Health Care

Howard Schultz takes the middle ground on health care

Featured image Howard Schultz’s independent run for president, if it occurs, will be based on his view that there is a vast amount of space between the two political parties and that voters will flock to a candidate who fills that space. The first proposition is certainly true. The second remains to be tested. Yesterday, Schultz stepped into the space between the parties on health care. He denounced Sen. Kamala Harris’ call »

Kamala Harris: You can’t keep your health insurance even if you like it

Featured image Sen. Kamala Harris backs “Medicare for all” — i.e. the single payer health insurance system that Sen. Bernie Sanders advocates. The “single payer” is the government — i.e., taxpayers. During a CNN town hall, Jake Tapper asked Harris whether her proposal means eliminating private health insurance. Harris reportedly answered in the affirmative, saying she would be okay with cutting insurers out of the mix. As if to justify this, she »

De Blasio has a plan

Featured image The Times reports on Mayor de Blasio’s plan to “guarantee health care for all New Yorkers,” legal and otherwise. The mayor announced his plan on MSNBC’s Morning Joe (the tweet below is carried in the version of the Times story posted online): New York City Mayor New York City will spend $100 million to provide health care for undocumented immigrants and others who cannot qualify for insurance, Mayor Bill de »

Trump Administration Undermines Obamacare

Featured image With the Democrats in control of the House, nothing useful will come out of Congress in the next two years. That means that progress in domestic policy will have to come via regulation and executive action. Happily, the Trump administration is very strong on this front. An underreported story is the administration’s regulatory reform of Obamacare. Here, the administration is implementing ideas that were developed in think tanks like my »

Medicaid for all

Featured image Following the lead of Bernie Sanders, many Democrats advocate “Medicare for All.” It’s a smart move. Most old folks, including me, are very happy with the insurance Medicare provides. Many non-old folks realize this and wish they had coverage as good. But Wesley Smith argues that Sanders is actually offering Medicaid for all. Medicaid is a troubled health insurance program for the poor and, thanks to expansion, some who are »

What Alfie’s all about

Featured image Twenty-three month old Alfie Evans was held for nearly a week without care against the will of his parents in a Alder Hey hospital in Liverpool until he died yesterday. He could have been cared for in a Vatican hospital if the British authorities had let him go. The British authorities denied him care to avoid his or their suffering. The basic facts of the case are set forth by »

On Health Care, Trump Takes an Important First Step

Featured image In the wake of the Republican Congress’s historic failure to carry out its pledge to repeal Obamacare, President Trump today signed an executive order intended to promote choice and competition in health care markets. The order is a practical and positive step forward that will benefit millions of Americans. Why am I so sure of that? Because a key portion of the order is based in part on work done »

The Worst Republican Senator

Featured image There really ought to be a statute of limitations on how long John McCain can play the tortured war hero card. His war hero status was exhausted with me a decade ago over a single instance. Brad Smith, who as chairman of the Federal Election Commission and law professor dared to criticize the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law on constitutional grounds (later vindicated in several Supreme Court cases culminating in the »

Sanders Admits His Health Plan Will Bankrupt the US

Featured image Bernie Sanders’s single-payer health care plan released yesterday offered no cost estimate, and no funding mechanism, though a credible estimate from the Urban Institute of a previous Sanders proposal came in at $32 trillion of new spending for the first ten years. I suspect that for Sanders, this is a feature and not a bug. Over at Reason, Peter Suderman has done yeoman work in digging up a 1987 event »

Health Care Reform Is Not Dead

Featured image Earlier today, a group of Republicans including Lindsey Graham, Bill Cassidy, Dean Heller, Ron Johnson and former Senator Rick Santorum unveiled a new Obamacare replacement plan. It isn’t just a concept, but has been reduced to actual legislation. Despite reservations that some may have about the proposal’s sponsors, early reviews by conservatives have been positive. The Graham-Cassidy proposal partially repeals Obamacare and turns power over to the states. These are »

Keith Ellison Exposes World’s Worst-Kept Secret

Featured image American liberals have long yearned to follow the Europeans into the nirvana of socialized medicine. But they recognize that U.S. voters are not yet “ready” to go the full Monty. So they have taken incremental steps, taking over more and more of what once was a private health care system, while waiting for the inevitable dawn of socialized medicine. Nancy Pelosi claims that she doesn’t favor socialized medicine, and has »

Single Fallacies

Featured image Obviously the future of health care policy rests on a knife edge. It is a political game of chicken between whether Republicans have the nerve to roll back the egregious features of Obamacare that will necessarily involve creating gaps in insurance coverage, and Democrats who think that they are in the catbird seat because either the eventual collapse of Obamacare or the defects of a Republican reform will set the »

Junk insurance or junk reporting?

Featured image In the guise of a news story, the New York Times presents a screed against what it calls “junk insurance.” The occasion for the screed is Senator Ted Cruz’s proposal that insurers be allowed to sell plans that that don’t meet Obamacare standards, if they also sell policies that meet these standards. The idea is to give consumers choices. The Times’ Reed Abelson complains that under this proposal, insurance companies »

Trump Can Improve Health Care Without Congress

Featured image At the moment, it appears that the Republican Congress will not be able to pass any meaningful health insurance reform legislation. I hope that assessment is too pessimistic, but in any event, President Trump doesn’t need to wait for Congress. There is a great deal he can do, administratively, to reverse the damage being caused by Obamacare and help to preserve private markets for health care. In response to a »

Millions of Liberal Brain Cells Have Died

Featured image I’ve commented before on the current Democratic talking point that “millions will die” if the Senate health care reform proposal is enacted, noting that I had missed this enormous mortality that must have been occurring just a few years ago before Obamacare was passed. There is actually fairly robust econometric literature that establishes the proposition that “wealthier is healthier,” and hence that economic growth is the best general policy for »

California Dreaming

Featured image Sadly for those of us hoping California would go full commie as an object lesson for the rest of the nation, the state legislature has shelved the proposed $400 billion single-payer health care bill. Democrats are naturally blaming Trump, because the scheme would require a bunch of waivers from the Administration to go into effect, but the real reason is that it’s a total lunatic idea, and there a just »

A single-payer test drive?

Featured image The Wall Street Journal editors ask: “If Democrats believe the lesson of ObamaCare is that the government should have even more control over health care, then why not show how it would work in the liberal paradise?” The question is prompted by the California Senate’s recent passage of a single-payer health care bill. The legislation guarantees free government-run health care for California’s 39 million residents — no co-pays, deductibles or »