 10% on an annualized basis in the first six months of 2021.

Gramm and Saving in the WSJ: The Fed has lost its ability to control interest rates

Gramm and Saving in the WSJ: The Fed has lost its ability to control interest rates

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, former Sen. Phil Gramm and Goodman institute Senior Fellow Thomas Saving write “Never in the Fed’s 105-year history has it had less control over market interest rates than it has today…. To expect the Fed to hold interest rates above or below the market rate under these circumstances is not only naive but dangerous.”

Savings and Gramm: How the Fed is Slowing Monetary Growth

Savings and Gramm: How the Fed is Slowing Monetary Growth

The Federal Reserve is buying Treasury bills and mortgage-backed securities at a rate of $120 billion a month. This is apparently being done to support large borrowing by the federal government. At the same time, the Fed has pulled almost a trillion dollars of liquidity out of the financial system by “reverse-repo borrowing.” This has reduced bank reserves and private sector lending. Not surprisingly, the growth of the M2 money stock fell from around 25% in 2020 to around 10% on an annualized basis in the first six months of 2021.

The Perils of Trying to Become a Doctor

The Perils of Trying to Become a Doctor

This week the National Resident Matching Program (Match) will inform between 45,000 to 50,000 medical graduates whether they have a career in medicine or should try for Plan B. Some of those who failed to match (about 20 percent) will spend the rest of their lives trying to pay down $300,000 in medical school debt without an income capable of servicing that debt.

How a Questionable Drug Turned into a Goldmine at Taxpayers’ Expense

How a Questionable Drug Turned into a Goldmine at Taxpayers’ Expense

On June 7th the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a new drug to treat early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. Is this good news for patients suffering with Alzheimer’s disease? Probably not and certainly not for taxpayers. The clinical trial data found little evidence the drug works. One Phase 3 clinical trial showed a slight slowing in cognitive decline, while the second clinical trial failed to show any improvement.

What’s Behind the Vaccine Slowdown?

What’s Behind the Vaccine Slowdown?

What’s behind the slowdown in vaccinations? The consensus among experts is those not yet vaccinated either 1) don’t want the vaccine 2) harbor some doubts about vaccine safety or efficacy, or 3) simply lack the motivation to find vaccine providers and make an appointment. Vaccine hesitancy accounts for about one-third of adults. For example, the Kaiser Family Foundation ran a survey in April that found 15 percent of respondents who had not received the vaccine plan to “wait and see.” Another 6 percent will get vaccinated “only if required,” and 13 percent refuse to get the vaccine. 

Correcting Misconceptions of Health Care Reform

Correcting Misconceptions of Health Care Reform

One reader posed the question, how does the tax break for employee health insurance harm our health care system? Short answer: over time the practice reduced competition, which weakened cost-control and resulted in health care inflation three times that of consumer inflation. Consider this: once covered by generous health plans, workers cared less about what medical care cost because their health plans paid most of the tab. Employers didn’t care what things cost because they were passing on the costs to workers (indirectly) in lieu of higher cash wages. Third party administrators (TPAs), who manage the benefits for employers, didn’t much care what things cost because they were passing on the costs to employers with a mark-up. The more money spent, the more TPAs earn.

Health Reform: There Is Something for Everyone to Love… and Hate

Health Reform: There Is Something for Everyone to Love… and Hate

Why is it controversial to expand the physician supply, creating more competition? Doctors oppose it, just like they oppose expanding the scope of practice for nurse practitioners. Doctors don’t want me to be able to see a nurse practitioner or physician assistant for a wart on my toe unless that NP/PA works for them.

How did doctors get so powerful? In the first half of the 20th Century, the American Medical Association (AMA) waged a largely successful battle to close medical schools that trained competing physicians. …. More than half of American and Canadian medical schools were closed….  Thus, the job of a physician was yanked out of reach of all but the smartest, most disciplined, wealthy elites.

The 60 Percent Solution to Reforming Healthcare

The 60 Percent Solution to Reforming Healthcare

Can we transform the entire health care system by empowering the roughly 60 percent of patients who are in private health plans? That’s the premise of a new book I just read by Todd Furniss (@TFurniss on Twitter). The author ofThe 60% Solution: Rethinking Healthcare, believes there are five major reforms necessary to empower patients and help them get better care at better prices. These include: (1) change governance, (2) modify health savings accounts (HSAs), (3) clear prices, (4) standardize accounting and information technology in the medical industry and (5) emphasize primary care.

