January 15th, 2019 at 11:31 am
Drug Price Controls Would Kill Innovation
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We at CFIF have been emphasizing the threat posed by new drug price controls inexplicably contemplated by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  In December, CFIF filed formal Comment opposing that ill-advised proposal, and hopefully wiser minds will prevail before the damage is done.  In similar vein, The Wall Street Journal ran a welcome commentary entitled “The Drug Price-Control Threat” on January 8 of this year, and a followup letter from reader Bruce Zessar of Highland Park, Illinois in today’s edition offers a personal, real-world illustration of what could be lost:

Insulin isn’t the same now as when it was discovered a century ago.  My wife is a Type I diabetic, diagnosed when she was 14 in 1980.  She has been a beneficiary of the tremendous advances in insulin therapy during the last four decades, including Lantus and Humalog.  When we got married in 1990, she had to live on a rigid schedule, eating lunch at, say, noon, and then dinner by 6:30-7:00 every day.  That’s becaue of the way prior insulin therapies worked in managing blood sugar.  With the invention of Lantus and Humalog, she can now live a normal life like everyone else.

Insulin is a shining example of why drugs deserve the utmost patent protection to encourage continual innovation.”

Price controls have never worked in any nation that has tried them, or with any commodity.   Few, if any, products are as important to our lives as America’s world-leading pharmaceutical sector, and we mustn’t let the price control scheme contemplated by the HHS kill the goose that continues to lay golden eggs.


January 7th, 2019 at 4:55 pm
This Week’s “Your Turn” Radio Show Lineup
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Join CFIF Corporate Counsel and Senior Vice President Renee Giachino today from 4:00 p.m. CDT to 6:00 p.m. CDT (that’s 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. EDT) on Northwest Florida’s 1330 AM/94.1FM WEBY, as she hosts her radio show, “Your Turn: Meeting Nonsense with Commonsense.” Today’s guest lineup includes:

4:00 CDT/5:00 pm EDT: Pat Rosenstiel, Founder & Chairman of Trade Alliance to Promote Prosperity: Importing Price Controls for Prescription Drugs;

4:15 CDT/5:15 pm EDT: Sherman Joyce, President of American Tort Reform Foundation: Latest “Judicial Hellholes” List;

4:30 CDT/5:30 pm EDT: Phil Kerpen, President of American Commitment: Electric Vehicle Subsidy;

4:45 CDT/5:45 pm EDT: Adam Michel, Policy Analyst, Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation: House Democratic Rules Package;

5:00 CDT/6:00 pm EDT: Tim Wyrosdick, Superintendent of Santa Rosa County Schools: 2019 Legislative Session and Education Updates; and

5:30 CDT/6:30 pm EDT: William J. Conti, Partner at Baker & Hostetler: The New Congress and 2020.

Listen live on the Internet here. Call in to share your comments or ask questions of today’s guests at (850) 623-1330.


January 3rd, 2019 at 8:12 am
Ramirez Cartoon: New Year’s Resolutions
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Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.


December 13th, 2018 at 10:05 am
Notable Quote: Israel’s Right to Exist
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In a brilliant primer entitled “Refute Palestinian Lies to Promote Mideast Peace” in The Wall Street Journal, Max Singer refutes a persistent myth that the United States must work to refute:

[D]espite widespread use of the term in diplomatic documents and debate, there is no such thing as ‘occupied Palestinian territory’ because there has never been a Palestinian territory to occupy.  As some Palestinians point out, they have never had a state of their own.  This is far more than a game of semantics.  If the land was Palestinian, then Israel could have stolen it.  If the land isn’t Palestinian, then Israel couldn’t have stolen it.  It’s critical that the U.S. actively combat the falsehood that Israel exists on stolen Palestinian land.”

 


December 10th, 2018 at 3:51 pm
This Week’s “Your Turn” Radio Show Lineup
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Join CFIF Corporate Counsel and Senior Vice President Renee Giachino today from 4:00 p.m. CDT to 6:00 p.m. CDT (that’s 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. EDT) on Northwest Florida’s 1330 AM WEBY, as she hosts her radio show, “Your Turn: Meeting Nonsense with Commonsense.” Today’s guest lineup includes:

4:00 CDT/5:00 pm EDT: James Bacchus, Former U.S. Representative, Professor of Global Affairs at the University of Central Florida, and Adjunct Scholar at Cato Institute: Free Trade and Destiny;

4:15 CDT/5:15 pm EDT: John Hannah, Senior Counselor at Foundation for Defense of Democracies: US-China Relations;

4:30 CDT/5:30 pm EDT: Quin Hillyer, Contributor to the Washington Examiner and Author: Happenings Inside the Beltway;

5:00 CDT/6:00 pm EDT: Andrew Och, First Ladies Man and Author: The Legacy of George H.W. and Barbara Bush; and

5:30 CDT/6:30 pm EDT: Timothy Lee, CFIF’s Senior VP or Corporate and Legal Affairs: Climate Change, US Postal Services and Other News.

