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OpenMarket: Health and Safety

  • Proposals for and Problems with International Drug Reference Pricing

    November 5, 2019
    Healthcare costs remain top of mind in American politics. Polls consistently show that healthcare is one of, if not the top, priority for voters heading into the 2020 election cycle. Politicians and other policymakers face a looming crisis with healthcare expenditures. Medicare and Medicaid, the federal single-payer programs for the elderly and indigent, comprised over a quarter of all federal spending in 2018. This share is rising.
  • UPDATE: Big Picture in 'Vaping-Linked' Lung Poisonings

    September 16, 2019
    Over the last three months, the news has been filled with stories of people falling ill from a mystery lung ailment supposedly caused by vaping. The majority of the coverage has been incomplete, inaccurate, and done little more than scare and confuse the public. Anti-vaping activists and certain public health agencies that have long wished to ban e-cigarettes have skillfully exploited this confusion to convince people the outbreak is a manifestation of the health threat posed by e-cigarettes, of which they have long warned.
  • Gene Editing Can Improve Health Outcomes for the Poor

    September 9, 2019
    Gene editing, specifically somatic gene therapy, cures maladies with traceable genetic origins. This revolutionary science is rapidly advancing, but not without major setbacks. Regulations designed to protect patients from dangerous applications of gene editing, both real and imaginary, are increasing the cost, slowing development, and preventing life-saving research.
  • Children's Environmental Health Programs Translate to Junk Science

    August 14, 2019
    For more than a decade now, the federal government has doled out millions of dollars to fund junk science and political activism under the guise of “children’s environmental health.” Many of these programs sound science-based, but a close look at what they actually fund is disheartening, to say the least.
  • Bogus E-cigarette Panic Literally Killing People

    July 16, 2019
    Is this a story from The Onion? It’s a question we often ask ourselves these days when we encounter stories online that seem too ridiculous to be true. Sadly, Cheantay Jensen’s recent article about why she returned to smoking is not satire.
  • CIRCLE of Misinformation Spread by Environmental Health Centers

    July 8, 2019
    This is the second in a series of posts regarding the Trump administration’s plan to cut Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grants to children’s environmental health centers. As noted in a prior post, while presented as funding for scientific, university-based research, much of the funds simply advance junk science and environmental activism.
  • Department of Health and Human Services Needs to Correct Record on Marijuana

    June 12, 2019
    Regulators at the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) had an opportunity in 2016 to move marijuana into a less restrictive category of controlled substances. This could have ended the ongoing conflict between federal law, which considers the sale of marijuana illegal in all cases, and the laws of the states, almost all of which consider some form of marijuana legal. The DEA, however, rejected petitions to reclassify marijuana.
  • Trump Administration Ends Homecare Providers Dues Skim

    May 7, 2019
    Since 2000, state governments have diverted $1.4 billion from homecare providers and handed it to labor unions, according to the Freedom Foundation. For over a decade, states automatically deducted union dues payments from Medicaid payments intended for homecare providers who care for the elderly or disabled. Worse, most homecare providers care for family members on Medicaid. No one should be forced to fund a union when simply caring for a loved one.
  • Last-Minute Delay in CVS-Aetna Deal Could Threaten Consumer Benefits

    December 6, 2018
    U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon surprised many on Monday when he announced he may halt the integration of CVS pharmacy’s assets with the nation’s third largest healthcare insurance company, Aetna. Usually the judicial review of a merger already approved by the Department of Justice is a mere formality, as evidenced by the fact that the companies went ahead and closed the $69 billion deal late last month, but at a hearing Monday, Judge Leon said he has concerns about the merger’s consequences for consumers.
  • Health and Human Services Secretary Should Halt Grants to UN Cancer Agency

    September 19, 2018

    Yesterday, Congress passed an appropriations bill that kept funding intact for the United Nations body known as the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The House version of the bill originally included a provision that would have placed strings on U.S. funding for IARC. That language was stripped out at the last minute, unfortunately, so now the funding has been retained in the next fiscal year’s appropriations for the departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, Labor, and Education.

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