Unaffordable Care Act: An Expensive Political Monument

The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) reported on January 28th 2014 that healthcare costs are a crushing burden on about a quarter of US families.  Perhaps the “1 in 4” quantification is the main value in the report, because acknowledging healthcare as a financial burden is too obvious. NCHS chose not to highlight the […]

Coming to a Health Plan Near You

CVS recently adopted a wellness review as prerequisite for employee healthcare coverage.  If the employee refuses to reveal weight, height, age and other health indicators to the health insurer, health insurance can still be had – but at a $600 penalty.  Employer arm twisting on health insurance has been common for a decade – especially […]

Who Pays the New Half Trillion in Regulatory Costs?

The Obama administration issued an unprecedented number of new regulations last year.  According to a new study by the American Action Forum, the administration added $236 billion dollars worth of new regulations and regulatory proposal in 2012 alone, putting the grand total of first term regulatory costs at $518 billion. According to their estimate, the […]

Should you Dine in or Dine out? The Price of Convenience

Restaurants are a significant part of the economy.  Americans have a love affair with restaurants persisting even through our recent economic slump.   In 2010 there were 11 million food preparation and serving employees, paid a median wage of $9.02/hr.   In 2009, we spent an average of $2,619 per household for “food away from home” (largely […]

Medicaid to stop paying for certain ‘preventable’ medical errors

Each year, Medicaid pays about $7 million to doctors and hospitals for certain preventable mistakes such as operating on the wrong body part or accidentally leaving a foreign object in a patient after surgery. That’s supposed to stop under a new federal rule. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a rule June […]

Phone Scam Raids Consumer’s Wallets

Our last ConsumerGram analyzed the hidden telephone fees that consumers pay as a result of an outdated system of regulated payments between telephone companies. We concluded then that these payments represent subsidies that hurt consumers, are inefficient, and are not sustainable in the face of increasing competition. Moreover, the subsidy scheme works to discourage investment […]

What is the Real Cost of Owning a Printer?

The Lack of Industry Standards Leads Consumers to Overspend $6 Billion for Home Computer Printers and Printer Ink A major study released by the Institute found that consumers were being lured into buying inexpensive printers, only later to pay substantially more for ink. In a recent ConsumerGram, we concluded that giving all consumers more information […]

Consumers Pay More for Insurance Price Regulation; Get Little in Return

Mounting evidence shows that onerous state-based price regulation has adverse consequences on insurance markets — increasing industry costs, discouraging market entry and competition, and creating price distortions. This ConsumerGram provides additional evidence that state-based price regulation of automobile insurance tends to increase consumer prices, thereby reducing consumer welfare. These studies suggest that state-based price regulation […]