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Hide details for Avik RoyAvik Roy

Avik Roy: The Democratic Bill To Raise Drug Prices By Protecting Patent Trolls
Posted: May 29, 2024 at 11:47 AM (Wednesday)

Reducing prescription drug prices has long been a goal of Democrats in Congress and the White House. But in a strange twist, a group of Senate Democrats–along with one Republican–has backed a bill that would increase drug prices by preventing people from challenging weak or invalid patents. How patent thickets raise drug prices As I've ...


Avik Roy: How Drug Companies Stifle Competition With 'Product Hopping’
Posted: May 21, 2024 at 05:33 PM (Tuesday)

In 2014, drugmaker Forest Laboratories and its parent, Actavis, had a $28 billion problem. Actavis had spent that sum to acquire Forest and its portfolio of pharmaceutical products. The key patent for one of those drugs, a treatment for Alzheimer's disease called Namenda IR, was set to expire in July of 2015. Forest had been generating ...


Avik Roy: Summers: Inflation Reached 18% In 2022 Using The Government’s Previous Formula
Posted: March 23, 2024 at 08:22 AM (Saturday)

Numerous commentators–especially those defending President Biden's economic record–have puzzled over why Americans are sour about the state of the U.S. economy. Unemployment rates have returned to pre-pandemic lows, commentators correctly point out, and the official rate of inflation is declining. So why are Americans ignoring the view of ...


Avik Roy: CMS’ Medicare Advantage Payment Cuts Come With Risks
Posted: March 1, 2024 at 10:58 AM (Friday)

There's a famous scene in Star Wars: A New Hope where Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and company are trapped in a garbage compactor on the Death Star. The walls of the compactor slowly squeeze in, threatening to flatten the protagonists before they can get out. Opponents of Medicare Advantage are hoping that the federal government will do ...


Avik Roy: CBO: Federal Interest Payments Now Exceed Defense Spending
Posted: February 7, 2024 at 07:42 PM (Wednesday)

Today, the Congressional Budget Office published its annual 10-year Budget and Economic Outlook. According to the CBO's latest estimates, in 2024 the U.S. government will pass a grim and once-unimaginable milestone. The federal debt has gotten so large that spending on interest to service that debt now exceeds federal spending on ...


Avik Roy: There’s No Such Thing As An 'American-Style’ Central Bank Digital Currency
Posted: April 12, 2023 at 02:30 PM (Wednesday)

Central bank digital currencies, or CBDCs, have come under withering criticism for the way they enable authoritarian governments to control their citizens. And yet, a number of leading figures in American financial regulation continue to advocate for what they call an "American-style" CBDC. But it is hard to reconcile the surveillance ...


Avik Roy and Gregg Girvan: Drug companies are warning that Medicare pricing reform spells doom. Don't fall for it.
Posted: August 8, 2022 at 08:22 AM (Monday)

Democrats are on the verge of passing legislation that, among other things, would empower the government to directly negotiate the price Medicare pays for a handful of the costliest prescription drugs. The measure has precipitated hyperbole from industry lobbyists, who say it represents an existential threat to medical innovation. One ...


Avik Roy: Lummis-Gillibrand Crypto Bill: An Important Step In Bringing Regulatory Clarity To Bitcoin, Stablecoins, & Digital Assets
Posted: July 8, 2022 at 06:41 PM (Friday)

Last month, Wyoming Senator Cynthia Lummis and New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand unveiled their long-anticipated bipartisan legislative proposal to build a federal regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. If the bill, called the "Responsible Financial Innovation Act," were to become law, the U.S. could instantly leapfrog ...


Avik Roy: Biden’s Beijing-Style Plan for Single-Payer Banking
Posted: October 8, 2021 at 06:30 AM (Friday)

It would do far more to transform the character of the U.S. economy than single-payer health care. China has established itself as a pioneer in yet another high-tech field: that of blockchain-based central-bank digital currencies, or CBDCs. It's not surprising that China would embrace such a technology. What is surprising is the interest ...


Avik Roy: El Salvador To Make Bitcoin Legal Tender: A Milestone In Monetary History
Posted: June 7, 2021 at 09:16 AM (Monday)

On June 5, at a conference in Miami, El Salvador President Nayib Bukele announced that the Central American country is in the process of adopting bitcoin as legal tender: a move that would make El Salvador the first country to deem bitcoin an official national currency. Despite El Salvador’s small size, Bukele’s effort is a major milestone ...


Avik Roy: Restoring the Conservative Conscience
Posted: January 21, 2021 at 12:26 PM (Thursday)

Nineteenth-century liberals offer lessons for today. Thirty-one> years ago, a mass gathering in front of an important government structure signified the high-water mark of the American conservative movement. It was November 9, 1989. Harald Jäger, an East German border officer, had watched a confused member of the Politburo announce that the ...


