Beware of Hype During ObamaCare Anniversary Week

Expect a big push from the president next week to “celebrate” the one-year anniversary of ObamaCare’s passage. And you also can expect him to focus on the same aspects of the law he has been talking about all year. As Janet Adamy reports today in The Wall Street Journal:

“Next week, nearly a half dozen cabinet secretaries will fan out across the country to promote the law’s early benefits: tax credits that offset the cost of insurance for small businesses, rebate checks for seniors with high prescription costs that fall into a drug insurance coverage gap and rules that let parents keep their children on their insurance plan until their 26th birthdays.

“…To help counter Republican criticisms of the law, the Obama administration is trying to signal that states will get more flexibility to carry out the law’s mandates.”

But the American people aren’t being fooled. A new poll out today from Kaiser shows that 46% of Americans view the legislation negatively now, as opposed to 42% who see it positively. That’s a switch and a big change from last year when only 40% saw it as a negative and 46% saw it positively.

And we are going to do all we can to make sure people understand what the real impact of this law will be when the freight train hits in 2014.

This is the time to place your order for our new book, Why ObamaCare Is Wrong for America (HarperCollins). It will arm you with the facts and the real information you need to know about the true impact of this new law. You can visit our dedicated website at www.WrongForAmericaBook.com to find out how to order. And starting next Tuesday, it should be in bookstores everywhere.

And if you can, please join us this coming Thursday for our major book launch event at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., at 9:30 a.m. My co-authors — Jim Capretta of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Tom Miller of the American Enterprise Institute, and Bob Moffit of The Heritage Foundation — and I will talk about the book. Copies will be available to purchase, and we will be happy to sign yours! Please register online and join us on Thursday.

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Holding the administration accountable: Republicans in Congress continue to highlight the impact that this law already is having and will have with numerous hearings and studies.

Health Secretary Sebelius has been a frequent visitor to Capitol Hill where she has admitted, among other things, that the long-term care program in the law is not sustainable without changes (we’re waiting for her to admit, as Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota did, that the CLASS program is indeed a Ponzi scheme), that health costs are still rising, and that the law does indeed double-count Medicare “savings” — the kind of bookkeeping that would land the head of a financial institution in jail.

All of the administration’s promises of state flexibility and transparency are increasingly shown to be hollow — not to mention the promises of unburdening businesses, reducing the deficit, and making Medicare stronger.

We learned earlier this month that the White House held countless meetings with special interest groups in a building across the street to get around having to publicly list them as visitors.

Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah offered further evidence this week that the administration is being anything but forthcoming and transparent in handling ObamaCare. A study by his staff at the Finance Committee, released this week, shows that the administration has circumvented the typical public comment period 83% of the time in issuing its regulations. That means that the administration is simply issuing the regulations to implement the law without any public comment. It’s consistent with the whole philosophy of the law that Washington knows best.

Finance Committee Republicans also released an analysis that found that the Department of Health and Human Services failed to respond to 67% of the requests for more information on the health law from Republican members of Congress.

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The battle for our future: Budget Chairman Paul Ryan is setting the stage for the crucial next battle over entitlement reform with a hearing yesterday emphasizing the crucial importance to the future of our economy and our prosperity of acting now. “If — and only if — we act now, reforms can be phased in and gradual,” he said. Reforms must be “conducive to economic growth and consistent with our historic commitment of leaving the next generation of Americans with a more prosperous and secure nation.”

Our colleague (and co-author) Jim Capretta testified that there is a path forward that doesn’t rely on ObamaCare’s price controls and rationing. “With effective government oversight, cost-conscious consumers have the potential to transform American health care, making it much more productive and of high quality, which is what we desperately need,” he said. “With such a reform, the system will become more patient-focused, more efficient, and more innovative. The result will be less fiscal stress, a healthier population, and a health care sector that delivers the kind of value the public deserves.”

In a separate hearing this week, American Action Forum President Doug Holtz-Eakin testified before the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday. He explained how the health law is a missed opportunity for Medicare reform, how the law places substantial stress on the Medicaid program, and how it has become a barrier to job growth in America.

Our colleague Joe Antos of the American Enterprise Institute testified about the long-term care CLASS program (the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Program) before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. “The program is unsustainable and will add substantially to the budget deficit in the coming years,” he said. “Without major program changes, CLASS will face a financial crisis that could lead to a financial bailout rivaling anything we have seen to date.”

And (co-author) Tom Miller of AEI testified last week about “The Pressures of Rising Costs on Employer Provided Health Care” before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. He concluded: “A number of blame-shifting assertions, statistical mirages, overstatements, and simplistic pet theories should not distract us from the more complex and daunting task of both rethinking the path that the previous Congress took in the ACA and pursuing more robust and realistic routes to sustainable, higher-value health care.”

ObamaCare has dramatically exacerbated the problems with entitlement spending in this country and getting this straight is the challenge of our generation. Our freedom and prosperity depend on it.

