Backgrounder posted September 14, 2016
Postal Service Health Benefits and the FEHBP: The Urgent Case for Getting Reform Right
The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform recently considered the Postal Service Reform Act (H.R. 5714). The bill proposes shifting postal retirees’ primary health care coverage from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) to Medicare. Proponents call this a consensus proposal for integrating the FEHBP with Medicare. It is not. The proposal’s…
Issue Brief posted July 5, 2016
The 2016 Trustees Report: Yet Another Warning to Congress and the President
The Medicare Trustees have released their long-awaited 2016 annual report. It once again calls for expeditious action by Congress and the executive branch to address Medicare’s growing fiscal problems. The Medicare Trustees project major increases in Medicare spending, fueled by progressively higher taxes, and an even larger long-term Medicare debt than they projected…
Legal Memorandum posted June 20, 2016
FDA Reform: A Prescription for More and Better Drugs and Medical Devices
In recent decades, U.S. and foreign biopharmaceutical companies (makers of drugs that are based on chemical compounds or biological materials, such as vaccines) and medical device manufacturers have been responsible for many cures and advances in treatment that have benefited patients’ lives. New cancer treatments, medical devices, and other medical discoveries are being…
Backgrounder posted February 11, 2016
The Obama Administration’s Design for Imposing More Health Care Mandates
On September 8, 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights published in the Federal Register a proposed regulation entitled “Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities,” interpreting and implementing section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare).
The text of section 1557 references existing statues prohibiting…
Factsheet on May 27, 2015
ICD-10: A Costly and Complex Health Care Coding System Needs Reform
New Disease Coding System Scheduled for October 2015
The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is a system of diagnostic codes for reporting disease, identifying global health trends, and collecting global statistics.
Since the 1980s, the U.S. has linked this system of diagnostic codes to reimbursement for health care services.
On October 1, 2015,…
Backgrounder posted May 18, 2015
The New Disease Classification (ICD-10): Doctors and Patients Will Pay
On October 1, 2015, a new standardized system of classifying disease will be imposed on practicing physicians and others in the health care sector. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is a system of diagnostic codes established for defining and reporting disease, identifying global health trends and collecting global…
Special Report posted April 24, 2015
The Ebola Outbreak of 2013–2014: An Assessment of U.S. Actions
The task force chairmen, steering committee members, and participants remind readers of this report that the affiliations of the contributors are listed only for identification and that they do not imply institutional endorsement. Contributors to this report do not necessarily represent their institutions, and every member of the task force does not necessarily endorse…
Issue Brief posted March 20, 2015
2015 ACA-Exchange-Premiums Update: Premiums Still Rising
Health care premiums are continuing to rise in 2015. While the pace of change has slowed since the dramatic increases of 2014, the savings promised under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have still not materialized.
Measuring changes in premiums is an important element in understanding the impact of the ACA. In previous analysis, The Heritage Foundation determined that the…
Issue Brief posted February 20, 2015
King v. Burwell: Assessing the Claimed Effects of a Decision for the Plaintiffs
Should the Supreme Court rule in King v. Burwell—a case challenging the Obama Administration’s implementation of the premium tax credit provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—that the statute restricts the payment of premium tax credits only to individuals obtaining coverage “through an Exchange established by [a] State,” its ruling would preclude the Treasury paying…
Issue Brief posted February 28, 2014
Is the FDA Getting Out of Control?
Acting on its own volition, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is using the regulatory process to gain unprecedented control of food policy and remove dietary choices from Americans. Similar to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the FDA is pushing extreme policies to regulate in areas that have never been federally regulated. Recent examples highlight this…
Lecture posted February 25, 2013
The Complexities of Providing Health Insurance
Discussions of the ethics of health care financing typically focus on issues of equity and social justice. Yet such discussions are more often about means than ends. Contrary to the impression given by occasionally heated political rhetoric, there, in fact, exists a broad consensus across the political spectrum that modern societies have an obligation to ensure that all…
Issue Brief posted January 10, 2013
Head Start Impact Evaluation Report Finally Released
In 2008, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) completed data collection for its third-grade follow-up study of Head Start, a federal preschool program designed to improve the kindergarten readiness of low-income children. Four years later, just before Christmas, the agency finally published the results of the congressionally mandated evaluation. The report’s…