Posts Tagged ‘health care’
November 19th, 2013 at 9:30 am
Ramirez Cartoon: You Can Keep Your Health Plan, BUT…
Posted by 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 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 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 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 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 21st, 2013 at 9:50 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Oversold Load
Posted by 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 19th, 2013 at 10:54 am
Podcast: ObamaCare’s Privacy Threat
Posted by Print

Dan Epstein, Executive Director of Cause of Action, discusses the risks Americans face in disclosing their personal medical and financial information on the ObamaCare exchanges and the risk of waste, fraud and abuse of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars states are receiving to run their exchanges.

Listen to the interview here.

October 7th, 2013 at 6:06 pm
Britain’s Version of ‘Death Panels’

In a wide-ranging indictment of Britain’s National Health Service (NHS), Philip Klein describes just how easy it is for government-run health care to turn into a nightmare.

“One of the most recent scandals has its roots in the 1990s, when the NHS established a set of best practices for providing care to patients at the end of their lives. Known as the Liverpool Care Pathway, it has since been applied to hundreds of thousands of people,” writes Klein.

“Last November, the Mail reported, an independent review found that 60,000 people were put on the pathway without their consent and a third of the time families weren’t even informed. Thus, they had no idea that their close relatives were removed from life support equipment and were being denied nourishment. In extreme cases, nurses shouted at relatives who attempted to give their dying loved ones sips of water. According to the Mail, hospitals were given incentive payments for putting more people on the pathway – effectively, the government was providing bonuses for ending people’s lives earlier.” (Emphasis added)

After a huge outcry, NHS is abandoning the Liverpool Care Pathway, admitting that “Caring for the dying must never again be practiced as a tick-box exercise and each patient must be cared for according to their individual needs.”

This is welcome news for those saved from murder, but it is cold comfort for the 60,000 Britons who were intentionally killed by their caregiver.

As this example from the world’s most famous single-payer health system attests, death panels are a logical extension of government-run health care. Cost-benefit calculations can easily be made to discard individuals for the sake of the faceless collective; especially when the doctor, the actuary, and the bean counter all work for the same government.

Interestingly, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) didn’t mention any of the horrors Klein catalogues in his op-ed to Britons explaining why Obamacare is a “good first step” toward a single-payer system like NHS.

No wonder.

October 2nd, 2013 at 9:40 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Comparing Apples
Posted by 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.

August 29th, 2013 at 9:02 pm
Most Americans Will See Insurance Costs Rise on Obamacare Exchanges
Posted by Print

We’ve seen similarly dismal numbers before, but this new analysis from National Journal is especially grim:

For the vast majority of Americans, premium prices will be higher in the individual exchange than what they’re currently paying for employer-sponsored benefits, according to a National Journal analysis of new coverage and cost data. Adding even more out-of-pocket expenses to consumers’ monthly insurance bills is a swell in deductibles under the Affordable Care Act.

… Whether the quality of care in the new market is comparable to private offerings remains to be seen. But one thing is clear: The cost of care in the new market doesn’t stack up. A single wage earner must make less than $20,000 to see his or her current premiums drop or stay the same under Obamacare, an independent review by National Journal found. That’s equivalent to approximately 34 percent of all single workers in the U.S. seeing any benefit in the new system. For those seeking family-of-four coverage under the ACA, about 43 percent will see cost savings. Families must earn less than or equal to $62,300, or they, too, will be looking at a bigger bill.

… On average, a worker paid between $862 and $1,065 per year for single coverage in 2013, according to Kaiser’s numbers. For the average family plan, defined as a family of four, insurance cost between $4,226 and $5,284. Fewer than half of all families and only a third of single workers would qualify for enough Obamacare tax subsidies to pay within or below those averages next year.

Some of us intuitively grasped a long time ago what the evidence is now making explicit: government intervention never reduces costs, it just redistributes them. A lot of Americans are about to learn that the hard way.

August 23rd, 2013 at 8:47 am
Video: ObamaCare Must Go
Posted by Print

In this week’s Freedom Minute, CFIF’s Renee Giachino discusses the importance of the fight to defund ObamaCare.

August 9th, 2013 at 5:29 pm
Waiver Wars
Posted by Print

There are a lot of reasons to lament the rise of the administrative state. There’s the lack of accountability that comes from policy decisions being made by unelected bureaucrats. There are the cozy relationships that often form between regulators and those they regulate. There’s the avalanche of rules and regulations that make the law so vast as to be virtually unknowable. But one factor that’s become especially salient during the Obama years is the fact that administrative caprice undermines equality before the law. Case in point: the outbreak of waivers for favored clients of the Obama Administration.

While we’ve heard about this trend most often in regards to Obamacare, it’s also become a serious issue in education. As noted in Ezra Klein’s Wonkbook:

No Child Left Behind technically expired in 2007. But Congress didn’t manage to do anything about it. They just kept appropriating money for the zombie bill. And so the outdated provisions of this out-of-touch bill began strangling the education system.

