Our friend Joel White, who heads the Council for Affordable Health Coverage, has a terrific piece today in The Wall Street Journal comparing the historic success and efficiency of Operation Warp Speed to the massive and destructive government tax-and-spend “Build Back Better Bill” now before the Senate. (Unfortunately full access requires a subscription so I’ll summarize:)
“Warp Speed was focused on solving a major health problem quickly and efficiently,” Joel writes. “It had specific, ambitious goals and deadlines to produce life-saving vaccines and medical supplies. In less than a year, it spent only $18 billion to achieve the greatest health breakthrough in a generation, saving millions of lives around the globe.
“Contrast that with the Build Back Better plan to spend hundreds of billions permanently expanding troubled government health programs. Mr. Biden’s health agenda is to enlarge government’s footprint in health care, not improve coverage or reduce costs for average Americans,” he writes.
“Build Back Better would flood Medicaid and ObamaCare with millions of new patients, even though neither program can meet the needs of its current enrollees. Meanwhile, the plan would do nothing for the 180 million working Americans with job-based coverage—not even those in small businesses still recovering from Covid-19.”
It’s a terrible, terrible bill that would do serious damage to the miracle of free enterprise, individual initiative, and the incentives that make the American economy the strongest and most innovative in the world. It would reward people NOT to work and feed even more of the economy into Washington’s crushing bureaucratic maw.
Yet, get this: President Biden this week implored senators to pass the Build Back Better bill, to “build the economy for the 21st century. I truly believe that 50 years from now, when historians look back at this moment, they’re going to say this was the beginning of the moment when America won the competition for the 21st century. I think that’s what we’re going to see happen, God willing.”
We have written so much about this, but creating 150 new government programs that would crush small businesses, new businesses, and individual choice is not what make this country great. It would take us years, if not decades, to recover from this takeover of even more parts of the American economy.
Paragon Health Institute: Huge kudos to Galen Senior Fellow Brian Blase for launching his new think tank, Paragon Health Institute. Brian served in the White House 2017-2019 as a top health policy advisor and mustered an enormous record of success.
He has founded Paragon to take these initiatives to a new level, including helping the next administration to be ready to implement an array of free-market health reform initiatives.
His first presentation was this week to the American Legislative Exchange Conference in San Diego to release his first book, “Don’t Wait for Washington: How States Can Reform Health Care Today.” It offers commonsense, innovative solutions about reforming state employee health plans, scaling back regulations that increase costs and curtail choices, maximizing technological solutions such as telehealth, and making Medicaid more accountable.
Kudos to Brian and to Paragon VP Caroline DeBerry. You are off and running and will make a huge impact!
Crying Wolf: I can’t help but also call out the administration’s excessive, knee-jerk reaction to the new Omicron Covid variant. Officials seem to have learned nothing from their past attempts to quash the virus. Lockdowns, quarantines, travel and other Covid restrictions don’t work. Targeted remedies do. And, at the very least, don’t punish South Africa and Botswana, as the U.S. is doing, simply because they discovered Omicron and reported it to the world—and before we know how dangerous, or not, it is.
Sooner rather than later, and it may be too late, the American people are going to tune out public health warnings because officials so many times cry wolf. That, too, would be very dangerous.