Robert F. Graboyes

Robert F. Graboyes

Robert F. Graboyes is the senior health care adviser at the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) in Washington, D.C.

Archive: Robert F. Graboyes

Not an ending, only a beginning

For small business, the new health-care law begins a long struggle against cost increases, uncertainty and perverse incentives

By Robert F. Graboyes | March 31, 2010; 10:30 AM ET | Comments (0)

It will ravage small business

Higher taxes and higher insurance costs. An expensive employer mandate. How ironic, given the endlessly repeated, "Let's reform health care for the benefit of small business."

By Robert F. Graboyes | March 19, 2010; 04:34 PM ET | Comments (4)

The cash cows' beef

Small business has come to view insurers with hostility. In their view, private insurers -- both for-profits and not-for-profits -- use the small-group market as a cash cow.

By Robert F. Graboyes | March 11, 2010; 02:19 PM ET | Comments (0)

Peggy Lee sings health care

Reading the 11-page President's Proposal reminded me of lyrics that Peggy Lee sang: "Is that all there is? Is that all there is? If that's all there is, my friends, then let's keep dancing." Small business is not at all...

By Robert F. Graboyes | February 24, 2010; 03:40 PM ET | Comments (0)

Retreat, rethink, return to principles

Opponents of the current bills should not read the Massachusetts election as a license to sleep under a tree for another 15 years.

By Robert F. Graboyes | January 21, 2010; 06:18 AM ET | Comments (0)

Beware: destination unknown

The Senate and House bills offer only one certainty: tax upon tax upon tax. The bills delay meaningful health-care reform for four years, but immediately bury consumers and employers under a swarm of new taxes.

By Robert F. Graboyes | January 14, 2010; 05:37 PM ET | Comments (1)

A kick in the teeth

Once you understand this construction industry massacre, you're ready to explore the destruction contained in the other 4,000-or-so pages of these two bills.

By Robert F. Graboyes | January 7, 2010; 03:34 PM ET | Comments (0)

Disaster turns to disgrace

The destruction this bill will bring to small business cannot be overstated.

By Robert F. Graboyes | December 21, 2009; 08:29 PM ET | Comments (0)

Doughnuts in the parking lot

Even supporters are doing doughnuts in the parking lot trying to explain away the holes in this idea; the buy-in takes a really bad concept (the public option) and makes it worse.

By Robert F. Graboyes | December 15, 2009; 09:59 AM ET | Comments (0)

With a huge pen and sharp scissors

It will take a lot of work to make the Senate bill acceptable to small business. But since you ask, here's a holiday wish-list.

By Robert F. Graboyes | November 30, 2009; 03:38 PM ET | Comments (3)

Not Lucy Ricardo, but not Godot

The quality of the reform is far more important than the date of enactment. At the same time, that doesn't mean it's OK to kick back and relax for another 15 to 20 years.

By Robert F. Graboyes | November 18, 2009; 03:21 PM ET | Comments (0)

Start with a smaller burger

What can be done to improve the health of the nation immediately? Meaning the next year or two or three? Three points: (1) Individuals can do many things to improve health in a short time-span; (2) Government has very few...

By Robert F. Graboyes | November 3, 2009; 06:06 PM ET | Comments (1)

Not enough, and yet too much

All the bills currently under consideration need to focus more heavily on containing costs and restraining spending growth. Unfortunately, some of the bills would do the exact opposite, piling on new costs and pushing them upwards for years to come....

By Robert F. Graboyes | October 29, 2009; 06:19 PM ET | Comments (0)

Westminster health-care show

"Best health-care system" is like "best in show" at the Westminster Kennel Club. In the end, who cares if the judges cite 57 reasons for choosing the Chihuahua over the Siberian Husky? For that matter, maybe the winner should be a mutt. So it is with health-care systems.

By Robert F. Graboyes | October 22, 2009; 12:07 PM ET | Comments (8)

NFIB's Take

NFIB appreciates the many provisions in this package that reflect small businesses' needs, which are rooted in approaches that aim to lower cost, increase coverage options and provide real competition in the private marketplace.

By Robert F. Graboyes | October 14, 2009; 10:57 AM ET | Comments (0)

Killer Tax on Low-Income Workers? No!

It does nothing for the unemployed, self-employed or early retirees. It harms small and vulnerable firms, ultimately costing the economy jobs and revenue

By Robert F. Graboyes | October 7, 2009; 03:02 PM ET | Comments (0)

Malpractice Matters. We Can Do Better.

Generally, neither jurors nor judges are medical experts, so there's wide variation in the quality of rulings. Lawyers receive contingency pay, so bigger settlements mean bigger income. There's no penalty for filing frivolous lawsuits. Together, these factors generate strong incentives for plaintiffs to bring suit and for innocent defendants to pay settlements to avoid litigation and increased risk.

By Robert F. Graboyes | September 17, 2009; 03:49 PM ET | Comments (1)

Umpire or Play Ball, Not Both

Our biggest public plan is Medicare and its rigid, wasteful, antiquated reimbursement structure rewards doctors for poking, prodding, cutting and slicing, but not for getting patients healthy or keeping them that way.

By Robert F. Graboyes | August 7, 2009; 11:10 AM ET | Comments (3)

Amending Marshal Lyautey

Reform is not a slam-bang, do-it-today, enjoy-it-tomorrow proposition. Small business needs relief in the short-term and the long-term. They need health-care costs to rise more slowly, and eventually decline, while preserving and improving quality of care. They need quality insurance at a price they can afford. Congress can't accomplish that with 1,000 or more pages of detailed prescriptions. A successful bill has to give consumers, providers, and firms sufficient flexibility to discover new ways to deliver quality care and coverage. The present House bill does exactly the opposite.

By Robert F. Graboyes | July 29, 2009; 11:42 AM ET | Comments (0)

Rein Costs In or They'll Rein Us In

For small business, where problems are most immediate and acute, reform requires better insurance markets and delivery systems.

By Robert F. Graboyes | July 24, 2009; 01:33 PM ET | Comments (6)

Only If You Like Killing Jobs

This bill effectively tells small business owners, "Slow down. Don't grow. Don't create so many jobs."

By Robert F. Graboyes | July 16, 2009; 12:38 PM ET | Comments (7)

Innovation, Timeliness, Choice, Quality

Ask a small business owner what works in the health-care system, and his answer is likely to be "not too much." But American health care has some truly admirable features, including medical innovation and freedom to choose providers, and we don't want to jeopardize them as we pursue reform.

By Robert F. Graboyes | July 2, 2009; 11:26 AM ET | Comments (4)

Message to Obama from Small Businesses

People become small-business owners in part so they can make their own decisions and control their own destinies. Health insurance frustrates small business owners because it's the one cost they have virtually no power to control.

By Robert F. Graboyes | June 16, 2009; 05:59 PM ET | Comments (1)

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