Highlights: June & July 2014
Reaction to two court decisions has dominated the health reform debate this summer – first, the Supreme Court ringing a bell for religious liberty in the Hobby Lobby case, and then the decision by the highly-influential D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that insurance subsidies in federal health insurance exchanges are illegal. We have been actively involved in educating the debate about both cases. Meanwhile, we continue a busy speaking schedule and media work to build the right health reform that the courts and the voters need to know is in the works. Read on for more updates of our activities during the busy summer months of June and July…
Chairman Fred Upton and Rep. Diana DeGette of the House Energy and Commerce Committee are leading an important initiative, 21st Century Cures, to support “our nation’s commitment to the discovery, development, and delivery of new treatments and cures [that make] the U.S. the biomedical innovation capital of the world, bringing life-saving drugs and devices to patients.”
This effort could not be more important if the enormous promises of medical discovery and cures are to be realized.
The Galen Institute is participating in a separate but complementary project with several of our sister think tanks to underscore the need for policy changes to support Medical Innovation. #innovatemeds
We released our first paper as part of this project, “Real World Data and its promise for medicine and research.”
In the paper, we explain the importance of greater access to data that can support faster, more efficient research and lead to better, more effective treatments.
Forbes published our columns:
- “Religious Liberty Wins in Court”,
- “Awaiting Key ObamaCare Court Decision,”
- “Court Upholds The Rule Of Law”.
National Review Online published our post:
Morning Consult published our column:
In addition, we posted an updated commentary to the Galen Blog:
Galen in the News
Galen was active on TV and radio during the months of June and July. Grace-Marie provided commentary with TV interviews on:
- Fox Business News Stuart Varney, Varney & Co: “How will ObamaCare impact the 2014 midterms?” and “More ObamaCare signup chaos?”
- Newsmax TV, the Steve Malzberg Show: Galen’s Turner: Obama Prisoner Swap,” and “Federal Government is Altering Suburban Demographics,” and “Obama’s ‘Sue Me’ Taunt,” and “U.S.-Mexico border politics.”
The Galen Institute was also active on radio interviews and podcasts around the country, including:
- Radio America, The Greg Corombos Show, “New court twist ‘blows hole through middle of ObamaCare’”
- The Colin Gunn Show “The Galen Institute’s Grace-Marie Turner discusses the health sector & Why ObamaCare is Wrong for America.”
- The Small Business Advocate with Jim Blasingame: “If the GOP take the Senate, what happens to ObamaCare?” and “Comparing ObamaCare to the dysfunctional VA health system,” and “Why ObamaCare has been changed 41 times.”
- KPNW Radio Wake Up Call with Hollaway and Lundun, “a discussion of ObamaCare and the Law.”
- The Drew Mariani Show on Relevant Radio: “ObamaCare update after Hobby Lobby decision”
In other news:
Galen Institute and Grace-Marie Turner were cited and/or mentioned in numerous blogs and publications throughout the country. These included:
- Reason magazine, “Obama’s Phony Success Story”
- Bloomberg Businessweek and The Edmond Sun, “Lankford, rest of Oklahoma delegation vote to sue president”
- The Washington Examiner, “Lawlessness is now the dominant theme in the Obama saga”
- Forbes column by Avik Roy, “According to the Supreme Court, Corporations Have More Religious Freedom Than Taxpayers”
- WND, World Net Daily, “Top Lawmakers: ‘Beginning of End’ for ObamaCare”
- McClatchy-Tribune Information Services, “Editorial: Prognosis unknown: ObamaCare provisions have been perverted beyond fiscal forecast”
- Insider Online, The Heritage Foundation, “Choice and Competition for Health Care—Ideas We Should Finally Try, by Nina Owcharenko and Robert E. Moffit”
Speeches, Meetings and Events
- The Association of Mature American Citizens Foundation (AMAC) hosted a symposium on health care in Washington, DC. Grace-Marie delivered a speech about the future of the Affordable Care Act and various ways to improve it. Other speakers included Douglas Holz-Eakin of the American Action Forum, Robert Moffit from the Heritage Foundation, and Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute.
- Grace-Marie spoke to the government affairs committee of the International Housewares Association. The group represents small to medium sized employers facing sweeping changes in health insurance delivery and availability. Her presentation was entitled, “The ACA: How we got here and what implementation means for American businesses.”
- The Congressional Institute hosted a staff retreat for House Republican legislative directors and leadership. Grace-Marie spoke on a panel with Avik Roy of the Manhattan Institute about “Real Healthcare Reform.”
