What Trump Has Done to Change Health Care
Our health-care system is experiencing rapid, powerful change, far more consequential than is generally recognized. Although these changes are welcomed by many in the health-policy community (see our assessment a year ago), even those who applaud them have been surprised at their speed and impact.
Herd Immunity: Saving Lives and Saving the Economy at the Same Time
We often hear that there’s a tradeoff between saving lives and economic performance. In this case of COVID-19, there’s not. They go together. Reaching Herd Immunity may be the way to bring the economy and daily lives back to normal as soon as possible.
Study: Liberate Prescription Drugs
The mainstream media had a field day condemning Donald Trump for promoting off-label uses of prescription drugs to treat the coronavirus. So what do you expect to happen when a drug is “proven”? Did you know that “approved” drugs work only half the time? What about “unproven” drugs? Did you know that as many as one in five drugs in use in the United States has been prescribed for an off-label purpose? Roughly one-half of all cancer patients are relying on off-label prescriptions. Much of what doctors know they learn by trial and error – outside of FDA tests.
Coronavirus and Health Reform
Critics of President Trump’s response to the coronavirus crisis characterize it as knee-jerk, spur-of-the-moment, and grasping at any straw within reach. In fact, many of the executive actions we have seen in the past few days reflect a new approach to health policy that has been underway almost since the day Donald Trump was sworn into office. These include the ability to be diagnosed and treated without ever leaving your own home; the ability to talk to doctors 24/7 by means of phone, email and Skype; and the ability of the chronically ill to have access to free diagnoses and treatments without losing their access to Health Savings Accounts.
Obamacare at Ten
John Goodman writes: Many people lost the insurance they were promised they could keep. Many lost access to the doctor they were promised they could continue to see. Premiums have doubled. Deductibles have tripled. Provider networks are so narrow, people with serious health problems are routinely denied access to the best doctors and the best hospitals.
How Obamacare Made Things Worse for Patients With Preexisting Conditions
One of the strange features of the national health care conversation is how it has evolved. What is often referred to as Obamacare began as an attempt to insure the uninsured. In fact, the initial Congressional Budget Office estimates predicted the Affordable Care Act would be largely successful in doing just that. Yet it was the Senate’s Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer of New York, who identified the political problem with that goal early on. About 95% of those who vote already have insurance, Schumer noted. So Obamacare was promising to spend a great deal of money on people who don’t vote.
Are Some Drug Prices Too Low?
Because some prices are too low to give pharmaceutical companies a reason to develop and improve medications, Americans are being denied needed drugs. When people think about drug pricing in the United States, they tend to think of the sky-high prices of some newer drugs. High prices do cause real problems. Some people in need may go without.
Tax Reform for the Middle Class
Tax reform won’t be complete until unfair, anti-work, anti-saving provisions of the tax code are removed – ones that burden the middle class. Tax reform championed by Donald Trump and passed by a Republican Congress was a boon for middle-income families. According to a study by the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank, the average household in America can expect a lifetime gain of about $25,000.
Opioids Are Killing Us: Here’s What We Can Do About It
The treatment of choice, almost everywhere, is called Medication Assisted Treatment (M.A.T.) and it involves substitute drugs. It has an 80% failure rate. There is a treatment that involves microcurrent neurofeedback and a recovery support team. It costs one-fifth as much and has a high probability of success. What the Trump administration can do: create CPT (payment) codes for this new method of treatment. What Congress can do: reform the Obamacare exchanges.
A Health Plan for President Trump
Health reform should make it as easy as possible for people to have personal, “portable” health insurance that travels with them from job to job and in and out of the labor market; round-the-clock communication with their personal physicians by phone, email, and Skype; access to telemedicine, so they can even “visit” the doctor from home –avoiding traffic, long waits, and unneeded emergency-room visits; and access to centers of excellence that specialize in chronic health conditions (including preexisting conditions) and actively compete for patients.
Agenda for Seniors
People on Social Security lose benefits if they earn even a modest amount of wage income. Medicare is paying doctors the way it did in the last century – long before the existence of email or iPhones. Double taxation of senior savings is unfair. Forced withdrawal of senior citizen savings makes no economic sense. And millions of seniors lose out on Social Security and Medicare benefits because they can’t navigate the complexity of these programs.