Avik Roy: How Trump’s New 'Most Favored Nation’ Executive Order Will Reduce Prescription Drug Costs In Medicare Parts B & D
Posted: September 14, 2020 at 09:20 AM (Monday)

Contrary to naysayers, President Trump’s new executive order on prescription drug pricing is the most important policy change to date in the effort to reduce Medicare’s runaway drug spending. Here’s why. Last July, President Trumpsigned a series of executive ordersmeant to reduce what Americans pay for prescription drugs. But the most important ...


Avik Roy: Trump’s 'Most Favored Nation’ Prescription Drug Executive Order Will Reduce Costs For Seniors & Taxpayers
Posted: July 24, 2020 at 04:00 PM (Friday)

Americans have long complained about the fact that drug companies overcharge U.S. patients for medicines that cost much less elsewhere. A quartet of executive orders from President Trump, issued today, will change that. “We are putting patients over lobbyists, senior citizens before special interests, and we’re putting America first,” said ...


Avik Roy: How Independent Primary Care Practices Can Survive The Coronavirus Downturn
Posted: May 30, 2020 at 08:16 AM (Saturday)

The COVID-19 economic lockdown hasn’t just affected your favorite local restaurants and bars, but also your primary care physician. Many independent practices may permanently close. Others will survive by embracing new ways of practicing medicine. In the traditional fee-for-service model of physician care, doctors get paid the more often they ...


Avik Roy: 43% Of COVID-19 Deaths Are In Nursing Homes & Assisted Living Facilities Housing 0.6% Of U.S.
Posted: May 26, 2020 at 12:14 PM (Tuesday)

Americans are vigorously debating the merits of continuing to lock down the U.S. economy to prevent the spread of COVID-19. A single statistic may hold the key to resolving this debate: the astounding share of deaths occurring in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities: The #1 COVID problem ...


Avik Roy: Reopening the U.S. Economy Even if the Pandemic Endures
Posted: April 24, 2020 at 11:02 AM (Friday)

It’s not true that the only way to improve public health is by shutting down the economy and the only way to improve the economy is by sacrificing public health. As the Covid-19 shutdown enters its second month, policy makers and commentators have emphasized that we’re not yet out of the woods. Deaths and hospitalizations are continuing to ...


Avik Roy: Inside The 'Slim Suit Crowd': 3 Health Care Entrepreneurs Aiding Trump's Coronavirus Response
Posted: April 3, 2020 at 11:02 AM (Friday)

On January 29, President Trump established a Coronavirus Task Force, now led by Vice President Mike Pence, to coordinate the administration’s response to the COVID–19 pandemic. Less widely reported—until now—is that a smaller second group, organized by presidential adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, is also playing a key role in ...


Avik Roy: Pharmaceuticals and the Coronavirus Pandemic
Posted: April 2, 2020 at 12:49 PM (Thursday)

When can we end social distancing and get back to normal life?” It’s the question on everyone’s mind, and one without a clear answer at this time. Here’s what we do know: An effective treatment against the novel coronavirus would make a big difference in getting us there. Remember the old adage, “There’s no cure for the common cold”? Well, ...


Avik Roy: Joe Biden's Health Care Plan Would Spend $750 Billion More On Obamacare And Cap Drug Price Inflation
Posted: March 4, 2020 at 09:29 AM (Wednesday)

Joe Biden’s sweeping success on Super Tuesday doesn’t just establish him as the 2020 Democratic frontrunner. It also elevates the contrast between Biden’s health reform plan and Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All.” Here’s what you need to know. Expanding Obamacare Biden describes his health reform plan as “building on the Affordable Care Act.” ...


Avik Roy: House Democrats' Capitulation on Surprise Billing Proves They'll Never Pass 'Medicare for All'
Posted: February 19, 2020 at 05:53 PM (Wednesday)

On the presidential campaign trail, Democratic candidates are making all sorts of promises about how they’ll use federal power to reduce the cost of health care, either through “Medicare for All” or a “public option.” But this month, in a key House committee vote on surprise medical billing, Democrats showed that they prioritize the views ...


Avik Roy: Fifth Circuit's Surgical Opinion Could Reshape Obamacare -- For The Better
Posted: December 19, 2019 at 10:31 AM (Thursday)

On December 18, The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued its long-awaited opinion in the latest Obamacare constitutional challenge, Texas v. Azar. By overturning the health law’s individual mandate, but remanding the rest of the ACA back to the lower court for further consideration, the 5th Circuit has created a pathway for ...


Avik Roy: How Arbitration For Surprise Medical Bills Leads To Runaway Costs & Higher Premiums
Posted: September 26, 2019 at 07:00 PM (Thursday)

Congress is making progress on surprise medical bills in the emergency room, a problem that is affecting a growing number of patients. But health care lobbyists in Washington have been working overtime to undermine these reforms, by demanding the use of arbitration to increase patient costs. A good bill in the Senate First, the good news. ...


Avik Roy: Trump And The Senate Make Significant Progress On Hospital Price Transparency
Posted: July 31, 2019 at 06:21 PM (Wednesday)

For years, observers from across the spectrum have called for more price transparency in health care, especially when it comes to hospitals. Thanks to initiatives from the White House and a key Senate committee, that moment is now close at hand. Proposed rule could revolutionize hospital markets On July 30, the Centers for Medicare and ...


