November 21, 2016

Healthcare Research Toolkit

A Guide to Healthcare Policy in the 115th Congress

Over the next few months, the future of the Affordable Care Act and healthcare policy remains uncertain. Mercatus Center experts continue to research and discuss the debate over health insurance, health care innovation, Medicare, Medicaid, and more as the 115th Congress addresses these issues. Mercatus scholars recognize the importance and need for foundational research and economic insights into a sector that is not only one-fifth of the US economy, but also impacts every citizen. The following pieces address the most likely topics of discussion. To view our complete body of work on health care, visit our health care program page.

  • Congress must now honor its commitment to free the country from the ACA and replace it with sensible reforms.

    Brian Blase
    November 11, 2016
  • The ACA is failing to deliver on numerous promises made when it became law six-and-a-half years ago. Congress should take all actions available to prevent the administration, which has already delivered billions in unlawful payments to insurers through the CSR and reinsurance programs, from using taxpayer money to bail out insurers through the risk corridor program in an attempt to prop up the law’s untenable aspects a little longer.

    Brian Blase
    September 11, 2016
  • Sensible Medicaid reform has two central goals: reduce the unsustainable trajectory of spending and produce better outcomes for people most in need.

    Brian Blase
    September 18, 2016
  • Replacing the ACA offers a genuine opportunity for Congress to fix a lot of the problems with health care markets—problems that begin with government policy favoring comprehensive health insurance over all other methods of financing health care expenses.

    Brian Blase
    November 16, 2016
  • 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.

    Casey B. Mulligan
    October 7, 2014
  • Proponents of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have frequently pointed to official cost estimates projecting that the law will reduce federal budget deficits. Much less attention has been paid to the primary reason for this favorable outlook: the law’s heavy reliance on indexing important provisions to restrain spending and increase revenue. These components of the ACA will automatically impose perpetual, across-the-board cuts on payments to certain institutional medical providers; increase premiums for lower-income households; and raise taxes on an ever-expanding segment of taxpayers.

    James C. Capretta, Joseph Antos
    October 27, 2015
  • We should not seek to “bend the cost curve,” but rather to break it to bits. Enabling more people to receive better care at lower cost on a continuous basis requires replicating the plunging costs and soaring quality in computing, transportation, agriculture, manufacturing, distribution, and communication.

    Robert Graboyes
    October 14, 2013