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Guard Your Liberty

By Christopher J. Coyne and Abigail R. Hall Blanco One of the greatest threats to freedom is indifference by those who possess it. In the aftermath of shootings, terror attacks, wars, and other unsettling geopolitical events, the political elite frequently confronts citizens with a supposed tradeoff between liberty and “safety”. Citizens are told that…
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Chicken and Egg in Consumer-Driven Health Care

An advocate of consumer-driven health care will often be challenged by this question: “So, when I am hit by a bus, or have a heart attack or stroke, or am suffering from dementia, you want me to go shopping around for medical care?” Obviously not. Nevertheless, this is a serious challenge and invites the…
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Medicare Pays for Prevention – For the First Time

The Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services has announced that Medicare (that is, taxpayers) will pay for lifestyle-intervention program that prevents type 2 diabetes: In 2011, through funding provided by the Affordable Care Act, CMS awarded the National Council of Young Men’s Christian Associations of the United States of America (Y-USA) more than $11.8…
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Reconsidering “Must Vote” Arguments

As Americans move closer to November’s elections, the campaigns are gearing up to tell each of us how important it is to vote. One illustration is a recent Michael Barone article titled “A very few votes can make a big, big difference.” Barone makes his point by citing several close elections. Most prominent was…
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Blue Cross Blue Shield Confirms Obamacare Death Spiral

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, which represents 36 Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans covering 105 million Americans, has just released a study of its members’ claims data in Obamacare exchanges 2014 and 2015. It confirms that Obamacare exchange enrollees are sicker and more expensive than enrollees in pre-Obamacare individual plans or…
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The Myth of All-Payer Claims Databases

Most observers agree that it is very, very difficult for patients to choose health services wisely based on prices, because prices in U.S. health care are generally not transparent. The primary reason for this problem is that health providers haven’t relied on patients to pay their bills directly in many decades. Instead, their business…
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Apple Encryption and the Erosion of Privacy

In the wake of the terror attack in San Bernardino late last year, the FBI and other government agents set out to uncover as much information about the attackers as possible. After searching the suspects’ home, speaking with the families of the perpetrators, and looking for other clues, authorities had uncovered a great deal…
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Here’s an Argument for Not Nationalizing Health Care

National Public Radio, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Harvard University’s T. H. Chan School of Public Health have released findings of a February survey titled “Patients’ Perspectives on Health Care in the United States.” As with many such surveys, it does not send a very coherent signal about whether the people are largely…
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Two-Thirds of Patients’ Hospital Debts Are Unpaid

Healthcare business reporter Holly Fletcher of The Tennessean has written a very informative feature on the hospital revenue cycle, including a seven-deck slideshow that translates the process into layman’s terms. (The Tennessean is the best daily newspaper for understanding hospitals, because Nashville is home to for-profit hospital chains which control 60 percent of the…
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Atlas Shrugs

Ayn Rand’s 1957 novel, Atlas Shrugged, tells a story about what happens when the men of the mind go on strike. [Spoiler Alert: Plot details revealed ahead.] The book’s protagonist, John Galt, is an engineer who decides he is no longer willing to live in a society where others assert a claim over the…
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