Highlights: August & September & October 2014

Impact and Highlights 

Tuesday’s elections were once again about ObamaCare.  Every new senator-elect campaigned on opposition to the law, it was the top issue in political ads, and polls show it is more unpopular than ever.

We have spent the last three months crisscrossing the country with speech after speech while producing commentaries and papers and engaging broadcast and social media to explain the impact of the law and the direction we should be taking instead.

Read on for more updates of our activities since August…

Publications 

The Dallas Morning News, published our commentary on the latest legal challenges to the ACA: The law clearly states it – words mean what they say.  The commentary also was published in the Fresno Bee, Modesto Bee, Boston Herald, Bradenton Herald, Omaha World Herald, Carroll County Times, Bellingham Herald, and in several dozen other publications around the country.

We also wrote a commentary on Is the Affordable Care Act Affordable? that was published in dozens of papers including the Modesto Bee, Fresno Bee, Bradenton Herald, Lancaster Intelligencer Journal, Lake Walworth Today, Arizona Daily Star, Duluth Sunday News, Pittsburgh Sunday Tribune, Spartansburg Sunday Journal-Herald, Lansing Sunday State Journal, Boston Herald, and The Dallas Morning News.

Forbes published our columns:

The Heritage Insider published our in-depth article on How to Get a Health Care System that Answers to the Patient

We submitted an amicus brief to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in Halbig v. Burwell in which the plaintiff is challenging the federal government’s authority to rewrite the ACA to allow subsidies to flow through health exchanges created by the federal government.

We wrote a commentary for Real Clear Policy: Replacing the ACA: What Women Want in which we described our Focus Group work to mine the thoughts and reactions of independent women to our patient-friendly health policy ideas.

The Galen Institute published “Real World Data and Its Promise for Medicine and Research,” a white paper produced as part of the Medical Innovation Collaborative.

Special Project 

Our Real World Data paper was released as part of the Medical Innovation Collaborative that we helped to coordinate.

In early September, we convened leaders from the American Action Forum, the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, Center Forward, the Manhattan Institute, and the Pacific Research Institute for briefings with the media, government officials, and congressional staff.

Experts described their work on the regulatory, reimbursement, and technical challenges facing continued progress on innovation in a free-market, patient-focused health sector – one that promotes transparency, rapid learning, and high value.

Galen in the News 

  • Arise TV’s Andrew Schmertz interviewed Grace-Marie about health costs, changes to ObamaCare, and enrollment.
  • The Drew Mariani Show on Relevant Radio interviewed Grace-Marie regarding the court challenges to ObamaCare and the HHS mandate. (15:36-24:30)

Citigate Films filmed Grace-Marie for a New York Times Productions documentary on the criminalization of American medicine. The interview was based upon a paper she did for the Cato Institute on the issue.

In other news

Galen Institute and Grace-Marie Turner were cited and/or mentioned in numerous blogs and publications throughout the country.  For example:

Speeches

  • Grace-Marie spoke about a new agenda on health reform at the Steamboat Institute’s annual conference in Denver, Colorado on Aug. 21.
  • Grace-Marie was the keynote speaker at the North Coast Association of Health Underwriters 2014 Symposium in Rohnert Park, CA, on Sept. 10 where she talked about that California ballot initiative that would cap insurance prices (it failed on Tuesday 60%-40%), how the ACA is evolving, what’s on the horizon for market and rate changes, and a reform agenda for a new Congress.
  • Grace-Marie Turner was the keynote speaker at the 19th Annual Summit on the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program, sponsored by the Institute for International Research I.B.C. Life Sciences, in Chicago, Sept. 17.  The subject was “Medicaid Politics and Policy: Is 340B on the policy agenda?”
  •  On Sept. 19, Grace-Marie spoke about the health reform agenda for a new Congress at a lively town hall meeting in Pittsburgh, PA, sponsored by The 9-12 Project.
  • Grace-Marie spoke at the Philanthropy Roundtable’s annual conference on “Private Alternatives to the Welfare State” on Oct. 16 in Salt Lake City.  She spoke about “Alternatives to Medicaid Expansion in Providing Health Care Access to the Working Poor.
  • Grace-Marie spoke at the State Policy Network’s annual convention in Denver on Sept. 26 about the dangers of Medicaid expansion and free-market alternatives for the states.
  • On Oct. 27, Grace-Marie gave two lectures at Providence College in Rhode Island with an update on ObamaCare and particularly the impact on young people and their prospects for employment.

Meetings 

  • Grace-Marie attended “The Briefing on The Future of Health Care in America” featuring presentations by Avik Roy of the Manhattan Institute, Uwe Reinhardt of Princeton University, and Joe Swedish of WellPoint.
  • We helped organize a meeting for participants in the Health Policy Consensus Group and others to talk with officials at the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute.  We talked about the importance of nourishing innovation and provided an update on our Medical Innovation Collaborative mentioned above.
  • Grace-Marie spoke with Kristina Arriaga de Bucholtz, Executive Director of The Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty and Mark Rienzi, The Catholic University of America, regarding the contraceptive mandate.
  • Grace-Marie attended the virtual meeting on “Comprehensive Medication Management on “Getting the Drugs Right – What Patients Really Want from a Transformed Healthcare System – Driving to Value,” featuring Terry McInnis, MD, President of Blue Thorn, Inc.
  • Grace-Marie traveled to New York City to attend an editorial board meeting at The Wall Street Journal about our Focus Group work and public opinion on ObamaCare.

Events 

We facilitated three monthly State Leaders calls, all jointly hosted by the Galen Institute, the Institute for Policy Innovation, and the State Policy Network.

  • Our August call was about Medicaid audits and was titled “Where’s the Money Going in Your Medicaid Program?” featuring Illinois Representative Patti Bellock and Jonathan Ingram, director of research at the Foundation for Government Accountability.
  • The September State Leaders call was on “ObamaCare and the Elections” and featured polling guru Karlyn Bowman of the American Enterprise Institute and Gene Ulm, partner at Public Opinion Strategies, reviewing a survey he did for Independent Women’s Voice on opinion about the health overhaul law.
  • The October State Leaders call was about “The ObamaCare Lawsuits” featuring Attorney General Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma and Attorney Mike Carvin of Jones Day, the lead attorney in the Halbig v. Burwell lawsuits.

We also conducted a briefing for Capitol Hill staffers as part of our Health Care 101 briefing series.  This briefing covered “Obamacare and the Elections” and was jointly sponsored by the Galen Institute, The Heritage Foundation, and the American Enterprise Institute.  The discussion featured AEI’s Karlyn Bowman, and POS partner Gene Ulm.

Grace-Marie attended a Steamboat Institute reception in Washington DC presenting Tom Rogan, winner of the Inaugural Tony Blankley Chair for Public Policy and American Exceptionalism, at Hillsdale College’s Kirby Center in Washington, D.C.

We gathered for an Innovation Project dinner at City Club with leaders from the American Action forum, the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, Center Forward, the Manhattan Institute, and the Pacific Research Institute, hosting 15 journalists to discuss the value of and challenges to medical innovation.

We continued to meet with Members of Congress and staff members on ideas for health policy initiatives, and we participated in numerous other meetings and conference calls about fresh ideas and a new vision for health reform.