The House is on the verge of ramming through its destructive and pork-laden $1.9 trillion relief bill, with Senate Democratic leaders eagerly awaiting its arrival next week.
Galen Senior Fellows Brian Blase and Doug Badger have been prolific in helping policymakers see how regressive, wasteful, and destructive the ill-conceived health spending provisions in the bill are, as you have seen from our distributions this week. But there’s more:
- Our Health Policy Consensus Group produced an open letter warning “The New Push to Expand Government’s Role in Health Care Won’t Work. Here’s How We Can Help Americans Instead.” Joined by nearly 70 colleagues, we warn against “the mistargeted and wasteful spending in the proposed legislation that papers over the failures of government-run health care.”
- The Wall Street Journal’s lead editorial yesterday highlighted Brian’s latest blockbuster paper, diving into the data to show, for example, that the biggest beneficiaries of the regressive new health insurance subsidies—in addition to health insurance companies—would be wealthier people who already have coverage.
In “Supersizing ObamaCare Subsidies,” the editors write that “The Covid bill hides a major expansion of the Affordable Care Act.” It is “poor policy that punishes Americans for working and earning more, but now government will spend scarce resources on those who don’t need help,” the editors write. “Brian Blase of the Galen Institute has pointed out that a family of four headed by a 60-year-old earning $240,000 could qualify for a nearly $9,000 subsidy. These are not the folks hit hard by the pandemic, many of whom are eligible for Medicaid,” the Journal writes.
- You won’t want to miss the Heartland Institute’s podcast interview with Brian, “The Insidious Truth Behind the Covid-19 Relief Bill,” highlighting, in 18 minutes, key provisions in the legislation. The podcast is expertly moderated by AnneMarie Schieber, the indefatigable editor of Heartland’s Health Care News.
- And Brian will be a guest this weekend on The Journal Editorial Report, the weekly TV interview program on Fox News Channel hosted by Paul Gigot, the Journal’s editorial page editor. It will air at 3 p.m. EST on Saturday, repeating at 3 p.m. EST on Sunday.
On a personal note about a news item I’m generally reluctant to broadcast, I have received notes from colleagues congratulating me on being included in a list of “Washington’s Most Influential People” in health care by Washingtonian magazine.
The editors said they “sought out people with deep subject-matter knowledge, the ones who understand the nuances and complexities of how and where laws affect business, government, and society—the ones who are going to be maintaining that knowledge no matter who gets voted in or voted out of office.” I’m humbled and grateful to be in the company of so many distinguished policy leaders.
And finally, Politico’s Executive Health Care Editor Joanne Kenen writes today that there is “a big fat question mark about what vision of health care Republicans will offer to voters as the country emerges from the pandemic.” In her article, ‘Repeal and replace’ is dead. Republicans can’t figure out what comes next, she reports that Republicans are adrift but says “Whatever they come up with, it will likely focus on giving states more leeway to regulate their health insurance markets.”
Correct. But we actually have “come up with” a plan, as readers of this newsletter are well aware—the Health Care Choices 20/20 proposal supported by scores of top leaders in the free-market health policy community. We are working hard to chart the positive path forward.