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Search Results for 'third party payer'

Most people would say high prices are the biggest problem with health care in the United States. But high prices should be viewed as the symptom of the real problem, which is “third-party payer.” And what is third-party payer? It’s the fact that consumers purchase health care with other people’s money. And we should blame […]

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I’ve shared many videos (here, here, here, here, here, and here) explaining how government has made America’s health system expensive and inefficient. I especially recommend my 2019 speech to the European Resource Bank. Now let’s add this video to our collection. One lesson to take from all these videos is that the main problem with America’s […]

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The main problem with America’s health care system is government intervention (Medicare, Medicaid, the tax code’s healthcare exclusion, etc). The main symptom of all that intervention is pervasive “third-party payer,” which is the term for a system where people buy goods and services with other people’s money. And pervasive is no exaggeration. According to government […]

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In addition to speaking on tax competition at the European Resource Bank in Moldova, I also appeared on a panel about healthcare. I used the opportunity to explain how government-created “third-party payer” has crippled market forces in the United States and produced inefficiency and needlessly high costs. There are two visuals from my presentation I […]

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What’s the most effective way of screwing up a sector of the economy? Since I’m a fiscal policy economist, I’m tempted to say that bad tax policy is the fastest way of causing damage. And France might be my top example. But other forms of government intervention also can have a poisonous effect. Regulation, for […]

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People sometimes think I’m strange for being so focused on the economic harm that results from third-party payer. But bear with me and we’ll see why it’s a very important issue. If you’re not already familiar with the term, third-party payer exists when someone other than the consumer is paying for something. And it’s a […]

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America’s health care system is a mess, and we can assign almost all the blame on government. Simply stated, we don’t have functioning and efficient markets because Medicaid, Medicare, tax-code distortions, and other forms of regulation and intervention have created a system that is crippled by a third-party payer crisis. There’s no logical reason to […]

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Taxes and spending are two of the most obvious burdens imposed by government, and I’m glad that many people are fighting against a political class that seems to have a limitless appetite for a bigger public sector. But politicians also can do great damage to an economy with mandates, regulations, and other forms of intervention. […]

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John Goodman of the NCPA has a great article about how the current healthcare system is heavily distorted by government policies that result in people making decision with other people’s money (or at least what they perceive as other people’s money). The excerpt below is a good summary of John’s key points, but I’ll add […]

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A major problem with America’s healthcare system, both before and after Obamacare, is the fact that consumers very rarely spend their own money when obtaining healthcare. Known as third-party payer, this problem exists in part because government directly finances almost 50 percent of healthcare expenditures. But even a majority of supposedly private healthcare spending is […]

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I’m on my way back to the United States from England. My election-week coverage (starting here and ending here) is finished, but I’m still in the mood to write about the United Kingdom. Yesterday, I shared some “Great Moments in British Government” and today I want to look at the U.K.’s single-payer health scheme. The […]

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The best budget rule in the United States is Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Known as TABOR, this provision in the state’s constitution says revenues can’t grow faster than population plus inflation. Any revenue greater than that amount must be returned to taxpayers. Combined with the state’s requirement for a balanced budget, this means Colorado […]

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Government subsidies have an unfortunate habit of causing widespread economic damage and often result in huge burdens for taxpayers (though sometimes consumers are the ones getting pillaged). Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac subsidies contributed to a massive housing bubble that destabilized the entire financial system. Means-tested subsidies have undermined progress on poverty by trapping people […]

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When Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton agree on things, it’s always bad news for taxpayers. They both want to boost the capital gains tax rate on private equity investment. They both want to let the entitlement problem fester and worsen. They both want more federally financed pork-barrel spending on infrastructure. Now they both agree that […]

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Yesterday, I shared several stories that exposed the festering corruption of Washington. Today, let’s look at one issue that symbolizes the pervasive waste of Washington. Medicare is the federal government’s one-size-fits-all health program for the elderly. Because of its poor design, it bears considerable responsibility for two massive problems. It contributes to the systemic third-party […]