- In Richmond, Virginia, the Thomas Jefferson Institute invited Grace-Marie to present and participate in discussions about possible reforms and innovations to improve the Medicaid program in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
- Grace-Marie delivered a speech about the history of the Galen Institute and answered questions at American University in Washington, DC. The National Student Leadership Conference’s Medicine and Health Care Program invited her to talk about leadership in the policy debate and building a non-profit organization from the ground up.
- Grace-Marie traveled to Key West, Florida, to deliver a speech for the Southern Association of Medicaid Pharmacy Administrators. Her presentation was a continuing education credited class entitled, “The ACA: Outlook for Medicaid and 340B.”
- Altoona, Iowa, was the host town for the Iowa Association of Health Underwriter’s 2014 Health Care Symposium entitled “Navigating Reform.” Grace-Marie spoke about the recent court decisions and policy initiatives to recover from ObamaCare.
- We facilitated three of our monthly State Leaders calls during June and July. The calls are jointly hosted by Galen Institute, the Institute for Policy Innovation, and the State Policy Network.The first call was “Health insurance premiums in the ObamaCare exchanges increase by 49%: A county by county analysis” featuring the Manhattan Institute’s Yevgeniy Feyman and Katherine Lazarski. They discussed the Institute’s interactive model showing the actual increase in the cost of health insurance premiums in the ACA exchanges, and then responded to 30 minutes of participant questions.
- The second State Leaders call, “Breaking out of the Medicaid quagmire,” featured Joseph Antos, Ph.D., of the American Enterprise Institute. He explained a reform plan to give the poor real choices among a variety of competing insurance offerings, including the same insurance plans that middle-income families have today. In a post for Health Affairs, Antos and James Capretta of the Ethics and Public Policy Center propose a three-part plan to reform Medicaid. Dr. Antos discussed the choices and then participated in a robust question and answer session.
- The third and “bonus” State Leaders call occurred in the aftermath of the two recent appeals court decisions. Tom Miller, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute discussed “What the Court Decisions Mean for the States.” He explained the conflicting appeals court decisions in Richmond and in Washington, D.C., explained what will likely happen next, and discussed what states should do.
- Our June Health Care 101 Policy Series briefing for congressional staffers was entitled, “ObamaCare: Will Premiums Skyrocket and Enrollment Falter in 2015?” and was jointly sponsored by the Galen Institute, The Heritage Foundation, and the American Enterprise Institute. The discussion featured Joseph Antos, Ph.D., of the American Enterprise Institute and Professor Stephen Parente, Ph.D., Minnesota Insurance Industry Chair of Health Finance at the University of Minnesota.
- Our July Health Care 101 Policy Series was entitled, “ObamaCare in Court: Subsidies and Religious Freedom.” The program featured Tom Miller, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and Adèle Keim, counsel to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. They discussed legal challenges to the health law, including exchange subsidies and religious liberty.
- Grace-Marie attended the 340B National Leadership Summit, sponsored by the Alliance for Integrity Reform of 340B. The meeting brought together key policymakers, patient and provider groups, and industry stakeholders to identify key challenges and opportunities for stronger 340B oversight and reform.
- Galen Institute organized and spoke before a second focus group in as many months to hear the views of independent women on the health law and to get feedback on our ideas in the new era of health reform.
- Grace-Marie attended a symposium entitled, “America’s prospects, promise, and peril.” Speakers included Glenn Hubbard of the Columbia Business School, Karlyn Bowman from the American Enterprise Institute, Henry Olsen of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and Kristen Soltis Anderson, pollster and author. This event was co-sponsored by the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and National Affairs. Grace-Marie then attended the 2014 Bradley Prize Awards Ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
- Grace-Marie attended a meeting sponsored by the Kemp Forum on True Growth and the Jack Kemp Foundation. CNBC senior contributor Lawrence Kudlow spoke about what is needed to spur economic growth in the United States.
- Grace-Marie attended the National Institute for Health Care Management’s (NIHCM) 20th annual research and journalism awards. The non-profit group conducts research and analysis on health care issues in order to promote access to health care services with both an efficient and effective delivery.
- Grace-Marie attended a discussion panel sponsored by the Morning Consult entitled, “Prescription Drug Prices: The Cost of Innovation or an Unstable Threat?” Guests included Lori Reilly, Executive Vice President at PhRMA and Matt Salo, President of the National Association of Medicaid Directors.
- We attended two monthly meetings of the Repeal Coalition on Capitol Hill.
- Grace-Marie met with Hill staffers to discuss “replace” plans for ObamaCare.
- Sen. John Thune expressed his gratitude to Grace-Marie for testifying before the U.S. Senate Committee on Science, Commerce, & Transportation in May. “Your testimony was very informative and will be helpful to me and my colleagues as we review ways to improve consumer protection and transparency in the health insurance market.”
- We continued to meet with Members of Congress and staff 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.