CLIP OF THE WEEK

ObamaCare at Year One: The Real March Madness

The Independent Women’s Voice has its own March Madness brackets: “ObamaCare at Year One: The Real March Madness.” Click on the image below to help IWV determine which ObamaCare element is the most odious. It’s a way to see in one place the 64 worst things about this law. As you move through the brackets, you’ll eventually discover which provision you determine to be the worst.
Play now >>

 

GALEN IN THE NEWS

Health Insurers Fleeing Markets Across the Country

Grace-Marie Turner
Health Reform Report, March 17, 2011

Since ObamaCare was enacted one year ago, there has been a steady drip-drip-drip of news articles about health insurers leaving the market and people losing their health insurance — long before the destructive law takes full effect. But the trickle is turning into a river with millions of Americans in states across the country learning that their health insurers have withdrawn from the market, making it increasingly difficult to find affordable coverage. It is no wonder that the percentage of people who want to see the law repealed and replaced with more sensible reforms remains high, and will grow as more and more people discover the impact of the new law.
Read More »

Medicaid transforming into single-payer surprise

Grace-Marie Turner
The Washington Times, March 15, 2011

The battle over Medicaid’s proper role in health reform has been a hotly contested tug of war thus far, but that likely will change as more governors join the fray and flex their collective muscle. States are facing severe budget deficits and an increasing number of governors — Republicans and Democrats alike — realize they must make changes quickly to keep Medicaid from swallowing up spending on education, transportation and public safety. Reforming the program nationally, of course, should have been Job One with the Congress and President Obama when they drew up their health reform plans. Sadly, Medicaid is as bureaucratic and rule-driven as ever. The potential bright spot is that the governors hold the power cards for health reform over the next two years and seem intent on demanding more flexibility to run the programs themselves. In this tug of war, all Americans — well-off or poor — should be rooting for the governors.
Read More »

HEALTH REFORM

The Implementation and Sustainability of the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Program
Testimony before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce
Joseph R. Antos, American Enterprise Institute, 03/17/11

ObamaCare and the Dodd-Frank Act: What Would Hayek Say?
Peter J. Wallison, American Enterprise Institute, 03/11

Why the Health Care Law Has Sparked a National Debate Over First Principles
Robert Moffit, Ph.D., The Heritage Foundation, 03/14/11

ObamaCare and the Truth about “Cost Shifting”
R. Glenn Hubbard, John F. Cogan, Daniel Kessler, The Wall Street Journal, 03/11/11

Secretary Sebelius Cannot Fix CLASS
Brian Blase and John S. Hoff, The Heritage Foundation, 03/16/11

ObamaCare’s in Trouble, So Out Come the Talking Heads
Merrill Matthews, Forbes: Right Directions, 03/16/11

‘Obamacare won’t solve the problems’
Robert Speer, NewsReview.com, 03/17/11

MEDICARE AND MEDICAID

Congressional Primer: Medicare Advantage: An Endangered Source of Added Value and Innovation
Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Michael Ramlet, American Action Forum, 03/15/11

State Variation in Primary Care Physician Supply: Implications for Health Reform Medicaid Expansions
Peter J. Cunningham, Center for Studying Health System Change, 03/11

STATE ISSUES

Data From Massachusetts and South Carolina on Emergency Patients Do Not Add Up
American College of Emergency Physicians, 03/15/11

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS

Genetics and Health 2.0 vs. the Old Guard
Jon Entine, The American, 03/15/11

INTERNATIONAL HEALTH SYSTEMS

Canada’s Physician Supply
Nadeem Esmail, Fraser Institute, 03/09/11

Events

REGISTER NOW!
Why ObamaCare Is Wrong for America
Book Forum
Thursday, March 24, 2011
9:30am – 11:00am
Washington, DC
This event is co-hosted by the Galen Institute, Ethics and Public Policy Center, American Enterprise Institute, and The Heritage Foundation.

Why Doctors Need Full Repeal of ObamaCare: Medical Professionals Diagnose the Law’s Side Effects
The Heritage Foundation Event
Monday, March 21, 2011
12:00pm – 1:00pm
Washington, DC

The New Health Care Law: What a Difference a Year Makes
Cato Institute Event
Monday, March 21, 2011
1:00pm – 5:30pm
Washington, DC

Grace-Marie Turner on The Small Business Advocate
Nationally Syndicated Radio Broadcast
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
7:30am ET

Grace-Marie Turner on The Dennis Miller Show
Nationally Syndicated Radio Broadcast
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
11:30am ET

Grace-Marie Turner on FOX & Friends
FOX News Television Broadcast
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
8:15am ET
Grace-Marie Turner will talk about the new book she co-authored with three health policy experts, Why ObamaCare Is Wrong for America. Please visit the book’s website for a calendar of other media appearances and special events.

Quality Check: Three Unique Approaches for Improving Value in Healthcare
Philips Healthcare Webinar
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
1:30pm – 2:45pm ET

What Does the New Healthcare Reform Mean for Reproductive Justice?
American University Washington College of Law Event
Thursday, March 31, 2011
3:00pm – 5:00pm
Washington, DC

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