Herrick: States Should Ban These Lab Scams

Herrick: States Should Ban These Lab Scams

There is a new health care scam spreading across rural America that could cost you plenty. Large commercial labs like Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp do not have locations in every small town. As a result, many rural hospitals perform lab work for both their inpatients and outpatients in the local community.

The Perils of Trying to Become a Doctor

The Perils of Trying to Become a Doctor

This week the National Resident Matching Program (Match) will inform between 45,000 to 50,000 medical graduates whether they have a career in medicine or should try for Plan B. Some of those who failed to match (about 20 percent) will spend the rest of their lives trying to pay down $300,000 in medical school debt without an income capable of servicing that debt.

How a Questionable Drug Turned into a Goldmine at Taxpayers’ Expense

How a Questionable Drug Turned into a Goldmine at Taxpayers’ Expense

On June 7th the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a new drug to treat early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. Is this good news for patients suffering with Alzheimer’s disease? Probably not and certainly not for taxpayers. The clinical trial data found little evidence the drug works. One Phase 3 clinical trial showed a slight slowing in cognitive decline, while the second clinical trial failed to show any improvement.

The Perils of Trying to Become a Doctor

The Perils of Trying to Become a Doctor

This week the National Resident Matching Program (Match) will inform between 45,000 to 50,000 medical graduates whether they have a career in medicine or should try for Plan B. Some of those who failed to match (about 20 percent) will spend the rest of their lives trying to pay down $300,000 in medical school debt without an income capable of servicing that debt.

America’s Fiscal Gap

Leftists in Colorado Seem Poised to Try Again for Single Payer Health Insurance

Last time around, the idea was rejected by almost 79% of the voters. And for good reasons. British Columbia’s single payer system is so mismanaged it pays for cancer patient radiation treatments in Bellingham, Washington.  Its hip replacement wait can be almost a year… Because Canadian patients wait twice as long as recommended for MRI scans, those who can afford it pay cash for quick service at US imaging centers in border cities like Buffalo, NY and Bellevue, WA. More.

Against Medicaid Expansion

Against Medicaid Expansion

Expanding Medicaid to the relatively healthy might make sense if it improved general health. But there is little evidence it does. In Oregon, for example, a first-of-its-kind controlled trial tracked individuals who applied for Medicaid through a lottery. After two years, there was no discernible difference in the physical health of the winners and losers. More

Hidden Traps in the IRA Bill’s Drug Provisions

Hidden Traps in the IRA Bill’s Drug Provisions

In the near future, the elderly and the disabled will face a double whammy: higher premiums for Part D drug insurance and higher prices at the pharmacy. This is on top of negotiated prices (and the consequent drop in new drug production) which will kick in later in the decade.

John Goodman and Linda Gorman explain why this will happen in The Hill.

The $3.5T Spending Mistake

The $3.5T Spending Mistake

Congressional Democrats are proposing to spend an enormous amount of taxpayer dollars on what the New York Times calls a “cradle to the grave” addition to U.S. social welfare. When budgeting shenanigans are ignored, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates that the full cost is not the $3.5 trillion that has been widely advertised, but at least $5.0 trillion and possibly as much as $5.5 trillion.

Gorman: US Hospitals are Safer

Gorman: US Hospitals are Safer

A frequent criticism of US hospitals is the charge of excessive adverse medical events,  sometimes leading to avoidable deaths. How do our hospitals compare to hospitals in national health care systems? Quite well. The percent of patients who experience an adverse event is twice as high in Canada, three times as high in Britain and four times as high in New Zealand. 

Linda Gorman Study: Obamacare Dollars Wasted

Linda Gorman Study: Obamacare Dollars Wasted

The percent of the population with private health insurance actually declined during the eight years of the Obama presidency, according to a study by health economist Linda Gorman.

