In our latest Liberty Update, we highlight how the Biden Administration is inexplicably resurrecting…
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Image of the Day: Internet Speeds INCREASED After Repeal of So-Called "Net Neutrality"

In our latest Liberty Update, we highlight how the Biden Administration is inexplicably resurrecting the zombie "Net Neutrality" that caused demonstrable harm to internet service during its mercifully brief lifetime at the end of the Obama Administration.  Once again, our friend economist Steve Moore illustrates one of the critical points in this debate well.  Namely, internet speeds shot back sharply upward after the Trump Administration FCC under Ajit Pai repealed the Obama FCC's Title II-Net Neutrality order:

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="557"] Repealing "Net Neutrality" Increased Speeds[/caption]


October 03, 2023 • 09:14 AM

Liberty Update

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Obama’s War on Medicare Print
By Ashton Ellis
Thursday, February 27 2014
[J]ust like ObamaCare, more government intervention will result in fewer options for consumers.

If the Obama administration is trying to kill half of Medicare, why aren’t liberals angry?

No one who saw the infamous Democratic campaign ad showing a Paul Ryan lookalike throwing a wheelchair-bound granny off a cliff missed the point – Republican reform efforts like Ryan’s would “change Medicare as we know it,” causing life-threatening harm to seniors.

During the 2012 campaign when Ryan was the GOP’s vice presidential nominee, his Medicare reform plan was pilloried by Democrats and their allied political action committees. In fact, any attempt to fix Medicare’s march to insolvency – a reality the Trustees of the Medicare program estimate will occur in 2024 – is greeted by liberals with derision. Much like Social Security, Medicare is treated by Democrats as though its problems aren’t structural and financial, but rather can be summed up as a failure to be applied to all Americans.

To the liberal mind, even ObamaCare can’t measure up to its vaunted predecessor. With Democrats’ signature domestic policy stumbling out of the gate, archliberals like U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders – an avowed socialist – and filmmaker Michael Moore – whose documentary Sicko holds up the Cuban health care system as superior to America’s – argued for a “Medicare-for-all” solution that would convert ObamaCare’s quasi-private insurance market into a full-fledged, government-run single-payer system.

Despite all this, the Obama administration announced late last Friday that it would dramatically overhaul two of Medicare’s four parts.

What gives?

The proposed rule – titled, “Contract Year 2015 Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage and the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Programs” – would allow the federal government to severely limit health insurance and provider options in the two programs.

This is significant for two reasons. First, both Medicare Advantage (Part C) and the Drug Benefit Program (Part D) are considered successful in study after study. The strength of both is due to the fact that they allow private insurers and pharmacies to compete for Medicare patients who opt out of fee-for-service Medicare (Part A). (Government payments to hospitals fall under Part B). All of these components fall under the aegis of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS).

However, CMS’ intent with the proposed rule is clear: “[T]o strengthen our ability to identify strong applicants for Part C and Part D program participation and remove consistently poor performers.” This means giving federal health bureaucrats the same kind of powers they have in every ObamaCare exchange – setting prices for services rendered and limiting the number and kind of plans companies can offer.

And just like ObamaCare, more government intervention will result in fewer options for consumers. If implemented, up to 14 million enrollees could be forced off their current Part D plans. Restricting payments to Part C has already led to a $300 million raid on Medicare Advantage to help fund ObamaCare. Reducing access to the program will likely shove people into fee-for-service Medicare. In effect, CMS’ proposed rule constitutes a big step toward making the half of Medicare that isn’t directly controlled by the government into one that is.

This is why liberals like Sanders and Moore aren’t taking to the editorial pages to decry the Obama administration’s dismantling of Medicare’s two most successful parts. They want the government in charge of all facets of health policy, so they support eliminating the non-public elements that serve as empirically superior alternatives. Using ObamaCare to swell Medicare’s fee-for-service enrollment is a great idea if the ultimate goal of both programs is to create a nationalized single-payer system.

The cynicism in the Left’s approach to Medicare reform is telling. Rather than present their reform ideas in plain language as did Paul Ryan, liberal politicians and their activist friends are content to get their desired results through arcane bureaucratic maneuvers. This robs the public from having a say in the reform debate, and in the process delegitimizes their so-called representatives.

Notable Quote   
"In the three months since President Joe Biden decided to campaign on the glories of 'Bidenomics,' inflation started creeping back up, the unemployment rate rose, and his approval ratings on the economy have steadily dropped. Now, stagflation is back in the news. All of it is leading Democrats to urge Biden to ... shift his messaging.Stagflation -- the combination of rising inflation, high unemployment…[more]
— Issues & Insights Editorial Board
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