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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


Three Obamacare Tweaks That Both Parties Can Love

by Lanhee J. Chen, James C. Caprettavia Politico
Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The Republican loss of the House last November brought an official end (at least through 2020) to the party’s long campaign to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The Democrats, despite their new majority, won’t be able to pass their health care agenda either, because the Republican president and Senate will block it.


Medicare Reforms Both Parties Can Live With

by Lanhee J. Chen, James C. Caprettavia Politico
Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Last year’s war on Capitol Hill over repealing Obamacare might suggest that when it comes to health care, Democrats and Republicans can’t agree on anything. But we think that’s too simplistic.


Yes, There’s Hope For Health Care Reform

by Lanhee J. Chen, James C. Caprettavia The New York Times
Friday, August 31, 2018

The political divide over the insurance provisions of the Affordable Care Act looks to be unbridgeable for now, but out of public view, Republicans and Democrats are quietly forging a consensus on an even more consequential aspect of medical care: improving its value for all Americans by increasing its quality and lowering its cost.

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In December 2017, the Republican Congress, working with the Trump administration, repealed the tax penalties enforcing the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate, effective in 2019.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Republicans in Congress and the Trump administration repealed the penalties associated with the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate in the tax act that passed in December.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.