Avik Roy: Inside The Pharmaceutical Lobby's Campaign For More Government Subsidies Through Medicare Part D
Posted: July 19, 2019 at 06:30 PM (Friday)

Senate health care leaders have developed a bipartisan, fiscally responsible way to reduce the cost of the Medicare prescription drug benefit, also known as Medicare Part D. But pharmaceutical companies, in a furious lobbying effort, are trying to blow up the deal by demanding that taxpayers spend tens of billions on drug ...


Avik Roy: 2020 Democratic Debate Reveals Flaw in GOP's Anti-Single-Payer Message
Posted: June 27, 2019 at 09:38 AM (Thursday)

In the first Democratic presidential debate of the 2020 cycle, candidates proposed a number of far-left ideas. But when Lester Holt asked, “Who here would abolish private health insurance in favor of a government run plan?” only two raised their hands: Elizabeth Warren and Bill De Blasio. .@lesterholtnbc: 'Who here would abolish their ...


Avik Roy:A New Bipartisan Bill Could Transform The Way We Pay For Hospital Care
Posted: June 17, 2019 at 09:46 AM (Monday)

A new proposal from the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee could have a meaningful impact on the high cost of U.S. hospital care—if it survives an onslaught from industry lobbyists. The bill, called the Lower Health Care Costs Act, is the product of bipartisan negotiations led by the HELP Committee’s chairman, Sen. ...


Avik Roy: Entitlement Deform: Is Congress Planning To Explode Drug Costs In Medicare Part D?
Posted: June 11, 2019 at 10:39 AM (Tuesday)

Medicare’s prescription drug benefit is known as the one federal entitlement program that routinely comes in under budget. Now, a new push is on in Congress to make changes to the program that could increase costs even further. Medicare’s unique drug benefit Medicare, originally enacted in 1965, has many outdated design flaws. One of those ...


Avik Roy: Trump Administration Caves To Pharma On Medicare Part D 'Protected Classes' Reform
Posted: May 17, 2019 at 07:02 AM (Friday)

The Trump administration has shelved a proposal that would have stymied egregious price hikes in the Medicare prescription drug program. It’s a major win for the drug industry, and a defeat for Trump’s goal of reducing drug prices. How ‘protected classes’ lead to skyrocketing prices The rule revolved around Medicare’s program for ...


Avik Roy: RAND Study: Hospitals Charging The Privately Insured 2.4 Times What They Charge Medicare Patients
Posted: May 11, 2019 at 12:03 AM (Saturday)

For generations, the prices that hospitals charge patients with private insurance have been shrouded in secrecy. An explosive new study has unlocked some of those secrets. It finds that employers and their insurers are failing to control hospital costs, increasing calls for transparency into insurer-hospital agreements. Growing frustrations ...


Avik Roy: In A Significant Step For Price Transparency, Trump Finalizes Rule Requiring List Prices In Drug Ads
Posted: May 8, 2019 at 08:10 AM (Wednesday)

The Trump administration announced today that it has finalized anew rule requiring all drug companies to include the list prices of their drugs in direct-to-consumer advertisements. If sunlight is the best disinfectant, the White House hopes that more visibility about drug prices will hold drugmakers more accountable, and reduce costs for ...


Avik Roy: How To End The Scourge Of Surprise Medical Bills In The Emergency Room
Posted: March 12, 2019 at 04:48 PM (Tuesday)

Opponents of the role of consumers and markets in health care have one go-to argument above all others: that you can’t shop for health care when you’re unconscious. The rising problem of gargantuan, surprise medical bills in surgical wards and emergency rooms shows that they have a point. The good news is that constructive, bipartisan reforms ...


Avik Roy: Biologic Medicines: The Biggest Driver Of Rising Drug Prices
Posted: March 8, 2019 at 08:20 PM (Friday)

The topic of high prescription drug prices is now the dominant policy issue on Capitol Hill. The new Congress has held a half-dozen hearings on the topic. But one issue that is at the heart of high prices has attracted little attention: the role of biologic drugs in rising drug costs. In 2017, according to data from the IQVIA Institute, ...


Avik Roy: In 2018, The Average Family Paid More To Hospitals Than To The Federal Government In Taxes
Posted: January 26, 2019 at 09:37 AM (Saturday)

For the average family, spending on hospitals now outpaces federal tax rates. For decades, we’ve talked and talked and talked about the high cost of American health care. But we haven’t done anything about it. As the above chart shows, the problem has gotten so bad that, today, hospital spending reduces the average family’s take-home pay more ...


Avik Roy: What Federal Courts -- And Obamacare's Architects -- Don't Get About Pre-Existing Conditions
Posted: December 16, 2018 at 08:44 AM (Sunday)

Last Friday, a federal judgein Fort Worth, Texas opined that the Affordable Care Act was unconstitutional. The judge’s rulingin the case hinges on a misunderstanding of how to cover people with pre-existing conditions that’s shared by courts, journalists, and even Obamacare’s architects. Obamacare’s faulty logic on pre-existing conditions ...