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I’m a huge fan of Switzerland, largely because its voters approved a spending cap that should be a role model for other nations. It’s called the “debt brake” and it has helped reduce the burden of government spending in Switzerland at a time when most nations in Europe have been moving in the wrong direction. […]

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The new leftist website, Vox, has an article by Sarah Kliff on Vermont’s experiment with a single-payer healthcare system. But I don’t really have much to say about what’s happening in the Green Mountain State, other than to declare that I much prefer healthcare experiments to occur at the state level. Indeed, we should reform […]

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My all-time most-viewed blog post wasn’t the parable about beer and the tax system. Nor was it the joke about California, Texas, and the Coyote. Those won the silver and bronze trophies. The gold medal belongs to the two pictures that explain how the welfare state begins and how it ends. Those images make a […]

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Back in 2009, before Obamacare, the United States had a healthcare system that was plagued by excessive government intervention, which led to a third-party-payer crisis and massive inefficiencies. Perversely, the President thought the way to solve these problems was even more intervention, even though lots of people were warning that additional government spending and added […]

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While doing research for an upcoming video, I found an excellent study from the National Center for Policy Analysis that explains how “third-party payer” is largely preventing markets from operating in health care. Government policies (including tax distortions) are the cause of the problem, yet the polticians want to expand third-party payments. Here’s an excerpt […]

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Here are some of America’s main economic problems. Painful inflation caused by bad monetary policy by the government. Excessive spending and debt caused by bad fiscal policy by the government. Rising prices and waste caused by bad health policy by the government. Inflexibility and inefficiency caused by bad regulatory policy by the government. And that’s […]

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For years, I’ve been explaining that students have been hurt rather than helped by government programs to allegedly make higher education more affordable. How can this be true? For the simple reason that colleges and universities dramatically boosted tuition in response to all the government subsidies. Did students somehow benefit? Hardly. In addition to much […]

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It is very common for politicians to cause a problem with government intervention and then use the problem as an excuse for even bigger government. I call this the lather-rinse-repeat cycle of government failure. And the current controversy over student loan forgiveness is a perfect example. Politicians decided to subsidize student loans. Colleges and universities […]

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I’m not a fan of the government-distorted health system in the United States. Various laws and programs from Washington have created a massive problem with third-party payer, which makes America’s system very expensive and inefficient. But it’s possible to have a system that is even worse. Americans can look across the ocean at the United […]

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Two days ago, I explained that spending caps are better than anti-deficit rules. In this clip from the same panel discussion, I talk about how a spending cap should be designed. The key design issue is how fast spending should increase. For libertarians and Reaganite conservatives, the goal is to shrink the burden of government. […]

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Yesterday’s column explained that Biden’s proposals to expand the welfare state were bad news, in part because government subsidies often lead to inefficiency and higher prices. That’s not a smart strategy when inflation already is at 40-year highs. President Biden did address the topic of rising prices during his speech, but his approach was so […]

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Joe Biden’s economic policy has been a disaster. He’s bad on the issues where Trump was bad (spending and trade). He’s bad on the issues where Trump was good (most notably, taxes). And he’s bad on the issues where Trump had a mixed record (regulation). Based on his track record as a long-time Senator, none […]

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The health care system in the United States is expensive and inefficient, and both of those problems are caused by government. More specifically, politicians have enacted laws (everything from the tax code’s exclusion of fringe benefits to programs such as Medicare and Medicaid) that have produced a system overwhelmingly based on third-party payer. And with […]

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Biden’s budget plan is based on fraudulent numbers, but it is also based on the fraudulent idea that a big, European-style welfare state can be financed without fleecing lower-income and middle-class taxpayers. I’ve repeatedly pointed out that this is not true, but it’s time to turn this fiscal fact into a Theorem of Government. Some […]

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During his 2012 reelection campaign, Barack Obama created a fictional character named Julia and showed how she could mooch off taxpayers from cradle to grave. Given Biden’s reputation as a plagiarizer, I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that the White House has reincarnated Julia as part of a push to trap more people in government […]

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