Archive

Posts Tagged ‘health care’
June 4th, 2014 at 7:00 pm
Boehner to Obama: All Vets on VA Wait Lists Should Get Private Option

“All veterans on waiting lists should be able to easily access care outside the VA without waiting for a potentially corrupt facility to approve their request,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) writes today in a letter to President Barack Obama. “Our veterans should not be left in limbo, relying on what your own audit acknowledges is a ‘systematic lack of integrity within some Veterans Health Administration facilities.’”

As an immediate remedy Boehner calls on Obama to support legislation coming from the House Veterans Affairs Committee that would allow “any veteran unable to obtain an appointment within 30 days the option to receive non-VA care.”

If the president and his congressional allies have a better alternative they better put it forward. Too many veterans are waiting.

June 3rd, 2014 at 5:54 pm
Vet Groups Part of VA’s Dysfunction?

Recently, Yuval Levin wrote a characteristically sober and insightful post about the structural problems afflicting not just the Veterans Affairs hospital system, but the VA itself.

Amid other obstacles to reform, Levin explains why certain veterans groups share some of the blame for the VA’s managerial mess.

It is impossible to overstate the political power of the veterans’ interest groups over the VA. The simplest way to describe it is that they get everything they want, period. There are many powerful interest groups in Washington, but because their domain is carefully limited and politically and culturally sensitive, the vets’ groups have a kind of command of their arena that I don’t think any other sort of interest group approaches. And this is a big part of the reason why the VA is so dysfunctional, because it is not subject to congressional or administrative oversight in the usual sense. It answers fundamentally to the vets’ groups. They often informally review its annual budget request before it goes to OMB. They are uniquely involved in drafting budgets on the congressional side. They are considered a necessary signoff on every major decision. Their firm opposition to something is the end of the story. Their priorities are the VA’s priorities. And yet they are very well positioned to treat failures that result from their own distorting power over the system as reasons to increase their power.

Every successful interest group enjoys a certain amount of leverage to get what it wants, but the power exercised by veterans’ organizations that Levin describes is itself a scandal in need of reform. Somewhere the public’s commitment to serve those who served all got hijacked by lobbyists imposing policy choices that are clearly having deleterious effects on retired and disabled veterans. Any reform of the VA department needs to include whatever measures are necessary to uproot this latest case of regulatory capture.

May 26th, 2014 at 10:08 am
Video: The Respect Our Veterans Deserve
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

CFIF’s Renee Giachino discusses the national scandal engulfing the Veterans Administration (“VA”), the systemic dysfunction that plagues the VA, and the need for meaningful and comprehensive reform of a system that has failed to adequately serve our veterans and their families with the respect and service they deserve.

May 22nd, 2014 at 1:17 pm
Should Shinseki Go?
Posted by Troy Senik Print

In my column this week, I look at the controversy surrounding the VA scandal. As I note, it presents a problem for liberals, who can’t rationalize this failure on ideological grounds the same way that they did with Benghazi or the IRS. As the always astute Byron York notes today in the Washington Examiner, left-wing ideology may also play a role in whether or not VA Secretary Eric Shinseki loses his job over the debacle:

The retired general has for years been a particular hero to Obama’s supporters on the left for his conflict with the George W. Bush administration during the run-up to the war in Iraq.

In early 2003, as the U.S. was planning the invasion, Shinseki angered his superiors in the Pentagon and White House by saying he believed victory and post-war stabilization in Iraq would require far more U.S. troops than President Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld were planning to deploy. “Something on the order of several hundred thousand soldiers are probably, you know, a figure that would be required,” Shinseki told Congress in February 2003.

By [2007], Shinseki had become a legend to anti-war liberals, and all the more so by December 2008, when President-Elect Obama was choosing his cabinet. “By tapping Mr. Shinseki to run the VA, [Obama] has provided a sop to the left,” wrote the lefty blogger Steve Kornacki, now an MSNBC personality, when Shinseki’s appointment was announced. A poster at the leftist website DailyKos had a shorter reaction: “Hallelujah!” Even though Shinseki was not chosen for the military policy position some had hoped for him, the reaction to his appointment showed the enduring gratitude of many on the anti-war left.

This is, of course, an indefensible rationale for keeping someone in a position where they’re failing. Shinseki should be judged for present performance, not past positions.

That said, I’m ambivalent on the question of whether the VA Secretary should be given his walking papers. President Obama, like President Bush before him, is not inclined to reflexively fire people because of bad press. That can be a good instinct if it means you’re more concerned with actually solving problems than just creating the image of responsiveness for the press. But therein lies the problem.

Who serves as Secretary of Veterans Affairs is a lot less important than the makeup of the system they’re presiding over. Whether it’s Shinseki or someone else, they’ll still be responsible for managing a gargantuan single-payer health care bureaucracy. It’s a similar dynamic to the Department of Health and Human Services — don’t expect much to change because Kathleen Seblius is gone. The underlying policies and infrastructure remain the same. Whoever sits behind the desk is little more than a captive to the administrative behemoth.

