December 2011 Highlights

Health insurers are being forced to leave markets across the country because onerous ObamaCare regulations already are taking effect, and the first casualties are small businesses and the health insurance agents who serve them. In December, Grace-Marie Turner testified before a congressional Small Business Committee hearing entitled “New Medical Loss Ratios: Increasing Health Care Value or Just Eliminating Jobs?” Grace-Marie said the health law is leading to a loss of affordable options for health insurance for small employers, to a loss of jobs inside and outside the health sector, and to higher health costs that make hiring new workers a risky proposition, especially for struggling small businesses. We also published a new paper, “A radical restructuring of health insurance,” chronicling the numerous health insurance carriers across the country that have been forced to leave markets, causing millions of people to lose the coverage they had. We discussed these topics and other reform issues in numerous commentaries, media interviews, meetings, and speeches throughout December. Please see our summary of activities below for more.

PUBLICATIONS

Our latest paper, “A Radical Restructuring of Health Insurance,” provides an overview of insurance carriers leaving the market; the impact of Obama administration rules on the child-only health insurance market; the disruptions caused by rules governing health premium payouts and “grandfathering;” and the threats to the Medicare Advantage market.

Is the Affordable Care Act living up to its promise to make health care more affordable? Grace-Marie answered “No!” in her latest pro/con piece, entitled “Health law is already sending costs through the roof.” It was published in several dozen news outlets, including the Green Bay Press-Gazette, New Orleans Times-Picayune, Lincoln Journal Star, and Juneau Empire.

Grace-Marie contributed to the National Review Online Symposium on “Debate Nights,” and also contributed three posts to their Critical Condition blog:

Grace-Marie’s commentary about Pfizer’s new generic pricing program, “Lipitor And The Future Of Pharmaceutical Innovation,” was published on Forbes.com.

SPEECHES & EVENTS

Grace-Marie testified on “New Medical Loss Ratios: Increasing Health Care Value or Just Eliminating Jobs?” before the House Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations on December 15.

“How to Fix the Doc Fix” was the focus of our December health policy briefing for congressional staffers, jointly hosted by the Galen Institute, American Enterprise Institute, and The Heritage Foundation. Guest speakers Joseph Antos, PhD, and Robert Moffit, PhD, discussed the Medicare sustainable growth payment controversy and what we should do instead of continuing to slash Medicare provider payments.

Rep. Tom Price, MD, was our keynote speaker on the December State Leaders Call, jointly hosted by the Galen Institute, Institute for Policy Innovation, and State Policy Network. Dr. Price talked to our group about the Empowering Patients First Act, his comprehensive bill to repeal PPACA.

Grace-Marie gave a presentation to senior executives of KCI, addressing the controversy over competitive bidding for medical devices, the Super Committee, Part D and Medicare, and a vision forward for competition and markets in promoting a patient-centered health sector.

The Galen Institute’s Board of Trustees held its annual meeting in Alexandria, Virginia, on December 10, which was followed by a holiday party at Grace-Marie’s home to thank members of the Health Policy Consensus Group for another successful year of collaboration.

We were invited to meetings with Members of Congress, state legislators, and candidates to discuss the impact of the health law and free-market solutions for reform.

GALEN IN THE NEWS

Grace-Marie joined FOX Business’ Varney & Co. show to discuss the Ryan-Wyden Medicare proposal on December 16.

Grace-Marie joined several nationally syndicated radio programs in December to discuss medical loss ratio (MLR) regulations, our new paper on the “Radical Restructuring of Health Insurance,” the Ryan-Wyden Medicare plan, and the ObamaCare burden on small businesses, including The Lou Dobbs Show, The G. Gordon Liddy Show, Dateline: Washington, and The Lars Larson Show. She was also a guest on regional programs like Butler on Business in Georgia and Up Front with Rod Grams in Minnesota.

We also gave interviews to Politico and Modern Healthcare. Here are just a few articles that mentioned the work of the Galen Institute:

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