Avik Roy: Want To Reduce Health Insurance Premiums? Repeal Obamacare's Premium Tax
Posted: December 1, 2018 at 05:35 PM (Saturday)

Democrats’ 2010 health care bill was called the “Affordable Care Act.” But for hundreds of millions of Americans, premiums have risen even further because of Obamacare’s tax on insurance premiums. Congress has an opportunity to repeal this tax before members head home for the holidays. Taxing health insurance premiums is ...


Avik Roy: George H.W. Bush's Underappreciated Legacy, The Balanced Budgets Of The 1990s
Posted: December 1, 2018 at 03:46 PM (Saturday)

On the last night of November 2018, former President George H.W. Bush passed away at the age of 94. Bush is best known for his foreign policy achievements, most notably his deft handling of the breakup of the Soviet Union. But what’s less well-known is how Bush’s presidency resulted in the balanced budgets of the 1990s. Balanced budgets in ...


Avik Roy: It's Time For All Marco Rubio Supporters -- And All Conservatives -- To Unite Around Ted Cruz
Posted: March 15, 2016 at 10:01 PM (Tuesday)

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has suspended his presidential campaign, after losing his home state to Donald Trump by nearly 20 percentage points. It’s a disappointing end for Rubio, who was the Republican Party’s best hope for winning the general election, and for expanding the GOP tent to younger voters and minorities. But for Rubio supporters ...


Avik Roy: Liberal Think Tank Makes Amazing Discovery, Marco Rubio Wants To Cut Your Taxes
Posted: February 13, 2016 at 08:06 PM (Saturday)

In 2012, a liberal think tank called the Tax Policy Center published a report purporting to show that Mitt Romney’s plan for tax reform would raise taxes on the middle class. Though other tax experts debunked TPC’s claims, the Obama campaign gleefully deployed them to help win reelection. Well, TPC is back, this time with a 50-page report aimed ...


Avik Roy: CBO Slashes 2016 Obamacare Exchange Enrollment Projections By 8 Million
Posted: January 26, 2016 at 11:40 PM (Tuesday)

Yesterday, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released its annual ten-yearBudget and Economic Outlook. The document contains the CBO’s updated estimates for economic growth, employment, and the nation’s fiscal health. The most notable change was to enrollment in Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges. The CBO, bowing to reality, ...


Avik Roy: Ted Cruz's Naive VAT Plan Would Lead Federal Tax Rates To Soar
Posted: January 20, 2016 at 11:00 AM (Wednesday)

Nearly every Republican running for President—even Donald Trump!—has released a plan to overhaul the federal tax code. One of the more interesting proposals for reforming corporate taxes has come from Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who favors replacing the corporate income tax with what Cruz calls a “business flat tax,” and what Canadians and Europeans ...


Avik Roy: Ushering in Medicine's Digital Revolution
Posted: January 20, 2016 at 07:10 AM (Wednesday)

As Internet-driven innovation revolutionizes the U.S. economy, many have wondered: Why isn't there an Uber of health care? Why can't we deploy, in health care, the same forces that are improving quality and lowering costs in virtually every other sector of the economy? Health care professionals are neither dumb nor averse to new technology; ...


Avik Roy: HEALTH CARE 2.0, Part 1: How to Think About Market Forces in Health Care
Posted: January 19, 2016 at 12:56 PM (Tuesday)

The Manhattan Institute's HEALTH CARE 2.0: USHERING IN MEDICINE'S DIGITAL REVOLUTION series delves into the details of how government policy stifles innovation in the delivery of health care. This paper, Part 1, surveys the key economic principles that drive innovative, dynamic sectors of the economy—and explains why American health care does ...


Avik Roy: Bernie Sanders' Incredible $28 Trillion Plan To Replace Obamacare With Single-Payer Health Care
Posted: January 18, 2016 at 03:20 AM (Monday)

On Sunday, January 17—hours before the Democratic presidential debate on NBC—Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders released details of his proposal to replace the entire U.S. health care system with a universal, government-run, single-payer one. “Twenty-nine million Americans today still do not have health insurance,” said Sanders in a white ...


Avik Roy: Yes, Marco Rubio Led The Effort To End Obamacare's Health Insurance Slush Fund
Posted: December 15, 2015 at 03:00 PM (Tuesday)

There has been some interesting coverage lately about Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’ssuccessful effortto ensure that taxpayers were not on the hook for excess losses incurred by insurers participating in Obamacare’s exchanges. Today, however, two Associated Press reportersallegedthat this victory against the law was one that Rubio “didn’t deliver.” ...


Avik Roy: If Republicans Delay The Cadillac Tax, They Will Cost Taxpayers Far More In The Long Run
Posted: December 11, 2015 at 11:32 AM (Friday)

Obamacare is a two-thousand-page jumble of costly and ill-designed mandates. But the health law contained one provision that, while imperfect, was the law’s best feature: its “Cadillac tax,” a feature that begins to end America’s discrimination against those who buy health insurance on their own. The Cadillac tax is the one thing in Obamacare ...