Should Shinseki get the boot? I don’t know and I’m not sure it makes much of a difference. What would really help would be upending the entire process — for example, giving veterans vouchers for their health care, which would allow the federal government to still finance their treatment without actually providing it. John McCain recently suggested that step (as did Mitt Romney in 2012 — when he was pilloried for it). At the time, it was decried as inhumane. Anyone who wants to know what real inhumanity looks like ought to visit the VA in Phoenix.

April 22nd, 2014 at 10:14 am
ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers: Why the Administration’s Celebration is Premature
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

In an interview with CFIF, Sally Pipes, President, CEO and Taube Fellow in Health Care Studies at the Pacific Research Institute, discusses how the Obama Administration’s enrollment figure celebration for ObamaCare’s insurance exchanges is premature, why four years of ObamaCare failures is long enough and her testimony before the U.S. Senate on what the U.S. health care system can learn from other countries.

Listen to the intervie here.

April 8th, 2014 at 4:43 pm
Ramirez Cartoon: Titanic ObamaCare
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

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.

April 3rd, 2014 at 3:58 pm
Ramirez Cartoon: April Fools
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

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.

March 17th, 2014 at 1:22 pm
Ramirez Cartoon: ObamaCare
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

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.

March 14th, 2014 at 9:16 am
Podcast: ObamaCare from the Eyes of a Canadian Healthcare Refugee
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Shona Holmes, a leading patients’ rights advocate who fled Canada to seek life-saving medical treatment in the United States, discusses how universal health care does not end suffering, it just redistributes it, and how access to health insurance does not equal access to healthcare.

Listen to the interview here.

February 21st, 2014 at 7:42 am
ObamaCare: Less Choice, Rising Premiums and Broken Promises
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

In an interview with CFIF, Abigail MacIver, Florida Director of Policy and External Affairs at Americans for Prosperity, discusses how Americans are losing access to trusted doctors and facing higher premiums and deductibles, and why state lawmakers should be held accountable for ObamaCare.

Listen to the interview here.

February 7th, 2014 at 12:00 pm
ObamaCare Death Panel
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

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.

January 27th, 2014 at 4:01 pm
Ramirez Cartoon: An Oscar Worthy Performance
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

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.

January 24th, 2014 at 12:38 pm
Podcast: Is the Government is to Blame for Recent Meningitis Outbreaks?
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

In an interview with CFIF, Sally Pipes, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Research Institute, discusses how the federal government fumble on the meningitis vaccine Bexsero is partially to blame for outbreaks of bacterial meningitis on college campuses and how other regulatory hurdles in the healthcare arena must be taken down.

Listen to the interview here.

January 17th, 2014 at 8:57 am
Video: The Single-Payer Lie
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

In this week’s Freedom Minute, CFIF’s Renee Giachino explains that ObamaCare is failing not because its authors are  leftist geniuses who concocted some deliberate scheme to impose a national single-payer healthcare system, but because it fails to recognize the basic truths of American government.

November 22nd, 2013 at 3:44 pm
An Administration That Knows No Shame
Posted by Troy Senik Print

It’s becoming clear that the Obama Administration is beginning to lose hope that they can salvage Obamacare and are now just trying to contain the political fallout. From CBS:

After the slow start to enrollment in the Obamacare marketplaces for 2014, the Obama administration is set to delay enrollment for 2015 by a month.

The move will give insurers more time to evaluate the 2014 market and set 2015 premiums accordingly — it also moves the enrollment period past the 2014 midterm elections. It’s the latest Obamacare adjustment that, whatever its aims, is clouded by the continued political controversy over the health law. At least one Republican, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, called the decision “a cynical political move.”

The Health and Human Services Department confirms to CBS News that it plans to reschedule the 2015 open enrollment period for Nov. 15, 2014 – Jan. 15, 2015. Previously, the enrollment period was slated to run from Oct. 15 – Dec. 7, 2014. Insurers also now have until May 2014, rather than April 2014, to submit applications to offer health plans in the marketplace. The changes don’t impact the Obamacare marketplace for next year.

Make no mistake, “Set premiums accordingly” means raise prices based on the internal logic of Obamacare. The Administration knows that Democrats will take a drubbing at the ballot box if yet another round of bad news and increased premiums coincides with the final days of next year’s midterm elections. This is nothing more than a face-saving measure, and one so laughably transparent that it’s not liable to do Democrats much good (especially if Republicans make the Administration’s intentional attempt to conceal health care rates a campaign issue).

It’s a shame the Obama Administration has gotten on the wrong side of so many doctors. They could use some triage right about now.

November 19th, 2013 at 9:30 am
Ramirez Cartoon: You Can Keep Your Health Plan, BUT…
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

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.

November 8th, 2013 at 9:43 am
Podcast: Six Reasons Why ObamaCare Will Fail
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

In an interview with CFIF, Lawrence McQuillan, Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute, explains why ObamaCare will fail and free-market healthcare will succeed, and discusses the book “Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis,” which identifies the key problems with and corresponding solutions to ObamaCare.

Listen to the interview here.

November 8th, 2013 at 8:40 am
Ramirez Cartoon: The Lying King
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

October 31st, 2013 at 5:14 pm
Ramirez Cartoon: Trick!!!
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

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 23rd, 2013 at 10:16 am
Ramirez Cartoon: The ObamaCare Launch
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

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.