Health Care

Health Care

Research

Matthew Mitchell, Anna Mills, Dana Williams | Jan 15, 2015
In this paper we discuss three ways that states can benefit patients by making their health care markets more competitive: they can abolish certificate-of-need laws, liberalize scope-of-practice regulations, and remove barriers to telemedicine.
Robert Emmet Moffit, Neil Meredith | Jan 13, 2015
In a new study for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, scholars Robert Emmet Moffit and Neil R. Meredith demonstrate that while the MSP Program grants new power to the OPM by setting standards designed to limit entry into the program, the law may decrease competition and increase consolidation in the health insurance market. Decreased competition in the health care market may lead to higher prices for consumers of health care and could revive calls for a public health insurance option.
Robert Graboyes | Oct 20, 2014
This paper suggests some potential policy actions to shift health care from Fortress to Frontier, and toward a goal of producing better health for more people at lower cost on a continuous basis.
Casey B. Mulligan | Oct 07, 2014
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) imposes several types of incentives that will affect work schedules. The largest of them are (1) an explicit penalty on employers who do not offer coverage to their full-time employees; (2) an implicit tax on full-time employment, stemming from the fact that full-time employees at employers that offer affordable coverage are ineligible to receive subsidies on the law’s new health insurance exchanges; and (3) an implicit tax on earnings, stemming from the provisions of the law that give lower subsidies to those with higher incomes.
Douglas Webber, James Bailey | May 28, 2014
As of 2011, the average US state had 37 health insurance benefit mandates, laws requiring health insurance plans to cover a specific treatment, condition, provider, or person. This number is a massive increase from less than one mandate per state in 1965, and the topic takes on a new significance now, when the federal government is considering many new mandates as part of the “essential health benefits” required by the Affordable Care Act.
Marc Joffe | Apr 02, 2014
The high and rising cost of US medical care is partially attributable to legally enforced rigidities in the health care system. By relaxing restrictions, the government can unlock competitive forces that drive prices down and empower individuals to avoid unnecessary, expensive medical services. A more open health care market would give providers incentives to innovate in ways that not only improve the quality of care but also reduce the cost of offering it.

Testimony & Comments

Research Summaries & Toolkits

Expert Commentary

Jan 26, 2015

The next big wave of innovation, if it is allowed, is in health. The only question is whether we will embrace the new pioneers of health innovation or smother them in wet woolen blankets of regulation. The choices are fairly stark: We can settle for the status quo of turning everything into a “policy” or embrace policy-less innovation.
Jan 12, 2015

Why, in the case of the Affordable Care Act, do we force journalists and ordinary Americans to play an utterly unnecessary game of “guess how many beans are in the jar?" The result wastes time and resources, diverting our attention from more substantive issues such as, “How is the law actually affecting the health and the pocketbooks of Americans?”…
Jan 09, 2015

Shifting health care to the Frontier opens the possibility of real progress — of better health for more people at lower cost, year after year. This approach also offers alternatives to the all-encompassing ACA and its earth-shattering repeal-and-replace alternatives. My paper suggests a few dozen small initiatives to begin the transition. There are hundreds more waiting just behind. If we so choose.
e21
Nov 10, 2014

The ACA contains myriad problems; these and other provisions will come under increased scrutiny going forward. As lawmakers approach repairs, they will need to bear in mind what is politically achievable as well as what is fiscally responsible.
e21
Nov 03, 2014

A recent Senate Budget Committee (SBC) Republican report about the fiscal effects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or so-called “Obamacare”) has stimulated public and press interest. The report concluded that whereas earlier analyses appeared to find the ACA would reduce deficits, updated analysis employing Congressional Budget Office (CBO) methodology finds it is worsening deficits.
CNN
Oct 24, 2014

Smiling children are using prosthetic hands to open windows through which we can glimpse the future of health care -- a future where outsiders and amateurs innovate along with insiders and professionals. The question is, "Will America lead the way, as it has for a century, or will it fall behind, as it has begun to do?"

Charts

Currently, 35 states and the District of Columbia prohibit entry or expansion of healthcare facilities through “certificate-of-need” (CON) programs. These laws, which require government permission before a facility can expand, offer a new service, or purchase certain pieces of equipment, were enacted in the belief that restricting entry would lower health care costs and increase availability of these services to the poor.

Experts

Charles Blahous is the director of the Spending and Budget Initiative, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and a public trustee for Social Security and Medicare. He specializes in domestic economic policy and retirement security (with an emphasis on Social Security), as well as federal fiscal policy, entitlements, demographic change, and health-care reform.
Robert Graboyes is a senior research fellow for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.
Christopher J. Conover is an affiliated senior scholar at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and a research scholar at the Center for Health Policy & Inequalities Research at Duke University.
Jerry Ellig is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and a former assistant professor of economics at George Mason University. He specializes in the federal regulatory process, economic regulation, and telecommunications regulation.
Michael L. Marlow is an affiliated senior scholar at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and professor of economics and distinguished scholar at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Podcasts

Casey B. Mulligan | October 14, 2014
Casey B. Mulligan Discusses the Affordable Care Act on the John Batchelor Show

Recent Events

Please join us for lunch with Mercatus Center Senior Research Fellow Jason Fichtner to discuss pro-growth policy options. He’ll also address the research and ideas Mercatus shares with policymakers in order to advance the debate on economic issues.

Books

Media Clippings

Casey B. Mulligan | Oct 09, 2014
This excerpt originally appeared in The Washington Times.
Robert Graboyes | Sep 25, 2014
This excerpt originally appeared in Reuters.
Charles Blahous | Jun 04, 2014
This excerpt originally appeared in CQ and also appeared Roll Call.
Robert Graboyes | Jan 29, 2014
Robert Graboyes cited at Star-Telegram.
Tyler Cowen | Oct 30, 2013
Tyler Cowen cited at The Washington Post.
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