Avik Roy: Obama Administration, Obamacare Has Driven Health Spending Up, While Covering Fewer Than Expected
Posted: December 6, 2015 at 07:55 AM (Sunday)

For years, we’ve heard from Obamacare’s supporters that the law has been a success, because, they say, it has provided more people with health insurance, and slowed the growth rate of health spending. Well, the returns are in. Last week, the Obama administration’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released its official estimates of ...


Avik Roy: If The Freedom Caucus And Paul Ryan Agree, Here's What The New House Speaker Will Do
Posted: October 20, 2015 at 10:18 PM (Tuesday)

On Tuesday evening, House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R., Wisc.) held a press conference, in which he announced that he would indeed be willing to serve as Speaker of the House, provided that the House could unite around him, among other conditions. If Ryan and House hard-liners agree, the consequences could be significant for the ...


Avik Roy: Marco Rubio's Energy Plan
Posted: October 16, 2015 at 12:49 PM (Friday)

Despite President Obama's best efforts to stop it, the energy economy of the United States is undergoing a profound transformation. No one who lived through the Arab oil embargoes of the 1970's would imagine that the United States would, in the 2010's, become the world's largest oil producer—and, in fact, the world's leading energy ...


Avik Roy: Flatlined - White House Says Obamacare Exchange Enrollment Growth To Collapse In 2016
Posted: October 15, 2015 at 01:44 PM (Thursday)

For years, this blog has been warning about how the high cost of Obamacare-sponsored insurance would limit the law’s expansion of health coverage. Well, the chicken has come home to roost. Today, the Obama administration announced that it projected dramatically lower enrollment growth for Obamacare’s exchanges in 2016: only 1.3 million, ...


Avik Roy: Donald Trump on Obamacare on 60 Minutes, 'Everybody's Got To Be Covered' And 'The Government's Gonna Pay For It'
Posted: September 28, 2015 at 12:20 AM (Monday)

t suffices to say that Donald Trump has been all over the place on health care reform. Last month, at the first Republican presidential debate, Trump argued that socialized medicine in Scotland “ works incredibly well .” At the same time, Trump has said that Obamacare has “gotta go” and that he would “repeal and replace it something terrific.” ...


Avik Roy: Hillary Clinton's Drug Price Plan Would Make The Problem Worse -- But That Doesn't Mean We Should Do Nothing
Posted: September 22, 2015 at 01:21 PM (Tuesday)

oday in Iowa, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton unveiled a set of policies designed to tackle the high price of branded prescription medicines. Her plan, such as it is, wouldn’t solve the problem of high drug prices; in certain ways, it would make that problem worse. But advocates of the free market are mistaken if they think ...


Avik Roy: The Right Way To Reform Wall Street
Posted: September 9, 2015 at 06:00 AM (Wednesday)

It's easy to forget, but the Tea Party emerged not in response to ObamaCare, nor illegal immigration, but to the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. So why is it that the Tea Party's Republican allies have been mostly silent on the issue of Wall Street reform?
(DISCLOSURE: I am an adviser to former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, but the opinions ...


Avik Roy: How Will Scott Walker Pay For His Plan To Replace Obamacare? It's Largely Unclear
Posted: August 18, 2015 at 10:42 AM (Tuesday)

Today in Minnesota, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R.) will put forth his plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. The plan offers sizable health insurance subsidies that every American would be eligible for, regardless of income. It would increase Medicare spending by more than $800 billion over ten years. But there's one key question that ...


Avik Roy: No, Donald Trump, Single-Payer Health Care Doesn't 'Work Incredibly Well' In Canada & Scotland
Posted: August 7, 2015 at 10:46 AM (Friday)

Last night in Cleveland, the 17 declared Republican presidential candidates participated in the first official debates of the 2016 election season. Health care policy was a bone of contention. "How can you run for the Republican nomination and be for single-payer health care?" asked former Texas Gov. Rick Perry of Trump. When Fox anchor Bret ...


Avik Roy: No, Obamacare Isn't Any More 'Here To Stay' Than It Was Before The Supreme Court Decision
Posted: June 26, 2015 at 08:06 AM (Friday)

Yesterday, the Supreme Court sided with the Obama administration in the King v. Burwell Obamacare case. In a statement after the decision, President Obama declared that his signature health law is "here to stay." But in his remarks, the President knowingly ignored the key concept in the case: that if the challengers had won, not one word of ...


Avik Roy: Contrary To White House Denials, Emails Show Jonathan Gruber Was 'Integral' To Obamacare
Posted: June 21, 2015 at 11:03 PM (Sunday)

Last fall, videos emerged showing MIT economist Jonathan Gruber—the architect of Obamacare—mocking "the stupidity of the American voter" for not perceiving the ways in which the controversial health law concealed its true costs. At the time, President Obama and others went through great lengths to deny Gruber's centrality to Obamacare. But ...