Listen live on the Internet here. Call in to share your comments or ask questions of today’s guests at (850) 623-1330.


December 6th, 2018 at 12:58 pm
President George H. W. Bush: 1924-2018
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Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.


November 30th, 2018 at 9:28 am
Image of the Day: So U.S. Manufacturing Wasn’t Dead After All
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People like Barack Obama, rationalizing his unsatisfactory economic stewardship, assured us that manufacturing was a thing of the past, and not coming back.  Well, a funny thing happened following his departure:

 

Barack Was Wrong

Barack Was Wrong


November 26th, 2018 at 5:04 pm
This Week’s “Your Turn” Radio Show Lineup
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Join CFIF Corporate Counsel and Senior Vice President Renee Giachino today from 4:00 p.m. CDT to 6:00 p.m. CDT (that’s 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. EDT) on Northwest Florida’s 1330 AM WEBY, as she hosts her radio show, “Your Turn: Meeting Nonsense with Commonsense.” Today’s guest lineup includes:

4:00 CDT/5:00 pm EDT: Ilya Shapiro, Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies the Cato Institute and Editor-in-Chief, Cato Supreme Court Review – SCOTUS Happenings;

4:15 CDT/5:15 pm EDT:  Ana Quintana, Senior Policy Analyst, Latin America and the Western Hemisphere, The Heritage Foundation – The Migrant Caravan;

4:30 CDT/5:30 pm EDT:  Carrie Severino, Chief Counsel and Policy Director of the Judicial Crisis Network – Judicial Nominations in the Senate;

4:45 CDT/5:45 pm EDT:  Phil Kerpen, President of American Commitment – President Trump’s Unfilled Presidentially Appointed Positions;

5:00 CDT/6:00 pm EDT:  Craig Rucker, Executive Director, Co-Founder for a Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) – COP 24, The UN Conference on Climate Change;

5:15 CDT/6:15 pm EDT:  Raheel Raza, Clarion Project Advisory Board Member and Founding Member of the Muslim Reformer Movement – Khashoggi Affair and Saudi Arabia-U.S. Relations; and

5:30 CDT/6:30 pm EDT:  William J. Conti, Partner at Baker & Hostetler: Inside Washington – the Trump/Roberts Exchange and the Judiciary and Pelosi/Democrat Leadership Elections.

Listen live on the Internet here. Call in to share your comments or ask questions of today’s guests at (850) 623-1330.


November 19th, 2018 at 11:14 am
Quote of the Day: John Stossel On the Dangers of Government Drug Price Controls
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In our recent weekly Liberty Update commentary entitled “On Pharmaceuticals, HHS Contemplates Disastrous New Price Controls,” we explain how government price controls undermine intellectual property (IP) rights, stifle American innovation and ultimately punish consumers in the form of fewer new pharmaceuticals.  We therefore encourage the Trump Administration to rethink a toxic new proposal along those lines, and instead pursue a course more in accord with its generally excellent stewardship of our economy and markets to date.

In his latest weekly commentary entitled “Not Healthy to Be Naive,” John Stossel agrees, and in a nice blurb explains the real-world consequences of drug price controls:

[G]overnment-run systems save money by freeloading off American innovation.  American drug companies, funded by American customers, fund most of the world’s research and development of pharmaceuticals.  New drugs and devices are expensive, so sometimes in Britain, says Pope, ‘whenever a new drug comes on the market that can save lives, the government just doesn’t have the funds to pay for it.’

Patients, accustomed to accepting whatever government hands out, don’t even know about the advances available elsewhere.  Single-payer systems also save money by rationing care.  Hence the long waiting times for treatments declared ‘nonessential’ in Canada, Britain and, for that matter, at American veterans hospitals.”

Hopefully, the Trump Administration is listening and corrects course.


