• Trump Preparing To Declassify Carter Page FISA Docs

    ‘Medicare for All’ Left’s Half-Truths and Lies About US Life Expectancy

    Ponder this: If self-styled “progressives” in Congress impose total government control over health care, will ordinary Americans enjoy a longer life span?

    Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., chief sponsor of the Senate “Medicare for All” bill (S. 1804), often reminds us that the United States spends roughly twice as much per capita on health care as most other economically advanced countries, but American life expectancy is lower than that of almost all these high-income nations.

    Reps. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., and Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., lead sponsors of the House’s Medicare for All bill (H.R. 1384) say, “The quality of our health care is much worse than [that of] other industrialized countries.… Read More...

  • Why Ted Cruz Is Right on Expanding Seniors’ Freedom in Health Care

    Why Ted Cruz Is Right on Expanding Seniors’ Freedom in Health Care

    Ponder a basic question: Should government officials punish Americans merely because they want to spend their own money on their own health care, or purchase their own health insurance as an alternative to a government health program?

    The question has special relevance for retirees eligible, or soon to be eligible, for Medicare, the huge government health program that serves senior and disabled citizens.

    The reason: Today, if a retiring senior does not wish to enroll in Medicare, but would rather purchase her own private health plan, the federal government would force her to give up her Social Security benefits also.

    Remarkably, this policy doesn’t flow from any explicit act of Congress, but from a regulation initially promulgated by the Social Security Administration and subsequently upheld in federal court litigation.… Read More...

  • House Democrats Unveil Plan to Bring Total Government Control Over American Health Care

    House Democrats Unveil Plan to Bring Total Government Control Over American Health Care

    Liberal House Democrats just unveiled the Medicare for All Act of 2019, a comprehensive bill to abolish virtually all private health plans—including employer-sponsored coverage—and impose total federal government control over Americans’ health care.

    Despite its sweeping and detailed government control, as well as the imposition of huge but unknown costs, the 120-page bill has nonetheless initially attracted 106 Democrat co-sponsors, almost half of all Democrats in the House.

    The legislation is profoundly authoritarian.

    For example, Section 107 ensures that no American, regardless of their personal wants or medical needs, would be able to enroll in any alternative health plan that “duplicates” the government’s coverage.… Read More...

  • Why ‘Medicare for All’ Would Be Bad News for Everyone

    Why ‘Medicare for All’ Would Be Bad News for Everyone

    Polls from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health with Politico show a majority of Americans favor “Medicare for All” proposals at least in concept, which is simple enough: a single, government-controlled health insurance program that would cover every person residing in the United States.

    The Harvard-Politico poll found that 68 percent of respondents say that adopting a national health plan like “Medicare for All” should be an “extremely important” priority for the new Congress. The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that 56 percent of Americans favor the proposal, and just 42 percent oppose it.

    But do Americans really understand what such a project would entail?… Read More...

  • How Trump’s New Rule Aims to Expand Health Coverage and Lower Costs

    How Trump’s New Rule Aims to Expand Health Coverage and Lower Costs

    The Trump administration just announced a major regulatory change, effective Jan. 1, 2020, that could significantly expand access to affordable health coverage and increase the choice of health plans, particularly among workers and their families in small businesses.

    The proposed rule, jointly developed by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Treasury Department, would allow employer-sponsored health reimbursement accounts to fund the purchase of individual health insurance on a tax-free basis.

    Today, workers and their families can use tax-free health reimbursement accounts to offset medical expenses, such as out-of-pocket medical costs. Under the new rule, workers and their families could use employer contributions to the accounts to buy health insurance on their own.

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  • Trump's Health Secretary Is Implementing Bold, Reaganesque Reforms

    Trump’s Health Secretary Is Implementing Bold, Reaganesque Reforms

    Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar recently outlined an ambitious health care policy agenda that is positively Reaganesque.

    In the spirit of the late President Ronald Reagan, Azar emphasized that the Trump administration’s major health care policy initiatives would rely heavily on harnessing the creative powers of federalism and reaffirming state innovation, the central role of free-market principles of choice and competition, and a commitment to practical problem-solving with a clear-eyed grasp of political and economic conditions.

    His July 26 remarks at The Heritage Foundation were vintage Reagan.

    Azar focused his address on the multiple complexities of prescription drug pricing, bridging the gap between spending and the value of medical goods and services, and the urgent need to repair the nation’s severely damaged health insurance markets.

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  • Trump's New Health Initiative Will Spell Relief for Americans

    Trump’s New Health Initiative Will Spell Relief for Americans

    This week, the Trump administration is moving forward with significant regulatory relief for millions of Americans seeking more affordable health coverage and better choices than they can get under Obamacare.

    The Department of Labor, pursuant to President Donald Trump’s October 2017 executive order, has just published a final rule to enable small businesses to more easily join together and form association health plans. The new rule would apply to sole proprietors, the self-employed, or persons owning their own businesses, allowing them to take advantage of these plan offerings.

