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James C. Capretta

James Capretta, a former associate director at the White House Office of Management and Budget, is a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

Making Health Insurance Enrollment As Automatic As Possible (Part 2)

by Stan Dorn, James C. Capretta, Lanhee J. Chenvia Health Affairs
Thursday, May 3, 2018

In December 2017, the Republican Congress, working with the Trump administration, repealed the tax penalties enforcing the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate, effective in 2019. Although the degree of the mandate’s efficacy is uncertain, its repeal is sure to lead to additional Americans going without coverage, exacerbating the instability that now affects the individual insurance markets of many states.


Republicans Need A Nudge To Lower Health Care Costs

by Lanhee J. Chen, James C. Caprettavia The New York Times
Monday, February 12, 2018

Republicans in Congress and the Trump administration repealed the penalties associated with the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate in the tax act that passed in December. Now they need to replace the mandate with something that will address rising premiums and command broader support. Automatic enrollment into health insurance plans is a good place to start.

Analysis and Commentary

The Senate Should Build Automatic Enrollment Into Health Reform. Here’s How.

by Lanhee J. Chen, James C. Caprettavia Health Affairs
Monday, June 5, 2017

As the discussion over the future of health reform continues in the United States Senate, some Republicans are looking for ways to boost coverage levels, help stabilize insurance markets, and lower health costs. For years, the U.S. has had insurance enrollment levels below what was possible because of lower than desirable take-up of existing options.


How The GOP Could Nudge The Uninsured Toward Coverage

by James C. Capretta, Lanhee J. Chenvia Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Automatically enroll many Americans in no-premium, high-deductible policies unless they opt out.


Macra: The Quiet Health-Care Takeover

by James C. Capretta, Lanhee J. Chenvia Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A 962-page rule puts the federal government between doctors and patients.

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Healthy Budget, Healthy Americans

by Lanhee J. Chen, James C. Caprettavia Hoover Digest
Monday, April 18, 2016

Six ways to put consumers, and not bureaucrats, in control.


Instead Of ObamaCare: Giving Health-Care Power To The People

by Lanhee J. Chen, James C. Caprettavia Wall Street Journal
Friday, January 22, 2016
The next president can replace the Affordable Care Act and focus on consumer choice. Here’s how.
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Analysis and Commentary

A Market-Based Contingency Plan For King V. Burwell

by Lanhee J. Chen, James C. Capretta, Yuval Levin, Ramesh Ponnuru, Joseph Antos, Thomas Miller, Avik Roy, Gail R. Wilensky, David Wilsonvia Health Affairs
Monday, June 15, 2015

If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the plaintiffs in the King v. Burwell case, Congress will have the opportunity to advance health care policies that expand consumer choice, increase coverage, deliver better value for the dollar, and allow state governments more say over health care policy.

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Analysis and Commentary

Remember ‘Reconciliation’? The GOP Can Move An Agenda Without Democratic Support

by Lanhee J. Chen, James C. Caprettavia National Review
Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Congressional Republicans are engaged in an important internal discussion over how best to use the arcane procedural mechanism known as “budget reconciliation.” Making the right decision about how to employ reconciliation could be the difference between a successful start to a conservative policy revival, or a lost year.

Analysis and Commentary

Lessons From The 1995 Strategy

by James C. Capretta, Lanhee J. Chenvia The Weekly Standard
Monday, December 1, 2014

The Republican victory in the midterm election was decisive. Now the victors must chart a sensible course for the next two years—one that demonstrates they can be trusted as America’s governing party and sets the table for 2016.