Commentaries by Pete du Pont first published in the Wall Street Journal

Henderson in the WSJ: Some Drug Prices Are Too Low

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Goodman Institute Senior Fellows David Henderson and Charles Hooper say unwise federal policies are causing drug prices to be unnaturally low. This is causing shortages, low quality and unreliability of supply. Currently, as many as 260 drugs are unavailable or in short supply in the U.S. shortages are blamed for some patient deaths. More.

Republicans Have a Health Plan – Finally!

Forbes

Nearly 150 House Republicans have signed on to a health plan that matches very closely the Goodman Institute plan developed for Donald Trump. It includes personal and portable health insurance, 24/7 access to a personal doctor, telemedical care in the patient’s own home, flexible Health Savings Accounts and a real market for the chronically ill. More.

Kotlikoff in the WSJ: Myths of Warrenomics

Elizabeth Warren economic advisers say the rich pay the lowest tax rates of all. Laurence Kotlikoff says they are wrong. Using the most sophisticated tools available to economists, Kotlikoff finds that among 40-year-olds, the top 1% face a lifetime average net tax rate of 34.5 percent. Yet when positive and negative taxes (benefits) are included, the poorest fifth are facing a rate of – 46.6 percent. For every dollar people in the bottom fifth earn, they get 46.6 cents back from the government. More.

Kotlikoff: Family Endures 13 Years of Social Security Abuse

Forbes

Over the past 13 years, Mrs. Jimmy Rogers and her husband have, been deprived of tens of thousands of dollars in Social Security disability and spousal benefits, thanks to Social Security’s acknowledged mistakes. Jimmy has been forced to pay extra Social Security payroll taxes and extra federal income taxes she didn’t owe. And the government is still, to this day, sending them a bill for over $120,000 for disability and spousal benefits that they rightfully received. More.

Why Not Try Free Market Health Care?

Forbes

Find a health care sector where there is no Medicare, no Blue Cross and no employer and it is probably a market that works very well. Lasik surgery is one example. Patients get a package price and they know what they are going to pay in advance. Competition works. Over the past decade, the real price of Lasik surgery fell 25%. A similar story can be told about cosmetic surgery. More.

What’s Wrong with Private Health Insurance?

Forbes

Bernie Sanders wants to get rid of private health insurance. Quite a few Democrats, including a number of presidential candidates, seem to agree. But why? What’s wrong with private health insurance?

A lot of things, it turns out. All too often, private health plans have perverse incentives to underprovide to people who get sick — incentives that are created by unwise government regulation. However, government insurance often faces the same incentives and the results can be even worse. More.

We Already Know What the Trump Health Plan Is

Forbes

Some people can’t see the forest for the trees. For the past two years the Trump administration has been pushing the limits of executive authority to make fundamental changes in our health care system. If Congress would do its part, the system would be radically different than it was the day Donald Trump was elected president. John Goodman summarizes the most the most important of these changes. More.

Goodman: Don’t Repeal the Cadillac Plan Tax; Replace It

Forbes

This week, the House repealed the tax on expensive employer-provided health plans. The tax is favored by economists because otherwise, the tax law would be subsidizing health spending – no matter how wasteful. However, John Goodman says the only good that is done by the tax is done in a very crude and ineffective way. Congress should replace the tax, he says – giving employers and their employees the option of a tax credit instead. More.

Kotlikoff: The Banking System is Ripping Off Ordinary Depositors

The Federal Reserve is paying banks 2.35 percent on their reserves. Banks are paying depositors only 0.06 percent. Competition would eliminate that gap and sensible reform would eliminate the risk of another Great Recession, says economist Laurence Kotlikoff. He points to a “narrow banking” reform, which he first proposed with John Goodman in The New Republic ten years ago. More.