NCLB says that fully 100 percent of school districts need to meet tough proficiency goals in reading and math in 2014 or they lose tons of money. It’s not going to happen. They’re not going to hit those targets and that’s been clear for years now. Everyone knows NCLB needs an overhaul. But, you know, Congress.

So the Obama administration has started waiving NCLB for states that propose sufficiently rigorous alternative plans. So far, 39 states and the District of Columbia have been let out of No Child Left Behind. On Wednesday, they were joined by eight individual school districts in California — Los Angeles, Long Beach, Santa Ana, Fresno, Oakland, Sacramento, San Francisco and Sanger. That’s the first time that’s ever happened.

“This is a pretty troubling development,” Chris Minnich, executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers, told The Post. “The states have always traditionally been in control of accountability for most school districts. . . . The idea that the secretary of education is controlling the accountability system in eight districts in California is kind of mind-boggling.”

Of course, the Obama administration says, with some justification, that it would’ve been even more troubling to leave the million kids in these districts in the grips of a law that no longer makes any sense.

Luckily, we have a mechanism for amending or repealing laws that don’t make sense: it’s called Congress. If you can’t get a fix through, too bad. You don’t get to change the rules when you don’t like the outcome.

The Obama Administration shouldn’t be in a position to determine “sufficiently rigorous alternative plans” and favor some states over others. That’s a legislative judgment that needs to be worked out on Capitol Hill. And even that, frankly, is too much. Ideally, education should be managed exclusively at the state and local level. The bowels of the federal administrative state, however, are the last place from which control should be emanating.

August 9th, 2013 at 10:45 am
Video: A Town Hall Agenda
Posted by Print

From issues like ObamaCare to immigration to the ongoing administration scandals, CFIF’s Renee Giachino discusses several questions that should be put to Members of Congress at town hall meetings during the August recess.

August 9th, 2013 at 8:41 am
Podcast: ObamaCare Is Fundamentally Unworkable
Posted by Print

Avik Roy, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, discusses the Obama Administration’s unilateral decision to delay parts of ObamaCare, why delaying the employer mandate while continuing to implement the individual mandate is unfair to hard-working Americans and evidence that the law is failing to work as intended, and how ObamaCare will make health insurance less affordable as premiums rise.

Listen to the interview here.

August 1st, 2013 at 5:22 pm
Obamacare Bites Its Handler
Posted by Print

The number of constituencies for Obamacare keeps shrinking everyday. From Elizabeth MacDonald at Fox Business:

Health reform is now causing job turmoil across the country in three key groups that the White House has depended on for support—local government, school workers and unions.

School districts in states like Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Utah, Nebraska, and Indiana are dropping to part-time status school workers such as teacher aides, administrators, secretaries, bus drivers, gym teachers, coaches and cafeteria workers. Cities or counties in states like California, Indiana, Kansas, Texas, Michigan and Iowa are dropping to part-time status government workers such as librarians, secretaries, administrators, parks and recreation officials and public works officials.

The next time you hear the president drone on about income inequality, remember that his signature domestic achievement has a nasty habit of kneecapping the working class. Even if the president’s gripe is that these people had low wages and no health insurance before he took office, consider the net effect of his tenure: they now have even lower wages (thanks to fewer hours) and still have no insurance. Heck of a job, Barry.

July 2nd, 2013 at 8:00 pm
The Next Time Liberals Try to Play the Populist Card …
Posted by Print

… remind them of this announcement from earlier today in Politico:

The Obama administration is postponing the federal health care law’s insurance mandate for employers next year, in a major concession to the business community and lawmakers who have become increasingly vocal about the law’s potential to damage a slowly recovering economy.

The announcement doesn’t affect the main coverage tools in the law — the individual mandate and the new subsidized insurance markets. But it could boost the cost of the law if more people end up seeking subsidies instead of getting covered on the job.

Of course, this is great news in one respect. Going a little longer without one of the most economically damaging aspects of Obamacare kicking in is a very good thing.

But note the irony that there’s no delay on applying the individual mandate. If Joe Taxpayer doesn’t comply, the government will be at his door with a bill in no time flat.

Washington’s willing to wait when it comes to sticking it to business. But when the little guy is the one who’s ox is getting gored? No such luck.

June 10th, 2013 at 11:54 am
Obamacare’s Contraception Mandate Runs Through the IRS
Posted by Print

Here’s a troubling prospect: Americans who want to assert their rights of religious conscience will have to go through the famously scrupulous Internal Revenue Service to do so. Ashley E. McGuire writing in the Weekly Standard:

On August 1, the one-year “safe harbor” for religious charities objecting to provisions of Obamacare will end. Starting then, these nonprofit employers will be forced to violate their religious beliefs or pay large fines. In charge of collecting the fines will be our recently newsworthy friends at the Internal Revenue Service.

