Highlights: May 2014

Impact

Meetings and media dominated the month of May.  The centerpiece was our testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee, where Sen. Jay Rockefeller and Sen. Ron Johnson made news about what motivates opposition to the president’s health reform law.

The hearing was entitled, “Delivering Better Health Care Value to Consumers: The First Three Years of the Medical Loss Ratio.”  I explained key problems and distortions created by the medical loss ratio (MLR), which specifies that health plans must spend at least 80% of premium dollars on medical care.  I also explained the larger context of how the law and the MLR are failing in the goal of delivering better value to consumers.

Read on for more updates of our work in the merry month of May…
Publications

Investor’s Business Daily published our column:

Forbes published our column:

National Review Online published our post:

In addition, we posted an updated commentary to the Galen Blog:

Galen in the News

As the administration continued to boast about questionable enrollment numbers, middle class Americans became more aware of the negative impact of ObamaCare on their own taxes. Galen was active on TV and radio in May.  Grace-Marie provided commentary with TV interviews on:

Fox Business News Stuart Varney, Varney & Co:
“Time to say goodbye to the ObamaCare employer mandate”
and
“Obama administration changing rules to bail out insurers?”

Newsmax TV, the Steve Malzberg Show:
“The inequities of ObamaCare rates” and “Immigration reform and the GOP and  “A discussion of Hillary Clinton’s health and other topics

In addition, Grace-Marie was invited to co-host the Steve Malzberg Show at the Newsmax studio in New York City.

The Galen Institute was also on radio interviews and podcasts around the country, including:

The Larry Kudlow Show: “ObamaCare and Its Impact on Your Taxes” (at timer reading 77:15 in program)

Butler on Business with Alan Butler “Medicaid in Indiana, ObamaCare, and VA health care” (at time point 55:00)

The Drew Mariani Show on Relevant Radio: “Billions pledged for possible ObamaCare losses by health insurers”

In other news

Grace-Marie was interviewed by Modern Healthcare Magazine for a story entitled “Republicans consider new ObamaCare strategy.” She was also quoted in the Washington Post, “Conservatives seek to regain control of Republican agenda.”

In addition, Galen Institute was cited or mentioned in numerous blogs and publications including The Moral Liberal column by Phyllis Schlafly, “Obama’s Waivers and Exemptions,” Human Events, “Mike Pence tries to make ObamaCare work,” Kaiser Health News, “Viewpoints: Governor Pence’s Change of Heart,” and The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation, “Indiana Governor Defends Expansion of Medicaid,” to name a few.

Speeches, Meetings and Events

  • We facilitated our monthly State Leaders call, which is jointly hosted by Galen Institute, the Institute for Policy Innovation, and the State Policy Network. James Lansberry, executive vice president of 20-year-old Samaritan Ministries International, discussed the concept behind health care sharing ministries and described how they work.  Members pay monthly “shares” instead of premiums to finance the costs of medical bills. He gave an overview of the Samaritan Ministries plan and then responded to 20 minutes of participant questions.
  • Grace-Marie participated in a symposium hosted by Virginians for Quality Healthcare, the Independent Women’s Network, and the Fairfax Free Citizen.  She delivered a speech entitled “Fresh Ideas for Health Reform.”  The featured speaker was Dr. Tom Price, US Representative, and Dr. C.L. Gray with Physicians for Reform offered a historical perspective on the implications of ObamaCare.
  • Our monthly Health Care 101 Policy Series for Capitol Hill staffers, “ObamaCare and Immigration,” was jointly sponsored by the Galen Institute, The Heritage Foundation, and the American Enterprise Institute.  The discussion featured Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum, Keith Fontenot, visiting scholar in economic studies, Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform, Jessica Vaughn, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, and Steve Camarota, director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies. The discussion centered on the two front-burner issues of health care and immigration, which are poised to dominate the domestic policy debate leading up to the November elections.
  • Grace-Marie attended a special session of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce entitled, “21st Century Cures Roundtable.” The committee released a white paper seeking input on the state of biomedical innovation and what can be done to accelerate the process, and the roundtable featured NIH, FDA, and other thought leaders.
  • Galen Institute organized and spoke before a focus group on the best way to talk about our ideas in the new era of health reform
  • Grace-Marie met with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s senior staff to review details of his new Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0. The meeting was held at the offices of the American Enterprise Institute, where Gov. Pence announced his plan in a speech several days later.
  • Grace-Marie attended the biannual meeting of the Conservative Action Project entitled, “Conservative Leadership Summit.”  The meeting was designed for the heads of major organizations and other senior leaders in the conservative movement to focus on key issues facing the country.  Participants included Sen. Mike Lee, Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, Edwin Meese, former U.S. attorney general, and Sen. Ted Cruz, among others.
  • Grace-Marie participated in a meeting of the Steamboat Institute’s national advisory board to discuss planning for the sixth annual freedom conference, along with the application and review process for the Tony Blankley chair for public policy.
  • Grace-Marie attended the American Enterprise Institute’s annual Irving Kristol lecture and dinner.  Nobel Prize winning economist Eugene Fama was honored and participated in a wide ranging interview with the Wall Street Journal’s Paul Gigot.
  • Grace-Marie organized and attended several meetings involving introductions and discussions of section 340B of the Public Health Service Act and the distortion and misuse of the program.
  • Grace-Marie discussed in several meetings pending lawsuits including the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which is suing on behalf of Hobby Lobby and the Little Sisters of the Poor, and Halbig v. Sebelius challenging distribution of subsidies through federal exchanges.
  • We attended the monthly meeting of the Repeal Coalition on Capitol Hill.
  • Grace-Marie met with Hill staffers to discuss “replace” plans for ObamaCare
  • Grace-Marie attended the national Catholic prayer breakfast held at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C.
  •  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.