November 12th, 2018 at 4:24 pm
This Week’s “Your Turn” Radio Show Lineup
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Join CFIF Corporate Counsel and Senior Vice President Renee Giachino today from 4:00 p.m. CDT to 6:00 p.m. CDT (that’s 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. EDT) on Northwest Florida’s 1330 AM WEBY, as she hosts her radio show, “Your Turn: Meeting Nonsense with Commonsense.” Today’s guest lineup includes:

4:00 CDT/5:00 pm ET: Hans von Spakovsky, Manager, Election Law Reform Initiative and Senior Legal Fellow, Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation: On Sessions’ Watch;

4:15 CDT/5:15 pm ET: Lee Casey, Partner at Baker & Hostetler: Detractors Denouncing Constitution;

4:30 CDT/5:30 pm ET: Trey Kovacs, Policy Analyst at the Competitive Enterprise Institute: Veterans Department Ends Labor Union Work on Taxpayer Dime;

4:45 CDT/5:45 pm ET: Tzvi Khan, Senior Iran Analyst: Iran’s Major Human Rights Abusers;

5:00 CDT/6:00 pm ET: Anna St. John, Attorney with the Center for Class Action Fairness at the Competitive Enterprise Institute: SCOTUS Case Challenging Unfair Class Action Settlements;

5:15 CDT/6:15 pm ET: Karlyn Bowman, Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute: Midterm Election Report; and

5:30 CDT/6:30 pm ET: Ashton Hayward, Mayor of Pensacola: Turning Over the Keys to the City.

Listen live on the Internet here. Call in to share your comments or ask questions of today’s guests at (850) 623-1330.


November 9th, 2018 at 9:16 am
Image of the Day: Meanwhile, On the Economy…
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While attention can be distracted by shiny objects elsewhere, a nice new illustration of the U.S. economy’s revitalization beginning in 2017, as the procession of deregulation and tax-cuts revitalized an economic cycle previously on weary legs:

An Economic Surge

An Economic Surge

 


November 6th, 2018 at 11:27 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Vote
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Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.


October 30th, 2018 at 12:00 pm
Image of the Day: Under Trump, the Poor Get… Richer
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From the U.S. Senate Joint Economic Committee, a stark illustration of the sharp increase in wage and salary growth for full-time employees in the bottom 10% of earners:

The Poor Get Richer

The Poor Get Richer

 

 


October 25th, 2018 at 2:09 pm
HHS Prepares to Commit Unforced Error On Drug Price Disclosure Mandate
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Healthcare costs, including pharmaceutical costs, remain a legitimate concern.  But the Trump Administration Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is about to commit a needless unforced error.

The issue in question is an effort to force pharmaceutical companies to announce “list price” of drugs that they advertise.

A similar effort was recently introduced as legislation in Congress by Senator Dick Durbin (D – Illinois), which is itself proof of the wrongfulness of the idea.  A coalition of conservative and libertarian voices, including CFIF, stopped Senator Durbin’s effort.  But for some reason the HHS announced intent to impose the mandate via regulation, reminiscent of Barack Obama’s “pen and phone” manner of presiding.

Here’s why this is a terrible idea.

First, a drug’s “list price” is more likely to confuse consumers than enlighten them.  The reason is that what consumers actually pay for a drug is almost always very different, and much lower, than its list price.  Most patients’ drugs are subsidized by co-pays or co-insurance programs, whether via Medicare, Medicaid or insurance companies.  Insurance companies themselves typically don’t even pay the full list price, since they also receive various rebates and discounts from pharmaceutical sellers.  Overall, approximately 9 out of 10 consumers pay below the technical list price.  Consequently, compelling advertisers to state the list price in ads would mislead consumers into assuming that their out-of-pocket cost would be higher than they price they’d actually pay.

That hardly advances the goal of informing consumers.

An even more fundamental problem with the contemplated HHS mandate is that it would violate the First Amendment by compelling speech.

Under First Amendment free speech application, including commercial speech, courts strictly scrutinize any effort by government to force private citizens or entities to what it wants them to say.  Only where the compelled speech is purely factual and non-controversial will allow exceptions to the general prohibition against compulsory words.  As noted above, a drug’s list price doesn’t qualify as purely factual for purposes of informing consumers, because consumers rarely pay that price.  Nor does the HHS proposal qualify as non-controversial, for obvious reasons.

Accordingly, a government attempt to force advertisers to state prices that are higher than what almost all consumers actually pay can’t withstand First Amendment scrutiny, and will be struck down when challenged in court.

Finally, the HHS doesn’t even possess authority to impose this proposed mandate.  That authority under Congressional statute instead lies with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  Proponents of the HHS mandate assert that the Social Security Act provides a loophole to force this proposal upon the pharmaceutical market, but that too won’t withstand court scrutiny.

For all of these reasons, the HHS proposal to engage in compulsory speech, speech that isn’t even accurate or informative, is a head-scratcher.  Hopefully it will reconsider this ill-advised effort sooner rather than later, and pursue more effective ways of reducing pharmaceutical and healthcare costs.