… Faced with the public outcry, the government did allow nonexempt religious organizations​—​hospitals, universities, charities, and so on​—​a year to get over their scruples and figure out how to comply. That year ends on August 1, when another 30 or so lawsuits filed by objecting nonprofits will be activated. But now, enter stage left: the IRS.

The way the regulation is written, it is the IRS that determines whether an organization qualifies for full exemption from the HHS mandate. To qualify, an organization must be a nonprofit as described in section 6033(a)(1) and section 6033(a)(3)(A)(i) or (iii) (oh, my!) of the amended Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and therefore exempt from filing Form 990, which most nonprofits must file annually.

The good news: in the short term, the IRS is likely to be so conscious of the extra scrutiny it’s under because of the scandal involving tea party groups that it applies an exceedingly light tough in dealing with organizations trying to gain exemption from the mandate. The bad news: wayward government agencies, like misbehaving children, have a tendency to straighten up and fly right only as long as they know they’re being observed.

Even if the IRS discharges this duty with as much objectivity as possible, however, it doesn’t alleviate the underlying problem. No bureaucrat — nor any politician, for that matter — should possess power so sweeping that they get to decide whether or not someone’s religious beliefs earn indulgence from the state. It’s government at its most intrusive. And it’s one more reason that the contraception mandate — and Obamacare with it — needs to be discarded.

June 5th, 2013 at 10:19 am
HHS: Yep, We Lied
Posted by Print

If you’re a member of the Obama Administration who’s engaged in some official malfeasance, now is the time to come clean. With the orgy of Administration-related scandals in the news right now, there’s a decent chance no one will notice. And if they do, they’ll likely be so numb to the pervasive impropriety that they’ll just ignore it and move on. That seems to be the thinking at the Department of Health and Human Services, where Secretary Kathleen Sebelius suddenly decided to become a little more forthcoming yesterday. From the New York Times:

Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, disclosed on Tuesday that she had made telephone calls to three companies regulated by her department and urged them to help a nonprofit group promote President Obama’s health care law.

She identified the companies as Johnson & Johnson, the drug maker; Ascension Health, a large Roman Catholic health care system; and Kaiser Permanente, the health insurance plan.

At a hearing of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Ms. Sebelius said she did not explicitly ask the companies for money, but urged them to support the work of the nonprofit group, Enroll America.

The group, led by former Obama administration officials, is working with the White House to publicize the 2010 health care law and help uninsured people sign up for coverage.

Here’s the deal: News of the Secretary’s freelancing had already gone public a few weeks ago, but the defense at the time was that she had only solicited money from a couple of companies that weren’t regulated by HHS. Now she concedes that she was hitting up companies under her department’s jurisdiction but wants you to believe that it wasn’t that big of a deal.

Here’s the problem: Congress refused to fully fund an extensive PR campaign for Obamacare (as it should have — this is a government health program, not the rollout of a new SUV), leading a bunch of Obama flaks to create the aforementioned Enroll America. Now you have the HHS Secretary — who has the power to bring down the hammer on these companies — ever-so-gently suggesting that they “support the work” of Enroll. She could well be telling the truth about not explicitly asking them for money — because she wouldn’t have to. None of these companies need to be told outright that if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

The dissembling from HHS is bad enough, but it’s representative of a deeper problem. At every turn, Obamacare creates precisely this kind of nexus between government and the private sector. It’s an invitation to corruption. And it looks like the RSVPs are starting to come in.

June 4th, 2013 at 12:02 pm
Democrats Go Kamikaze for 2014
Posted by Print

The job of Republican strategists preparing for the next midterm election just got a lot easier. From Politico:

Scarred by years of Republican attacks over Obamacare, with more in store next year, Democrats have settled on an unlikely strategy for the 2014 midterms: Bring it on.

Party strategists believe that embracing the polarizing law — especially its more popular elements — is smarter politics than fleeing from it in the House elections. The new tack is a marked shift from 2010, when Republicans pointed to Obamacare as Exhibit A of Big Government run amok on their way to seizing the House from Democrats.

But the Democratic bear hug, reflecting a calculation it’s probably impossible to shed their association with the law even if they wanted to, is still a high-wire public relations act. The White House has consistently struggled with messaging on Obamacare, hoping the public would gain an appreciation for the health care makeover as its benefits became apparent. That never really happened, but Democrats seem to be banking that it finally will.

This at a time when 54 percent of the public opposes the law, 40 percent very strongly.

Democrats seem to be banking on the notion that they can run on the law’s benefits while being held blameless for its costs. It should be fun to watch that play out as the former continues to shrink while the latter spirals out of control.

December 7th, 2012 at 8:56 am
Podcast: Post Election, What’s Next for Health Care?
Posted by Print

In an interview with CFIF, Sally Pipes, President of Pacific Research Institute, discusses the fate of ObamaCare, Medicare and health care, generally, in the aftermath of the elections.

Listen to the interview here.