We Have a Launch!

Our new book, Why ObamaCare Is Wrong for America, was launched this week with a burst of media activity and a terrific book event at the National Press Club. It’s now in bookstores and online portals everywhere.

If you missed the live webcast yesterday of the launch, it is available anytime here. It also will be telecast on C-SPAN BookTV in a week to ten days (we will send an alert when we know the time and date).

The webcast gives a good overview of the book from the four authors, and you’ll hear a terrific introduction from Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, who led off our event yesterday. “I’m such a fan of this book,” he said. “It’s really an excellent statement, I think, an important statement, of the case against ObamaCare — which I think is the correct case in understanding ObamaCare. And it also suggests the direction one should go once it’s repealed.”

Here are links to interviews with co-authors Jim Capretta, Tom Miller, Bob Moffit, and me on National Review Online and Townhall. Lots of other articles and news clips are available at our dedicated website, www.WrongForAmericaBOOK.com.

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An unhappy anniversary! The administration can’t be happy with the way the ObamaCare anniversary week went. Polls show the law is even more unpopular now than when it was jammed through Congress last March. A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday said only 37% of Americans support the measure, with 59% opposed. That’s basically unchanged from a year ago.

While people oppose it for different reasons (a small minority because it wasn’t liberal enough), Bill Kristol pointed out that this is the president’s signature legislation and that he owns it completely heading into next year’s election. The president has a real problem because the more the White House brings attention to the overhaul law, the bigger the blow back.

The week triggered a blast of articles about waivers given out to political favorites, the Starbuck’s CEO saying he now believes the law will hurt small businesses, states fighting back on numerous fronts, and new CBO cost estimates that put the total cost for 2012-2021 at $1.4 trillion. That’s a 48% increase from CBO’s earlier estimate. And it hasn’t even started yet!

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Romney not backing down. Speaking of people “owning” an unpopular piece of legislation, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney this week posted a comment on National Review Online about how to fix ObamaCare.

His solution: “If I were president, on Day One I would issue an executive order paving the way for Obamacare waivers to all 50 states. The executive order would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services and all relevant federal officials to return the maximum possible authority to the states to innovate and design health-care solutions that work best for them.”

With all due respect to Gov. Romney, this is clueless! I know it is consistent with his defense of RomneyCare in which he insists it worked for Massachusetts but he wouldn’t impose it on the rest of the country.

But how is that different from President Obama’s position? The president said last week that he would be happy to grant waivers to any states that wanted to go about putting health care under government control in a different way. If Gov. Romney were to get the nomination, ObamaCare would collapse as an issue.

Also, you can’t wipe out with an executive order $550 billion in new and higher taxes, two massive new entitlement programs, vast Medicaid expansion, and mandates on individuals, businesses, and the states to comply with the law as set down by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Waivers are not a solution.

Gov. Romney continued: “Of course, the ultimate goal is to repeal Obamacare and replace it with free-market reforms that promote competition and lower health-care costs. But since an outright repeal would take time, an executive order is the first step in returning power to the states.”

Take time? The Republican House passed a repeal bill within a few weeks of taking power. If there were a majority in the Senate supporting repeal, then a new president could have a bill to sign on his desk within a month or two of taking office. Why on earth would you want to send states on a wild chase to start implementing ObamaCare in a different way?!

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Fighting Back. And good for Aetna!

Aetna is suing six New Jersey doctors over medical bills it calls “unconscionable,” including $56,980 for a bedside consultation and $59,490 for an ultrasound that typically costs $74, according to a Bloomberg report.

“Aetna tried in 2007 to impose caps on some out-of-network payments, prompting doctor complaints to the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance,” Bloomberg reports. “The agency sided with the doctors, fined the company $2.5 million, and ordered it to pay out-of-network practitioners enough so that patients wouldn’t be asked to pay balances other than co-pays.”

Another internist “raised his fee for 30 to 74 minutes of service to critically-ill hospital patients to $9,000 in 2008 from $500 in 2007, the suit claims. Medicare pays $236 for the same type of consultation, according to the AMA website.” The list goes on and on. Similar legal battles involving Aetna and several other insurers are ongoing in New York.

Certainly there are the outliers, but this shows the breakdown when you don’t have a properly functioning market where consumers, not politicians, watching the purse strings.