Joseph Antos, James Capretta, Lanhee Chen, Yuval Levin, Thomas Miller, Ramesh Ponnuru, Avik Roy, Gail Wilensky, and David Wilson: A Market-Based Contingency Plan for King v. Burwell
Posted: June 15, 2015 at 08:00 AM (Monday)

Majorities in both chambers of Congress strongly believe that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is too prescriptive and moves too much authority over the health system to the federal government. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the plaintiffs in the King v. Burwell case, Congress will have the opportunity to advance health care policies ...


Avik Roy: The Flaw In Marco Rubio's Tax Reform Plan, Social Engineering
Posted: May 6, 2015 at 09:16 AM (Wednesday)

In March two freshman Republican senators—Mike Lee (Utah) and Marco Rubio (Fla.)—released an ambitious plan for tax reform. Nonpartisan experts believe the plan would turbocharge U.S. economic growth. But the plan is marred by a multitrillion-dollar effort at social engineering, one that would increase the deficit without expanding ...


Avik Roy: Unfixed, House Passes Medicare 'Doc Fix' That Will Increase Spending & Deficits For At Least 20 Years
Posted: March 26, 2015 at 01:35 PM (Thursday)

Today, with bipartisan support, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a significant Medicare reform bill, by a vote of 392 to 37. The bill would repeal Medicare's "Sustainable Growth Rate," or SGR, and spend hundreds of billions of dollars increasing payments to doctors under Medicare, while modestly increasing Medicare premiums ...


Avik Roy: HHS' Obamacare Contingency Plan Is To Ask States To Contract Exchange Work To The Feds
Posted: March 16, 2015 at 05:28 AM (Monday)

Something odd has been happening with the Supreme Court battle over the legality of subsidies for Obamacare's federally-organized health insurance exchange. The Obama administration has been claiming—beyond credulity—that it has no "Plan B" should the Court side with the administration's challengers. "We don't have an administrative action that ...


Avik Roy: CBO Downgrades Obamacare's Enrollment And Subsidy Projections
Posted: March 10, 2015 at 01:39 AM (Tuesday)

On March 9, the Congressional Budget Office unveiled its updated budget projections for the years 2015 to 2025, including significant changes to its outlook for Obamacare's spending and coverage estimates. The CBO now thinks that 8 million fewer U.S. residents will gain coverage from the health law, compared to its original estimates. But the ...


Avik Roy: Did Samuel Alito Throw Republicans An Obamacare Lifeline At The Supreme Court?
Posted: March 6, 2015 at 05:02 PM (Friday)

As we await a decision in the big Obamacare Supreme Court case, King v. Burwell, progressive pundits have continued to predict a health care apocalypse if the Court sides with challengers to the Obama administration. That's a wild exaggeration. But there will be some disruption, and Republicans in Congress have been debating the best way ...


Avik Roy: 7 Reasons Why Obamacare 'Federalism' Won't Lead Anthony Kennedy To Join The Supreme Court's Left In King v. Burwell
Posted: March 4, 2015 at 11:41 PM (Wednesday)

Today, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in King v. Burwell, a case with significant implications for the future of Obamacare. Most of the justices' questions proceeded along expected lines. Most notable was a series of questions by Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, who questioned whether it would be constitutional for Obamacare to ...


Avik Roy: Ryan, Kline, And Upton Unveil More Specifics About Obamacare Supreme Court Contingency Plans
Posted: March 2, 2015 at 11:22 PM (Monday)

Yesterday, three key Republican senators on health care issues published an op-ed in which they outlined the broad principles of how they would address potential outcomes in the big Obamacare Supreme Court case, King v. Burwell. Today, three House Republican leaders—Paul Ryan (Wisc.), John Kline (Minn.), and Fred Upton (Mich.)—unveiled their ...


Avik Roy: Senate Republicans Reveal Their Supreme Court Obamacare Contingency Plan
Posted: March 2, 2015 at 06:51 AM (Monday)

On Sunday night, three Republican senators—Orrin Hatch (Utah), Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), and John Barrasso (Wyo.)—published their plan to address the potential outcome of a Supreme Court in the King v. Burwell case, for which a decision is expected this June. Republicans aim to convince the Supreme Court's swing justices—particularly ...


Avik Roy: The Veterans Independence Act, Giving Vets A Way Out Of Socialized Medicine
Posted: February 26, 2015 at 12:54 AM (Thursday)

Few Americans who read a newspaper didn't hear about last year's Veterans Health Administration scandal, in which VA officials manipulated patient waiting lists in order to deny care to ailing veterans. I observed at the time that the VA's brand of government-run medicine was far worse than Obamacare. And I questioned why lawmakers hadn't ...


Avik Roy: Contra White House, Obamacare Exchanges Enroll Roughly 5 Million Uninsured, Not 11.4 Million
Posted: February 18, 2015 at 12:48 AM (Wednesday)

Last night, the White House tweeted that "about 11.4 million Americans are signed up for private health coverage" through Obamacare's insurance exchanges. President Obama claims that this figure proves that his health law is working. But once you unravel the spin, what the latest numbers show is that the pace of enrollment in Obamacare's ...


