Friday, April 27, 2012

After Obamacare: More for the Supreme Court to Strike Down

As we wait in cautious optimism for the Supreme Court to free us from the burden of Obamacare, let's think of some other harmful federal intrusion that would be good to get rid of. How about the curious notion that Congress should regulate health insurance at all?
Read the entire column at The Apothecary.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Americans Control Fewer of Our Own Health Dollars Than Swiss, Swedes, or Canadians!

What is unique about U.S. health care? Well, not only do we control fewer of our own health care dollars directly than our friends in other developed countries do, but we've also been going in the wrong direction for over two decades.

After defeating Obamacare, breaking this long-term trend will be a critical objective of the real health reform that replaces it.

Read the entire article here.

Friday, April 20, 2012

ALEC Is Critical To Defeating Obamacare

You may have never heard of ALEC before the last few days, when both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal editorialized on a campaign waged by shadowy lobbying groups to influence corporations to withdraw their support from this non-profit collaboration of state legislators.

The American Legislative Exchange Council, which was founded in 1973, is the only venue where state legislators committed to the Jeffersonian principles of limited government meet together to collaborate on model legislation that they are free to introduce in their state legislatures. As well as legislative members, ALEC includes private-sector members. I represent my employer in a small sub-set of the private-sector group, the non-profit private-sector members (a.k.a. the think tanks).

Anyone interested in defeating Obamacare and replacing it with a reform that puts patients – not the government – in charge of our own health-care dollars needs to support ALEC’s continued independence and success.

Read the entire column at The Apothecary.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Is Government Harmful to Medical Innovation? A Debate at Harvard University, May 3

The Benjamin Rush Society Presents The Arthur N. Rupe Debate Series:
Be It Resolved That:

"Government Is Harmful to Medical Innovation"

Harvard Medical School
Tosteson Medical Education Center (TMEC), Floor 2, Room 227260 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pre-debate reception at 5:45 p.m. Debate at 6:30 p.m.

In Favor:

Neil Minkoff, MD (Sudbury, MA)
Founder, FountainHead HealthCare & Commissioner, Massachusetts Group Health Insurance Commission

Avik Roy (New York, NY)
Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute for Public Policy & Editor, The Apothecary blog at
In Opposition:

Jerry Avorn, MD
(Boston, MA)
Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School & Chief, Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, Brigham and Women's Hospital

John Abramson, MD (Boston, MA)
Lecturer on Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School & Author, Overdosed America: The Broken Promise of American Medicine

Jeffrey S. Flier, MD
(Boston, MA)
Dean, Faculty of Medicine, Harvard University

This event is free but seating is limited. Please reserve your seat by registering at this link.

(The nearest MBTA station is Longwood Medical. A map showing the nearest parking is at this link.)

(A printable version of this invitation is at

For more information , or to volunteer, contact Ilana Yurkiewicz, chapter co-president, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Why Didn't The Supreme Court's Obamacare Hearings Cream Health Insurance Stocks?

There is a split between what free-market policy analysts believe Obamacare will do to health insurers and what investors believe. Wonks tend to think that the regulatory burden imposed by Obamacare – especially increasing politicians’ power over health plans’ ability to set premiums – will demolish private health insurance.

But Wall Street sees it differently: The “individual mandate” that every American acquire health insurance has been understood as an overwhelming gift to the health insurers. Their premiums, although highly regulated, are about to become fairly risk-free. Perhaps they should be analyzed as utilities?

Read the entire column at

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What If We Regulated Legal Services Like Health Care?

Well, the future of American health care is now controlled by lawyers. That may not be news – doctors, drug makers, and medical-device makers have long complained about the cost of lawsuits. But this different: The future of PPACA is in the hands of the Supreme Court.

Hundreds of lawyers billed thousands of hours analyzing and preparing briefs for the case. And that’s after countless hours spent by Congressional staff lawyers putting the bill together in 2009 and 2010.

The result? A “law” so confusing that even the legislators – themselves mostly lawyers – could not bother to even try to read it. It makes one think: If the lawyers are designing the health-care system, shouldn’t they be forced to operate under regulations similar to those they’re imposing?
Read the entire article at John Goodman's Health Policy Blog.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

If the Supreme Court Kills Obamacare, Should We Thank Mitt Romney?

There is no doubt that the campaign to “repeal and replace” ObamaCare will have its weakest standard bearer if Mitt Romney becomes the Republican candidate for President. His embrace of an “individual mandate” to buy health insurance or pay a penalty, as legislated in his 2006 Massachusetts health reform, is anathema to those faithful to the ideal of limited government.

But maybe we should look at it another way: If Mitt Romney had never signed his 2006 law, those of us committed to defeating ObamaCare would never be in the fortunate position we are today – the whole, ungodly mess hanging by a thin thread after a brutal hazing in the Supreme Court.

Read the entire article here.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Skin in the Game: Governor Brown is Right and Secretary Sebelius Is Wrong About Medicaid Co-Pays

It's not often you see budgetary sense coming out of the California state Capitol. So, we should cheer the legislators and governor who have proposed a modest reform to Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program for low-income residents, that would have improved incentives for patients and reduced the budgetary bleeding by about half a billion dollars - if it had take place last year.

California governor Brown believes - correctly - that if Medi-Cal beneficiaries have "skin in the game," that they will make better use of the medical services that the taxpayers subsidize. Unfortunately, U.S. Secretary of Health & Human Services Sebelius has quashed this reform, on questionable legal grounds.

Read the entire Health Policy Prescription here.