From the National Center for Policy Analysis:
The effect of Obamacare on innovation within the health care sector is staggering. Scott Atlas, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, explains how the law has begun to change research, development and innovation — activities which traditionally have taken place in the United States — thanks to the ACA’s $500 billion in new taxes, many of which fall on medical device and drug manufacturers. The result? Companies are moving overseas.
via Obamacare: Sending Research, Development and Innovation Overseas.
In The Wall Street Journal, Mark Sklar writes about endlessly entering data or calling for permission to prescribe or trying to avoid Medicare penalties—when should I see patients? Sklar writes:
The patient should be the arbiter of the physician’s quality of care. Contrary to what our government may believe, the average American has the intellectual capacity to judge. To give people more control of their medical choices, we should move away from third-party payment. t may be more prudent to offer the public a high-deductible insurance plan with a tax-deductible medical savings account that people could use until the insurance deductible is reached. Members of the public thus would be spending their own health-care dollars and have an incentive to shop around for better value. This would encourage competition among providers and ultimately lower health-care costs.
Mark Sklar: Doctoring in the Age of ObamaCare – WSJ.
Do you use sunscreen or sunblock? The Washington Post explains how the FDA forces you to use inferior products:
The tourists flocking to the French Riviera or Spain’s Costa del Sol this summer will slather on sunscreen containing the latest ingredients for protecting against the sun’s most harmful ultraviolet rays.
But American beachgoers will have to make do with sunscreens that dermatologists and cancer-research groups say are less effective and have changed little over the past decade.
That’s because applications for the newer sunscreen ingredients have languished for years in the bureaucracy of the Food and Drug Administration, which must approve the products before they reach consumers.
“We have a system here that’s completely broken down, and everybody knows that it has broken down,” said Wendy Selig, president of the Melanoma Research Alliance, the largest private funder of melanoma research.
Via Marginal Revolution: Still Burned by the FDA.
It’s FDA policies like the above that validate my view of the agency as one run by paternalistic overlords.
See also: FDAreview.org, Cato on the FDA, “Kill the FDA (Before it Kills Again)“, and this video by economist Dan Klein:
In the Greeley Tribune, Linda Gorman writes:
Some Colorado legislators have shown impeccable timing in seeking to exacerbate the problem. Sen. Irene Aguilar, D-Denver, and Rep. Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City, have introduced Senate Bill 016, which would force the closure of already existing freestanding emergency rooms unless they are owned by a hospital. SB 016 provides an exemption for emergency rooms more than 25 miles from a licensed hospital. Given the geographic structure of the Front Range corridor, however, the practical effect of the bill would be to give hospitals monopoly control of all emergency facilities. …
Colorado’s hospitals are big businesses. As the bill to close competitive emergency rooms shows, they would rather outlaw competitors than outproduce them. Colorado legislators need to remember that handing hospitals a monopoly over freestanding emergency rooms does not serve the best interests of their constituents. It will increase health care costs while reducing health care access, and increase the pain for ordinary citizens already suffering from Obamacare cost increases.
More: Gorman: Senate Bill 016 a boost to health care cronyism in Colorado | GreeleyTribune.com.
Jon R. Lott, Jr. writes in the Wall Street Journal:
Yet despite being at the center of the gun-control debate for decades, neither President Obama nor Ms. Feinstein (the author of the 1994 legislation) seems to understand the leading research on the effects of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban. In addition, they continue to mislabel the weapons they seek to ban. …
Ms. Feinstein points to two studies by criminology professors Chris Koper and Jeff Roth for the National Institute of Justice to back up her contention that the ban reduced crime. [But these authors concluded just the opposite]. …
The large-capacity ammunition magazines used by some of these killers are also misunderstood. The common perception that so-called “assault weapons” can hold larger magazines than hunting rifles is simply wrong. Any gun that can hold a magazine can hold one of any size. …
Ms. Feinstein’s new proposal also calls for gun registration, and the reasoning is straightforward: If a gun has been left at a crime scene and it was registered to the person who committed the crime, the registry will link the crime gun back to the criminal.
Nice logic, but in reality it hardly ever works that way. Guns are very rarely left behind at a crime scene. When they are, they’re usually stolen or unregistered. …
If we finally want to deal seriously with multiple-victim public shootings, it’s time that we acknowledge a common feature of these attacks: With just a single exception, the attack in Tucson last year, every public shooting in the U.S. in which more than three people have been killed since at least 1950 has occurred in a place where citizens are not allowed to carry their own firearms.
Read the whole article: John Lott: The Facts About Assault Weapons and Crime – WSJ.com.
From Peter Suderman at Reason.com:
Over the weekend, The New York Times published a report noting that health insurers across the nation are both “seeking and winning double-digit increases in premiums” — this despite the fact that “one of the biggest objectives of the Obama administration’s health care law was to stem the rapid rise in insurance costs for consumers.” …
What’s going on? Why are these rates going up?
Suderman explains how mandated benefits explain some of the increase. He then explains a less obvious culprit: mandatory medical loss ratios. Suderman writes:
The MLR is an accounting requirement which says that insurers have to spend at least 80 percent of their total premium revenue on medical expenses, leaving just 20 percent for administrative costs, marketing, and other non-medical expenditures. Any insurer that fails to meet this target must issue rebates to customers. This year, insurers rebated about $1 billion.
The MLR provision creates two incentives for insurers to jack up health insurance premiums. One is the plain fact that with profit and administrative costs capped as a percentage of premium revenue, the easiest way to generate larger profits is to charge higher premiums.
The other is that the rebate requirement means insurers may need to charge higher up-front premiums in order to protect themselves from the risk of a bad year.
Read more: Is ObamaCare Causing Health Insurance Premiums to Rise? – Hit & Run : Reason.com.