Tuesday, October 15, 2013

From The Archives: Medicare Means Testing - Test the Deductible, Not the Premiums

Many conservatives believe that increasing means testing for Medicare would be a good solution. Some would even go so far as to eliminate Medicare benefits for very rich people (like Warren Buffett).

But this is not consistent with principles of limited government. I have recently dug up an article I wrote on the issue from 2008. While the figures are out of date, the argument remains the same.

Read it here.

Friday, October 11, 2013

From the Archives: Heart Transplants to Hairpieces - The Questionable Benefit of State Benefit Mandates

This is a long study I wrote in 2008, which addresses the costs and benefits of state benefit mandates. At the time, a movement to mandate coverage of a controversial therapy for autism was sweeping through the states.

In it, I concluded that an additional mandated benefit increased the number of uninsured residents of a state by about one quarter of one percent. However, I was very tentative in this conclusion. This is why you don't find me in the conservative chorus calling for selling health insurance "across state lines" (whatever that means) to escape mandated benefits.

I had not posted it here previously because I could not find it on the Internet. Well, we have it now! The link is here.

Monday, October 7, 2013

The $35 Billion Windfall From Delaying Obamacare's Individual Mandate By One Year Could Restore National Institutes of Health Funding For A Decade

Delaying Obamacare's individual mandate by just one year would reduce the federal deficit by over $35 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Freed from fear of the individual mandate, Americans would be less likely to buy expensive health insurance on the Obamacare exchanges (which have suffered embarrassing glitches during their first week of operation). This would stop the hemorrhaging of about $28 billion of subsidies through the exchanges. Further, because Americans would keep more of their wages as taxable income, income and payroll tax receipts would increase by about $8 billion.

If more Americans appreciated this fiscal windfall, the mandate would surely become even more unpopular. Although many Americans would like to reduce the deficit, others might prefer to spend the revenue on other government activities. If House Republicans were willing to pass a new version of the CR that spent some of this revenue, it would surely increase the odds of passage in the Senate.

Read the rest of this article at Forbes.com, The Apothecary.