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  • Commentary posted July 31, 2015 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. Medicare: Washington's Next Trillion-Dollar Trainwreck

    Medicare is still in trouble. The Medicare Trustees just issued their 2015 report. Like last year’s report, it says that the Hospital Insurance trust fund will enjoy a few years of surpluses, followed by deficits, ending in insolvency in 2030. The trustees’ report is a bracing corrective to the complacency and demagoguery that often mars the ongoing Medicare debate.…

  • Issue Brief posted July 30, 2015 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. Medicare at 50: Reform Will Better Serve Seniors’ Health Care Needs

    Medicare, enacted along with Medicaid in 1965, is 50 years old.[1] The program, which provides health care services to seniors and some disabled, has successfully provided its enrollees core hospital and physicians’ coverage and a strong measure of financial security. However, fiscal and demographic problems that are inherent in its outdated structure threaten seniors’…

  • Commentary posted June 29, 2015 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. America's Obamacare Nightmare Is Just Beginning

    Today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal government could continue to subsidize health-insurance coverage through Healthcare.gov, the federal exchanges. An ecstatic President Obama declared that Obamacare is “here to stay.” No, it’s not. A judicial victory doesn’t automatically translate into a political victory, let alone a policy success. Once they’ve…

  • Commentary posted June 29, 2015 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. Shed sunshine on ObamaCare's subsidies for Congress

    Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) has a simple question: How and why did Congress qualify as a "small business" eligible for special taxpayer subsidies under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)? For anyone in a real small business — private employers who get no such subsidies — the very idea is absurd. But getting a straight answer is as difficult as getting Lois Lerner's IRS…

  • Backgrounder posted May 28, 2015 by Alyene Senger, Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. Medicare Advantage Under the ACA: Replace Payment Cuts with Market-Based Reforms

    Medicare Advantage (MA) offers seniors the option of private health plans as an alternative to traditional Medicare. The private plans in Medicare Advantage provide more comprehensive coverage and are typically more generous that traditional Medicare. Today, more than 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in an MA plan. The Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA),…

  • Commentary posted May 5, 2015 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. A Health Care Revolution on Private Exchanges?

    Employers, not politicians, can spark a health-care revolution. For many years employers have struggled with providing health insurance to workers and their families. Competing for high-skilled workers typically requires offering fairly comprehensive benefits (valued at an average of $6,000 for an individual in 2014). Public-sector employers — states and municipalities —…

  • Commentary posted April 21, 2015 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D., Paul Winfree Oops, Congress Failed Again: A Missed Opportunity to Fix Medicare

    The new Congress isn’t getting Washington’s crazy spending under control. In fact, it’s just made it worse. By enacting the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (H.R. 2), lawmakers yesterday increased the nation’s deficits by $141 billion over the next ten years and guaranteed even larger debt beyond that. So much for their formal commitments and resolutions to…

  • Commentary posted February 26, 2015 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. ObamaCare — Why, sure, it's 'paid for'

    Republican Senate Budget Committee analysts reported last week that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) — a.k.a. ObamaCare — would increase the federal deficit by $131 billion over the period from 2015 to 2024. Drew Hammill, a senior aide to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), dismissed the report as "complete garbage." Name-calling is no…

  • First Principles Series Report posted February 25, 2015 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. Federalism and Freedom: Orestes Brownson’s Case for the Federal Constitution

    Over the past 100 years, conservatives and Progressives have battled over the meaning and relevance of the U.S. Constitution. Many of these disagreements have focused especially on the relationship between the federal government and the states. Progressives old and new have long dismissed states’ powers as annoying relics of a bygone era. Progressives assert that…

  • Commentary posted February 3, 2015 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. Memo to 114th Congress: First, repudiate Washington's ruling class

    The majority of newly elected members of Congress are men and women who ran and won in direct opposition to President Obama’s policies. But there is more to their victory than a triumph over liberal policies. The 2014 election also represents a repudiation of an attitude and style of governance that has become entrenched in Washington’s political culture:  an arrogant,…

  • Issue Brief posted January 21, 2015 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D., Alyene Senger Replacing Medicare’s SGR: Four Bipartisan Options to Finance a Permanent Fix

    The new Congress must stop irresponsible federal spending. This applies to replacing the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula that annually updates Medicare physician payment with a workable alternative. In 2014, House and Senate negotiators, representing three major congressional committees, worked long and hard to hammer out a compromise SGR replacement…

  • Commentary posted December 15, 2014 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. Obamacare: A Brewing Fiscal Fiasco

    There is more to this week’s House hearing with Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist Jonathan Gruber than just an examination of his disparaging comments about the American public’s understanding of Obamacare. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform asked Gruber for copies of his taxpayer-funded modeling results,…

  • Commentary posted December 9, 2014 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. How to Reform Medicare

    Every year, Medicare physician payment rates spark a legislative fire drill. The complex formula for updating doctors’ reimbursements, the sustainable growth rate formula, routinely threatens Medicare physicians with draconian payment cuts. Next year, the formula mandates a 21 percent pay cut. The sustainable growth rate formula, created in 1997, has never been…

  • Commentary posted December 9, 2014 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. Another Bad Checkup for the Affordable Care Act

    The implementation of the Affordable Care Act seems like an unending nightmare. Desperate for some good news, the White House is justly relieved and celebrating the fact that the government website is not plagued with last year’s disasters. But other big challenges loom, including the administration of the law’s hideously complex insurance subsidy system, as well as…

  • Backgrounder posted December 8, 2014 by Patrick Louis Knudsen, Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. The Affordable Care Act’s Mounting Budgetary Pressures

    Throughout the development of their ambitious national health insurance plan, President Barack Obama and his congressional allies vowed that the sprawling new entitlement program would not worsen the government’s already disturbing fiscal outlook. “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits,” the President had declared, “either now or in the future.”[1] It…