October 22nd, 2018 at 4:37 pm
This Week’s “Your Turn” Radio Show Lineup
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Join CFIF Corporate Counsel and Senior Vice President Renee Giachino today from 4:00 p.m. CDT to 6:00 p.m. CDT (that’s 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. EDT) on Northwest Florida’s 1330 AM WEBY, as she hosts her radio show, “Your Turn: Meeting Nonsense with Commonsense.” Today’s guest lineup includes:

4:00 CDT/5:00 pm EDT: Dr. William Lehr, Economist, Industry Consultant and Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology: The Future of Broadband Competition;

4:15 CDT/5:15 pm EDT: Hans von Spakovsky, Manager, Election Law Reform Initiative and Senior Legal Fellow, Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies: Harvard and Racial Preferences;

4:30 CDT/5:30 pm EDT: Peter Wallison, Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and Author: Judicial Fortitude: The Last chance to Rein in the Administrative State;

4:45 CDT/5:45 pm EDT: Dr. Fred Jacobs, Executive Vice President of St. George’s University: Physician Shortages;

5:15 CDT/6:15 pm EDT: Timothy Lee, CFIF’s Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs: Self-Censorship, the Economy and NAFTA Updated; and

5:30 CDT/6:30 pm EDT: Fred Karlinsky, Shareholder and Co-Chair of Greenberg Traurig’s Insurance Regulatory and Transactions Practice Group: Florida 2018 Ballot Measures.

Listen live on the Internet here. Call in to share your comments or ask questions of today’s guests at (850) 623-1330.


October 22nd, 2018 at 10:19 am
Image of the Day: Tax Cuts Bring Dollars Back to the U.S.
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From our friends who do such great work at the Tax Foundation, take a look at how tax cuts have led to companies bringing back more cash to the U.S.:

Tax Cuts Spur Repatriation

Tax Cuts Spur Repatriation


October 15th, 2018 at 10:28 am
Shattering the Decade of “New Normal” Economic Sluggishness
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Consumer spending accounts for approximately two-thirds of the U.S. economy, and this helpful chart from the U.S. Senate’s Joint Economic Committee illustrates why our economy suddenly turbocharged over the past two years from its decade of sluggishness that we were told was the “new normal”:

Turbocharging the U.S. Consumer Economy

Turbocharging the U.S. Consumer Economy


October 11th, 2018 at 7:32 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Filling Haley’s Shoes
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Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.


October 8th, 2018 at 3:23 pm
This Week’s “Your Turn” Radio Lineup
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Join CFIF Corporate Counsel and Senior Vice President Renee Giachino today from 4:00 p.m. CDT to 6:00 p.m. CDT (that’s 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. EDT) on Northwest Florida’s 1330 AM WEBY, as she hosts her radio show, “Your Turn: Meeting Nonsense with Commonsense.” Today’s guest lineup includes:

4:00 CDT/5:00 pm EDT:  Steve Bucci, Former Military Assistant to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, Former Green Beret, and Visiting Fellow at the Heritage Foundation National Security & Foreign Policy Institute – Cybersecurity and the Mid-Term Elections;

4:15 CDT/5:15 pm EDT:  Peter Murphy, Vice President at the Invest in Education Coalition – USA Workforce Tax Credit Act;

4:30 CDT/5:30 pm EDT:  Thomas Jipping, Deputy Director of the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and Senior Legal Fellow at The Heritage Foundation – The Kavanaugh Confirmation and What’s Next;

4:45 CDT/5:45 pm EDT: Bryan Riley, Director of National Taxpayers Union’s Free Trade Initiative – NAFTA 2.0;

5:00 CDT/6:00 pm EDT: Phil Kerpen, President of American Commitment – California and Net Neutrality;

5:15 CDT/6:15 pm EDT:  Myron Ebell, Director, Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute – United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report; and

5:30 CDT/6:30 pm EDT:  William J. Conti, Partner at Baker & Hostetler – Mid-Term Elections and 2020.

Listen live on the Internet here. Call in to share your comments or ask questions of today’s guests at (850) 623-1330.


September 24th, 2018 at 1:06 pm
Image of the Day: Something Apparently Turbocharged U.S. Economic Sentiment in 2016
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From the left-leaning Pew Research Center, note how something caused the number of Americans responding that the state of our economy is good to turbocharge past the Europeans and Japanese around 2016.  Perhaps Paul Krugman of The New York Times has a theory.

Something Happened Around 2016

Something Happened Around 2016