Avik Roy: Unemployment Is Dropping, Thanks To A Republican Policy That Obama Opposed
Posted: February 11, 2015 at 10:55 AM (Wednesday)

In January, in his annual State of the Union address, President Obama bragged that "our economy is growing and creating jobs at the fastest pace since 1999." It's great news, to be sure. But according to a new paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research, the recent improvement in the labor market may be due to a policy change that ...


Avik Roy: The Impressive New Obamacare Replace Plan From Republicans Burr, Hatch, And Upton
Posted: February 5, 2015 at 12:35 PM (Thursday)

One year ago, three Republican senators permanently changed the Obamacare debate by publishing Congress' most credible plan yet to repeal and replace the health law. They called it the Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility, and Empowerment Act, or "Patient CARE." Last night, they published a new and improved version of their proposal, ...


Avik Roy: Heritage Foundation, 10 Countries With Universal Health Care Have Freer Economies Than The U.S.
Posted: January 27, 2015 at 01:53 PM (Tuesday)

Many American conservatives oppose universal health insurance because they see it as fundamentally antithetical to a free society. "If we persevere in our quixotic quest for a fetishized medical equality we will sacrifice personal freedom as its price," wrote a guest editorialist in the Wall Street Journal in 2009. But according to the ...


Avik Roy: The Real Minimum Wage, Zero
Posted: January 21, 2015 at 06:00 AM (Wednesday)

The Obama economy has been great for some people. Thanks to Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen, owners of equities and real estate have done very well since 2009. But things have been more challenging for those at the other end of the occupational ladder: those who work in jobs that pay by the hour. Due to ObamaCare, and to hikes in the minimum ...


Avik Roy: Transcending King v. Burwell; With The Supreme Court's Blessing, The GOP Can Replace Obamacare's Exchanges
Posted: January 15, 2015 at 12:54 AM (Thursday)

On March 4, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in King v. Burwell, the case that many pundits claim will "blow up Obamacare." That's an exaggeration; whatever the High Court decides, Obamacare will remain entrenched in federal law. But if the Supremes do end up ruling against the Obama administration—a distinct possibility—they will ...


Avik Roy: What '60 Minutes' Didn't Say - Hospitals Will Charge You More Under Obamacare
Posted: January 12, 2015 at 01:01 PM (Monday)

On Sunday evening, CBS' 60 Minutes did a feature story on Steven Brill's new book, America's Bitter Pill, in which Brill complains that Obamacare didn't do enough to tackle the exorbitantly high price of U.S. hospital care. "Obamacare does zero to change any of that," says Brill. That's not exactly right. What Brill—and CBS—don't tell you—is ...


Avik Roy: Democrats, Including Nancy Pelosi, Proposed Repealing Medicare In 1993
Posted: December 27, 2014 at 12:47 PM (Saturday)

In 2011, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a set of modest reforms to the Medicare program proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan. In response, Democrats charged that Republicans were seeking to "end Medicare as we know it," a claim that even liberal organs like PolitiFact called "the lie of the year." But there's a greater irony to Democrats' ...


Avik Roy: Six Reasons Why Vermont's Single-Payer Health Plan Was Doomed From The Start
Posted: December 21, 2014 at 11:52 PM (Sunday)

Last week, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin (D.) announced that he was pulling the plug on his four-year quest to impose single-payer, government-run health care on the residents of his state. "In my judgment," said Shumlin at a press conference, "the potential economic disruption and risks would be too great to small businesses, working ...


Avik Roy: Congress's Budget Office Needs Better Numbers
Posted: December 1, 2014 at 06:58 PM (Monday)

Among the CBO’s weaknesses is its inability to gauge the effect of private competition in reducing public costs. Most of us now are familiar with MIT economist Jonathan Gruber ’s boast that he and others took advantage of the “stupidity of the American voter” to push ObamaCare through Congress. Behind this boast is something that many ...


Avik Roy: Sen. Chuck Schumer, Obamacare Focused 'On The Wrong Problem,' Ignores The Middle Class
Posted: November 26, 2014 at 02:12 AM (Wednesday)

Despite the enduring unpopularity of Obamacare, Congressional Democrats have up to now stood by their health care law, allowing that "it's not perfect" but that they are proud of their votes to pass it. That all changed on Tuesday, when the Senate's third-highest-ranking Democrat—New York's Chuck Schumer—declared that "we took the public's ...


Avik Roy: 'Fair Share?' The Typical Beneficiary Of Obama's Illegal Immigration Plan Won't Pay Net Income Taxes
Posted: November 20, 2014 at 09:46 PM (Thursday)

On Thursday evening, President Obama unveiled his plan to offer legal status to approximately 5 million undocumented aliens. "If you're willing to pay your fair share of taxes," said Obama, "you'll be able to apply to stay in this country." But the President neglected to mention that the income of the typical illegal immigrant is so low that ...


Avik Roy: Two More Gruber Videos, Obamacare Architect Boasts Of Law's 'Exploitation' Of The American Voter
Posted: November 13, 2014 at 01:57 AM (Thursday)

On Tuesday, it came out that MIT economist Jonathan Gruber—Obamacare's architect—had said that he and his Democratic colleagues had concealed the health law's true costs from the public in order to take advantage of the "stupidity of the American voter" and pass the bill. Gruber then went on MSNBC and claimed that his comments were "off the ...