America’s Fiscal Gap

Leftists in Colorado Seem Poised to Try Again for Single Payer Health Insurance

Last time around, the idea was rejected by almost 79% of the voters. And for good reasons. British Columbia’s single payer system is so mismanaged it pays for cancer patient radiation treatments in Bellingham, Washington.  Its hip replacement wait can be almost a year… Because Canadian patients wait twice as long as recommended for MRI scans, those who can afford it pay cash for quick service at US imaging centers in border cities like Buffalo, NY and Bellevue, WA. More.

Against Medicaid Expansion

Against Medicaid Expansion

Expanding Medicaid to the relatively healthy might make sense if it improved general health. But there is little evidence it does. In Oregon, for example, a first-of-its-kind controlled trial tracked individuals who applied for Medicaid through a lottery. After two years, there was no discernible difference in the physical health of the winners and losers. More

America’s Fiscal Gap

Leftists in Colorado Seem Poised to Try Again for Single Payer Health Insurance

Last time around, the idea was rejected by almost 79% of the voters. And for good reasons. British Columbia’s single payer system is so mismanaged it pays for cancer patient radiation treatments in Bellingham, Washington.  Its hip replacement wait can be almost a year… Because Canadian patients wait twice as long as recommended for MRI scans, those who can afford it pay cash for quick service at US imaging centers in border cities like Buffalo, NY and Bellevue, WA. More.

Farewell

Farewell

Some thoughts on the views that have animated this column. By Pete du Pont May 27, 2014 Source: The Wall Street Journal This will be the last of my columns for this publication, so I thought it fitting to note the views that have most influenced these writings....

Farewell

The Real Inequality Problem

It isn’t that some people are wealthy but that others are struggling. Commentary by Pete du Pont April 28, 2014 Source: The Wall Street Journal Among the too numerous frustrations of the political process is that a lot of smart and talented people spend their time and...

Farewell

The Left’s “Wars”

The Left’s “Wars” Commentary by Pete du Pont March 28, 2014 Source: The Wall Street Journal The midterm elections are just over seven months away and the left has unleashed its usual rhetoric about the Republican "war on women." It's baseless political pandering of...

Farewell

Global Warming Heats Up

The public could use an honest debate. Commentary by Pete du Pont February 27, 2014 Source: The Wall Street Journal Global warming is back. Not actual global warming, as the decade­long trend of little to no increase in temperatures continues. But the topic of global...

Farewell

Our Gravest Peril

ObamaCare? Stagnant economy? Crushing debt? Foreign ­policy fecklessness may trump them all. Commentary by Pete du Pont January 21, 2014 Source: Wall Street Journal America's most worrisome problem may not be the failed takeover of our healthcare system. It may not be...

Farewell

The Great Destroyer

ObamaCare wreaks havoc on health care, the economy, American freedom and Obama's presidency. Commentary by Pete du Pont November 25, 2013 Source:The Wall Street Journal Polls show an increasing majority of Americans dislike President Obama's health­care law and...

Farewell

Hillary Will Run

How could she not? Commentary by Pete du Pont October 29, 2013 Source: Wall Street Journal Hillary Clinton is going to run for president in 2016. Granted, she is exhibiting even more coyness than most presidential prospects, and yes, the media are filled with those...

Farewell

The Beltway Stalemate

Democrats and Republicans have never had such a conflict of visions. Commentary by Pete du Pont September 26, 2013 Source: The Wall Street Journal The debate about military action in Syria seems over for now, and Washington is back in campaign mode. We have a...

Farewell

Farewell

Some thoughts on the views that have animated this column. By Pete du Pont May 27, 2014 Source: The Wall Street Journal This will be the last of my columns for this publication, so I thought it fitting to note the views that have most influenced these writings....

Farewell

The Real Inequality Problem

It isn’t that some people are wealthy but that others are struggling. Commentary by Pete du Pont April 28, 2014 Source: The Wall Street Journal Among the too numerous frustrations of the political process is that a lot of smart and talented people spend their time and...

Farewell

Farewell

Some thoughts on the views that have animated this column. By Pete du Pont May 27, 2014 Source: The Wall Street Journal This will be the last of my columns for this publication, so I thought it fitting to note the views that have most influenced these writings....

Biden v. Medicare Advantage

Biden v. Medicare Advantage

When does the failure to answer a phone call in 8 seconds cost the company receiving the call $190 million? When the caller is a spy working for the agency that runs Medicare and the receiving entity is a private insurance company. More.

