Christopher J. Conover

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Obamacare consultant Jonathan Gruber testifies before a U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on "Examining Obama Transparency Failures" in Washington December 9, 2014. Reuters

Yesterday, Jonathan Gruber’s hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee left several key questions unanswered.

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Anyone who has listened to the Gruber tapes has heard Prof. Gruber’s repeated references to the “three-legged stool” that forms the core of Obamacare. However, those who pay close attention to his remarks may have detected that Gruber enthusiastically endorses (and Obamacare contains) a more sinister three-legged stool of deception regarding employer health plans.

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Remember this categorical assurance from President Obama? “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits.”

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A recent FDA regulation on graphic warning labels for cigarettes has resurrected a huge debate among health economists over whether adult smoking is a rational choice or merely the consequence of an addiction.

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Would it be economically and ethically feasible to have employers sponsor health insurance for a mixed, high-risk population? My argument is that accounting for deadweight losses tips the scales back in favor of ESI vs. Medicaid.

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Comparing the cost of employer-sponsored insurance to the cost of either Medicare or Medicaid is a completely stacked comparison even if we fully adjust for every iota of age and health status differences between these three populations and use an apples-to-apples comparison of plans having the identical benefits and actuarial value.

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How Risky Is It to Be Uninsured?  - feat. image

Our hodgepodge of efforts to help the uninsured have substantially reduced the incentive to buy coverage.

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Where is Obamacare headed? I tried to answer that question in a talk today at an advanced research seminar on Healthcare and the Regulatory State sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies and Mercatus Center.

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As President Truman’s legendary Oval Office desk sign reminds us, “The buck stops here” when it comes to presidential leadership. So whether President Obama likes it or not, the public and historians are likely to base their assessment of his performance on how well his “signature piece of domestic legislation” was implemented. 

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Let’s focus on the 3.8 million Americans that the RAND Corporation estimates will become newly uninsured as a result of this law.  While there arguably are tens of millions of other losers created by this ill-conceived law, these 3.8 million arguably are its biggest losers.

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