Avik Roy: ACA Architect, 'The Stupidity Of The American Voter' Led Us To Hide Obamacare's True Costs From The Public
Posted: November 10, 2014 at 05:32 PM (Monday)

You've got to hand it to MIT economist Jonathan Gruber. The guy dubbed the "Obamacare architect" is a viral YouTube sensation. A few months back, he was caught on tape admitting that Obamacare doesn't provide subsidies for federally-run insurance exchanges; it's now the topic of a new case before the Supreme Court. Today, new video surfaced ...


Avik Roy: Seven Obamacare Bills That The New GOP Senate Majority Should Pass In 2015
Posted: November 5, 2014 at 02:29 AM (Wednesday)

Republicans have retaken the Senate in the 2014 midterm elections. As of this writing, Republicans will gain somewhere between 7 and 9 seats—depending on what happens in Louisiana and Alaska—for a total of 52 to 54. The new Republican majority will doubtless hold a symbolic vote to repeal Obamacare. But more importantly, Republicans will now ...


Avik Roy: Gov Kasich, Only 'Political Or Ideological' People Oppose Ohio's Medicaid Expansion
Posted: October 23, 2014 at 12:01 AM (Thursday)

Last year, Ohio governor John Kasich (R.) claimed that opponents of Obamacare's Medicaid expansion would, literally, rot in hell. This week, he claimed that it wasn't possible to be a sincere, principled critic of the Medicaid program. "The opposition to it was really either political or ideological," Kasich told the Associated Press. Kasich ...


Avik Roy: Jeanne Shaheen's Dishonest Claim That Obamacare Doesn't Cut Medicare
Posted: October 22, 2014 at 01:17 PM (Wednesday)

In last night's U.S. Senate debate in New Hampshire between incumbent Jeanne Shaheen (D.) and challenger Scott Brown (R.), Shaheen uttered a flat-out, bald-faced lie: that Obamacare doesn't cut Medicare spending to pay for its expansion of coverage to the uninsured. It's a talking point that a number of Democratic Senate candidates—and ...


Avik Roy: Mitch McConnell Is Right -- You Can Repeal Obamacare And Keep Kentucky's Insurance Exchange
Posted: October 15, 2014 at 02:15 AM (Wednesday)

The other night in a debate between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) and his challenger, Alison Lundergan Grimes (D.), McConnell argued that it was "fine" to keep Kentucky's insurance exchange, called Kynect, while repealing Obamacare "root and branch." This has led the lefty blogosphere to explode in outrage. But Sen. McConnell ...


Avik Roy: Can Republicans Repeal Obamacare Without Disrupting Coverage For Tens Of Millions?
Posted: September 27, 2014 at 01:47 PM (Saturday)

In 2012, the conventional wisdom among conservatives and Republicans was that the presidential election of that year was of paramount importance. If Mitt Romney didn't defeat President Obama, Obamacare's trillions in health care subsidies would go online, and the law would become "impossible to repeal." That was then. Today, repeal remains ...


Avik Roy: Obamacare Has Failed To Collapse -- But Its Premiums Continue To Climb
Posted: September 14, 2014 at 02:43 AM (Sunday)

Democrats are trumpeting preliminary estimates indicating that premiums on Obamacare's insurance exchanges will rise modestly, on average, in 2015. These early indications have led to a peculiar type of crowing from Obamacare supporters: "See, Obamacare isn't collapsing!" And it's true: Obamacare isn't collapsing. But in the real world, we ...


Avik Roy: As Many Predicted, Obamacare's Healthcare.Gov Reports Hack Attack; Security Remains Compromised
Posted: September 5, 2014 at 02:35 AM (Friday)

For years, experts in internet security have been warning of Obamacare's vulnerability to hackers. Given the amount of sensitive data that Obamacare requires you to disclose in order to take advantage of its various subsidies, and the incompetence of government website contractors, it was a disaster in waiting. Well, the disaster has happened. ...


Avik Roy: Obamacare Is Dampening The Job Market In 3 Principal Ways
Posted: September 1, 2014 at 11:00 PM (Monday)

For most Americans, Labor Day is an opportunity to take an extra day off of work and enjoy a long weekend with family and friends. But for more than 100 million Americans, Labor Day isn't a day off from work. That's because two-fifths of the population is either unemployed, or out of the workforce altogether. The U.S. economy is still not back ...


Avik Roy: Revisions To 'Transcending Obamacare' Based On Reader Feedback
Posted: August 21, 2014 at 12:20 AM (Thursday)

Last week, I released a new health-reform plan, entitled "Transcending Obamacare: A Patient-Centered Plan for Near-Universal Coverage and Permanent Fiscal Solvency." The plan gradually replaces Obamacare and our other health-care entitlements with a set of reformed, consumer-driven health insurance exchanges. Since then, I've received some ...

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