CLIP OF THE WEEK

Book Launch at the National Press Club

This week’s clip is the video from Thursday’s book launch event at the National Press Club. Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard gives opening remarks, followed by the co-authors of Why ObamaCare Is Wrong for America, Grace-Marie, Jim Capretta, Tom Miller, and Bob Moffit. The forum concludes with questions and answers from the audience.
Watch now >>

 

GALEN IN THE NEWS

ObamaCare Assaults Medical Progress

Grace-Marie Turner
Richmond Times-Dispatch, 03/20/11

Great Britain’s national health agency late last year reaffirmed its decision to deny the breakthrough drug Avastin to patients with advanced breast cancer. Just days later, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) followed suit, denying treatment — and hope — to the 17,500 American breast cancer patients prescribed Avastin each year. This is a sign of things to come. Under the new health overhaul law, far too many medical decisions will be made by bureaucrats — not doctors and patients. The more that government controls health spending, the more control it has to make these top-down decisions. The better solution is a diffused and competitive marketplace where people have other options for coverage, where health plans continue to conduct private comparative effectiveness studies, and where the government is not the central player.
Read More »

Why ObamaCare Is Wrong for America

This week our book was covered by more than two dozen major media outlets. Here are some of the highlights from those interviews and television appearances.

  • Grace-Marie appeared on the FOX Business Freedom Watch show with Judge Napolitano
  • C-Span’s BookTV covered our event Thursday at the National Press Club
  • Bob Moffit was interviewed by Gordon Liddy on the G. Gordon Liddy Show
  • All four of the book’s authors were interviewed by National Review Online
  • Grace-Marie was interviewed by Townhall.com on Why ObamaCare Is Wrong for America

 

HEALTH REFORM

One Year In, Americans Want a Divorce from ObamaCare
Thomas P. Miller, RealClearMarkets, 03/23/11

Medical Care’s Real Problem: The Tax Code
David Gratzer, Investor’s Business Daily, 03/23/11

A Glimpse of a Future with ObamaCare
Sally C. Pipes, The Washington Post, 03/24/11

Unhappy Anniversary
The Wall Street Journal, 03/23/11

ObamaCare and Carey’s Heart
Senator Ron Johnson, The Wall Street Journal, 03/23/11

Individual Mandate Unconstitutional, Unenforceable
Robert E. Moffit, The Columbus Dispatch, 03/23/11

Obama’s Health Care Reform Is Unhealthy for Hospitals
John D. Hartigan, The Baltimore Sun, 03/19/11

Starbucks CEO Rethinks Health Law Position
Jennifer Haberkorn, Politico, 03/22/11

The President Can’t Run on Obamacare
James C. Capretta, National Review Online: Critical Condition, 03/24/11

ObamaCare: One Year Later
Jason Fodeman, M.D. and David Gratzer, M.D., The Washington Times, 03/22/11

The More Things Change…
Jason Fodeman, M.D., Townhall.com, 03/22/11

Ultrasound at $59,490 Spurs Aetna Outrage in Suit Naming Doctors
Peter Waldman, Bloomberg, 03/24/11

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS

Congress Should Lead the Global Fight Against Fake Drugs
Thomas T. Kubic, The Hill’s Congress Blog, 03/21/11

Should FDA Restructure Its Drug Review Process
Scott Gottlieb, The Food and Drug Law Institute, 03/23/11

MEDICAID

Is Medicaid Real Insurance?
John Goodman, Kaiser Health News, 03/25/11

CONSUMER CHOICE MATTERS® NEWS

Employer and Worker Contributions to Account-Based Health Plans, 2006-2010
Paul Fronstin, Employee Benefit Research Institute, 03/11

Events

Grace-Marie Turner on the Dennis Prager Show
Nationally Syndicated Radio Broadcast
Monday, March 28, 2011
2:00pm EDT

This Week in Healthcare
CQ Roll Call & Thomson Reuters Event
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
8:00am ? 10:30am
Washington, DC

Grace-Marie Turner on Patriot Games with Stephanie Davis
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
9:00pm EDT

The Iron Triangle of Health Care
Bloomberg Government Event
Thursday, March 31, 2011
8:30am ? 12:00pm
Washington, DC

Launching Insurance Exchanges: What Are States Doing?
AARP Event
Monday, April 4, 2011
9:00am ? 11:00am
Washington, DC

Grace-Marie Turner on The KYCA PM Show
KYCA-AM Radio Broadcast
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
4:00pm
Phoenix, AZ

Health Care Forum 2011
The Atlantic Event
Thursday, April 7, 2011
8:00am ? 2:30pm
Washington, DC

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