What You Need to Know about Medicare for All
Quite a few Democratic candidates for office this year are campaigning on the idea of enrolling everyone in Medicare. It’s not just the left. A significant number of doctors in the American Medical Association are for it. Public opinion polls show that 70 percent of Americans like the idea.
Tax Reform Was No Giveaway to the Rich by Conventional Measures
The reform leaves the distribution of spending between the rich and poor essentially unchanged. It leaves the progressivity in average net tax rates essentially unchanged. And the rich do not receive a larger share of the tax cut than their pre-reform share of taxes.
Private Insurance Down, Spending Up Under Obamacare
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. Yet subsidies for individual buyers have exceeded $100 billion a year – theoretically enough to insure an additional 20 million adults.
Modern Families, Outdated Laws
The single most important economic and sociological change in our society in modern times has been the entry of women into the labor market. Today, three of every four women of working age are employed — more than double the share a half-century ago.?
The War on Poverty began in 1965. Half a century later, America has spent more than $26 trillion on that effort, four times what we have spent on all the military wars from the American Revolution to the present. What do we have to show for all that spending?
Why Do Economists Disagree About Tax Reform?
The Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 represents the most significant change in U.S. taxation since 1986. What difference does it make?
Who Benefits From Tax Reform?
The Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) represents the most significant change in U.S. taxation policy since 1986.
A New Approach to High Deductibles
High deductible health insurance is an irritation for many of us. In fact, health insurance with, say, a $10,000 deductible is almost like not having health insurance at all.
The Better Way Tax Plan
A plan to radically reform the U.S. income tax system has been proposed by House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Ways & Means Chairman Kevin Brady.
The New Resource Economics
Using Private Property, Economic Incentives, and Markets to Solve Environmental Problems.
A New and Better Way to Analyze Tax and Spending Policies
This is a unique, first-of-its-kind model developed by Boston University Professor Laurence Kotlikoff and his colleagues.
Why Are Drug Prices So High?
Why are pharmaceutical prices so high while the prices of so many other items we buy are low and even falling?
Amendment 69 Could be a Nightmare for Colorado Seniors
Think Colorado would be an ideal state for retirement?
Some Older Workers Face Astronomical Tax Rates
People in their 60s who keep on working can face extremely high tax rates – much higher than the rates faced by millionaires…
Best Kept Secret in Washington, DC: The Future of Medicare
Here is something I bet you don’t know.
Why Republican Health Reform Would Be a Godsend for the States
After six years of living with ObamaCare, Republicans have finally produced an alternative.
The Greatest Health Plan Ever
The Sessions/Cassidy proposal removes the federal government as a source of some of our most important health policy problems.
GOP Bill Promises Real Health Care Reform
The Republican approach to reforming ObamaCare is to give everyone tax credits with which to buy health insurance and let the markets adjust.
We’ve Been Measuring Inequality Wrong – Here’s the Real Story
A look at spending inequality shows America is a lot more equal than we thought.
A Universal Health Tax Credit: The Right Way to Subsidize Health Insurance
Replace current subsidies with a simple, fixed dollar subsidy universally available to everyone.
The Universal Health Tax Credit – How Generous Should It Be? What Will It Buy?
The ideal system would be a refundable tax credit for private insurance.
Limited Benefit Insurance
Its time to create an insurance plan that meets the needs of the bottom half of the income ladder.
Portable Health Insurance: An Idea Whose Time Has Come
The kind of health insurance most employees want is insurance they can take with them from job to job.
Turning the Exchanges into Real Markets
Health insurance exchanges should be deregulated and denationalized and turned into genuinely free markets.
Let Employers Decide How Health Insurance Should be Subsidized at Work
The ability to convert very wasteful tax system into one with much better incentives can solve a huge social problem and leave just about everyone better off.
Can Privatizing Social Security Be A Win/Win for All Generations?
Changing to a financially sound retirement system under which each generation pays its own way.
Race to the Bottom: Competition in the Exchanges
Insurers rush to attract the healthy and avoid the sick, then narrow the networks to the point of inefficient delivery