    Authorized under federal law, the rules governing association health plans are the same rules that exist today that enforce consumer protections in large group, or corporate health insurance.

    Read More...
  • In Government-Controlled Health Care, Bureaucrats' Whims Trump Parents' Rights

    In Government-Controlled Health Care, Bureaucrats’ Whims Trump Parents’ Rights

    Alfie Evans, a severely ill 23-month-old British child, recently died. The child was confined by British authorities in a hospital run by the British National Health Service.

    In commenting on this tragic case, this writer cited the plight of Alfie’s parents—Tom Evans and Kate James—waging a desperate battle with hospital officials in the British courts to secure alternative care outside of the system. I noted, in this context, that “[i]f you give government control over your health care, you give them control over your life.”

    In response to my commentary on the decisions of British hospital and government officials, columnist Froma Harrop says that I “tried to swing the discussion back to the imagined evils of government-run health care.”

    “But,” Harrop emphasized, “the medical judgments in Alfie’s case were made by medical professionals.

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  • A Sordid Lesson in Government Health Care

    A Sordid Lesson in Government Health Care

    The next time Sen. Bernie Sanders or his progressive Senate allies tout their proposal for total federal control of health care, just remember the case of Alfie Evans.

    Consider the basic facts. The National Health Service, Britain’s “single payer” health care system, provides universal government coverage for British citizens. Alfie, a seriously ill 23-month-old toddler, is a beneficiary of the National Health Service, and, as of this writing, a “patient” of Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, England.

    Hospital physicians have determined that Alfie is in a “semivegetative state.” Remarkably, however, hospital personnel have been unable to give Tom Evans and Kate James, Alfie’s parents, a diagnosis of exactly what’s wrong with their child.

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  • Congressional Liberals' Latest Attempt to Push Americans Out of Private Health Care

    Congressional Liberals’ Latest Attempt to Push Americans Out of Private Health Care

    With the collapse of choice and competition in the Obamacare health insurance exchanges, combined with major premium and deductible increases, “progressives” in Congress are looking for new ways to expand the role of government in Americans’ health care.

    Progressives’ current thinking: Use Medicare to entice millions into a government-controlled health system. By relying on even more extensive government control to fix the problems created by an excess of inflexible government regulation, the outcome would be no surprise. More of the same: fewer choices, higher costs—and an expedited route to the final death of private health plans.

    Sens. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Chris Murphy, D-Conn., recently introduced the Choose Medicare Act.

    Read More...
  • Congress Should Get Past Obamacare, Forget Bailouts, and Embrace Real Health Reform

    Congress Should Get Past Obamacare, Forget Bailouts, and Embrace Real Health Reform

    This week, congressional leaders withdrew legislative language that would have bailed out Obamacare’s health insurance companies as part of the $1.3 trillion, 2,232-page omnibus spending bill.

    Most American taxpayers are opposed these Obamacare bailouts, but they have every reason to be nervous as long as Congress is in session. The reason: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., promised Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a vote on her Obamacare “stabilization” proposal.

    Meanwhile, Collins and Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., recently unveiled the text of their bill to provide new funding for Obamacare’s cost-sharing subsidies, as well as $30.5 billion over three and a half years for taxpayer-funded “reinsurance” payments to Obamacare’s health insurers.

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  • The Truth About Whether Repealing Obamacare Mandate Would Lead to Deaths

    The Truth About Whether Repealing Obamacare Mandate Would Lead to Deaths

    The prospect that Congress might zero-out Obamacare’s individual mandate penalty in the pending tax bill has sent Obamacare defenders into flights of pessimistic rhetoric, up to and including the charge that “thousands will die” as a result.

    The argument by which that attention-grabbing conclusion is reached runs something like this:

    • Health insurance coverage reduces mortality.
    • The mandate expands insurance coverage.
    • Therefore, the mandate reduces mortality, and consequently, removing the mandate will increase mortality.

    Indeed, none other than Harvard economist and former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers recently deployed that argument, claiming that eliminating Obamacare’s mandate tax penalty in the tax bill would result in the death of 10,000 people per year.

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  • How Fewer Obamacare Options Hurt a 4-Year-Old

    How Fewer Obamacare Options Hurt a 4-Year-Old

    Forget good intentions. Remember bad results.

    The Washington Post recently published a heart-wrenching story of two Virginia families caught up with the consequences of a damaged, declining, and increasingly noncompetitive health insurance market.

    Little Collette Briggs, 4, suffers from an aggressive case of leukemia, and the Briggs family for two years has depended upon the medical professionals at a hospital that specializes in pediatric cancer care.

    The family’s insurer has withdrawn from the market, and the remaining insurer has no contract with that hospital. Narrow networks of doctors and hospitals have been a common feature of health insurance offerings in the declining and increasingly noncompetitive Obamacare insurance exchanges.… Read More...