America’s Fiscal Gap

Leftists in Colorado Seem Poised to Try Again for Single Payer Health Insurance

Last time around, the idea was rejected by almost 79% of the voters. And for good reasons. British Columbia’s single payer system is so mismanaged it pays for cancer patient radiation treatments in Bellingham, Washington.  Its hip replacement wait can be almost a year… Because Canadian patients wait twice as long as recommended for MRI scans, those who can afford it pay cash for quick service at US imaging centers in border cities like Buffalo, NY and Bellevue, WA. More.

Two Cheers for the Bipartisan Tax Deal

Two Cheers for the Bipartisan Tax Deal

A rare bipartisan agreement in Congress would create a larger child tax credit for parents and extend some key business tax breaks in the 2017 (Trump) tax reform bill that have expired. Democrats are said to favor the former and Republicans the latter.

Opinions on the accord are all over the map, with pros and cons – both on the right and the left. I give it two cheers. If it were funded by reducing means-tested welfare spending, I would give it a third cheer.

More at Forbes

What Are We Getting for All That Obamacare Spending?

What Are We Getting for All That Obamacare Spending?

Obamacare spending has now reached $214 billion a year, insuring people through Medicaid (which is mostly contracted out to private insurers) and the Obamacare exchanges.  At $1,731 for every household in America, that’s a great deal of money being transferred from taxpayers to insurance companies every year.

So, what are we getting in return?

One scholarly study finds there has been no overall increase in health care utilization in the U.S. since the enactment of Obamacare. The number of doctor visits per capita actually fell over the last decade.

See my latest post at Forbes.

Can We Reduce Health Care Costs with Better Primary Care?

Can We Reduce Health Care Costs with Better Primary Care?

A typical doctor’s office is quite spartan. The seating is usually austere. The flooring is low-budget (if there is carpeting, it is probably worn). And there are no free drinks or free food. If there is a restroom, it is probably located somewhere else in the building. More.

Washington Doesn’t understand Obamacare

Washington Doesn’t understand Obamacare

In the House of Representatives, the GOP’s “number-one priority for health care reform” is lowering health insurance premiums. However, the vast majority of folks who buy their own insurance are getting hefty subsidies. So much so, that 8 in 10 enrollees in the exchanges pay $10 a month or less. For a family with average income, the premium is usually zero. More.

ObamaCare still desperately needs fixing

ObamaCare still desperately needs fixing

The American Rescue Plan injects new life into ObamaCare with more generous subsidies, expanded eligibility and premium limits that make insurance more affordable. Unfortunately, the stimulus proposal just passed by Congress does nothing to correct the most serious...

Our Tattered Health Care Safety Net

Our Tattered Health Care Safety Net

We are probably as close to universal health insurance as we are ever likely to be. Yet we are doing a poor job of delivering care to families at the bottom of the income ladder. These families find that as their income goes up and down and as their job opportunities ebb and flow, they bounce back and forth among eligibility for Medicaid, eligibility for subsidized insurance in the Obamacare exchanges, eligibility for employer-provided coverage and sometimes eligible for none of the above.  More.

Biden v. Medicare Advantage

Biden v. Medicare Advantage

When does the failure to answer a phone call in 8 seconds cost the company receiving the call $190 million? When the caller is a spy working for the agency that runs Medicare and the receiving entity is a private insurance company. More.

America’s Fiscal Gap

Leftists in Colorado Seem Poised to Try Again for Single Payer Health Insurance

Last time around, the idea was rejected by almost 79% of the voters. And for good reasons. British Columbia’s single payer system is so mismanaged it pays for cancer patient radiation treatments in Bellingham, Washington.  Its hip replacement wait can be almost a year… Because Canadian patients wait twice as long as recommended for MRI scans, those who can afford it pay cash for quick service at US imaging centers in border cities like Buffalo, NY and Bellevue, WA. More.

Biden v. Medicare Advantage

Biden v. Medicare Advantage

When does the failure to answer a phone call in 8 seconds cost the company receiving the call $190 million? When the caller is a spy working for the agency that runs Medicare and the receiving entity is a private insurance company. More.