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Why You Should Detest Our Employer-Based Healthcare System

Chris Medrano

Employer-sponsored health insurance is the cornerstone of the American healthcare system—and it’s screwing everyone over.

Consider for a moment why almost half of the country gets their health coverage through their employer. We don’t receive food, clothing, or housing from our employer. And those factors probably have a greater effect on health outcomes than insurance. What makes health insurance different?

The answer is wrapped up in a story of government’s good intentions gone awry. Continue reading “Why You Should Detest Our Employer-Based Healthcare System”

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The Senate Bill Doesn’t Repeal Obamacare. Here’s Why It Should.

Chris Medrano & Luke Robson

On Thursday, June 22nd, Senate Republicans released their version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA). In terms of popularity, not much has changed since the House released their version of the bill. Very few Americans like it.

We are among them, but for different reasons. From our point of view, the Senate bill is bad because it does not actually repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) regulations. Continue reading “The Senate Bill Doesn’t Repeal Obamacare. Here’s Why It Should.”

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A “Replace” by Any Other CBO Score

Chris Medrano

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently released an updated score of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the proposed Republican replacement for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare.

At face value, the numbers are awful. Over the next decade, the report says 23 million people would lose their insurance under the AHCA.

But not all is at it seems. Continue reading “A “Replace” by Any Other CBO Score”

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Obamacare’s “Ransom” Means “Bailout”

Chris Medrano

On Thursday of last week, Trump made a comment that went unnoticed by many.

If we don’t pay lots of ransom money over to the insurance companies, [Obamacare] would die.

Unfortunately, he’s got a point. Currently, the Obamacare markets are being sustained by billions of dollars in illegal corporate welfare to coax insurers to remain and prevent a death spiral. Continue reading “Obamacare’s “Ransom” Means “Bailout””

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The Impotence of Numbers

Recent events in the spheres of US policy on Syria, healthcare, and free trade have exposed what seems a fundamental human truth: no one really cares about the numbers.

For all our talk of data-driven policy (and the treasure troves of information available to us), it is not apparent that our decision making is based on what rigorous analysis might suggest the best solutions are. The long and short of it is that, when it comes to making policy decisions, we are far more human than we are rational. Continue reading “The Impotence of Numbers”

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2 Big Problems With the Republican Replacement

As though waiting to drop the hottest mixtape of the year, House GOP leadership and Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) chose to release their new Obamacare replacement plan on Monday evening when everyone was back home watching T.V. And in keeping with Trump’s theme, they’ve titled their plan the American Health Care Act (AHCA),

Unfortunately, this plan would probably see more success as an album than legislation (yes, even if it were just Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) reading over an 808). The fact is, the AHCA may not garner enough support in the House for two good reasons. First, the bill keeps a lot of Obamacare’s regulatory framework that has caused prices to rise and choice to diminish. Second, the law is based on advanceable and refundable tax credits for political reasons, which many argue essentially creates a new entitlement. Both are profound mistakes. Continue reading “2 Big Problems With the Republican Replacement”

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Health Care in the U.S.: Fortress or Frontier?

This is a follow up on Chris Medrano’s last blog in which he argued for repealing Obamacare.

The battle over health care isn’t about Republicans versus Democrats. According to economist Robert Graboyes, it’s really about two competing mindsets: the fortress and the frontier. Continue reading “Health Care in the U.S.: Fortress or Frontier?”

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The Coming Obamacare Fight

In a couple weeks Donald Trump will be sworn in as President. No doubt, thousands of people will descend on Washington to make their voices heard. But at the end of the day the red baseball caps will be hung up, the protest signs will be thrown away, and the new administration will be shuttled off to the inaugural balls. And when the sun rises, the fight over the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, will be officially on the clock.

Trump’s transition officials have made it clear that repealing the ACA is their first priority. And when the 115th Congress started on Tuesday, Utah Senator Mike Enzi wasted no time introducing a resolution to repeal Obamacare. Continue reading “The Coming Obamacare Fight”

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A Public Option Would Leave Us Optionless

Choice and competition are the bedrocks of innovation and affordability in the market. If there are multiple companies competing for consumer money, the winner will be the one which either increases the value of their product or finds a way to lower its cost. In contrast, fewer choices and less competition give companies more leverage to set higher prices and relieve any pressure to add value.

Last Thursday, President Obama seemed to reaffirm these bedrocks in his speech on fixing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Unfortunately, the public option he proposed to increase choice and competition — perhaps the most consequential of his three “tweaks” — would do the exact opposite. Continue reading “A Public Option Would Leave Us Optionless”

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Don’t look now. The Affordable Care Act is crumbling.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are dominating the media. I saw this first hand when I worked in a newsroom over the summer: The coverage was non-stop!

They are not, however, the biggest story of the summer. Based on a steady stream of articles and studies, I’m convinced that if it weren’t for this highly extraordinary election, 2016 would be known as the summer the Affordable Care Act (ACA) started to crumble. Continue reading “Don’t look now. The Affordable Care Act is crumbling.”

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