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OpenMarket: Health and Safety

  • Misconceptions about the Obama Administration's Contraception Mandate for Religious Employers

    February 14, 2012
    There are a number of misconceptions about the Obama administration's recent rule requiring employers' health insurance policies (including those of religious schools and hospitals) to cover contraceptives and certain abortifacients. First, as a commentator notes, it's not true that states in general already require such coverage:
    HHS chose the narrowest state-level religious exemption as the model for its own. That exemption was drafted by the ACLU and exists in only 3 states (New York, California, Oregon). Even without a religious exemption, religious employers can already avoid the contraceptive mandates in 28 states by self-insuring their prescription drug coverage, dropping that coverage altogether, or opting for regulation under a federal law (ERISA) that pre...
  • Government Thwarts Cancer Cures and Production of Life-Saving Drugs

    February 13, 2012
    The federal government thwarted a promising cancer treatment. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) put Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski on trial twice, saying "it did not matter" whether his "unconventional cancer treatments saved people's lives," only "that he had failed to get the FDA's permission first." But as Reason’s Jacob Sullum notes, the Phase II clinical trials that the FDA belatedly carried out “under congressional pressure have supported what the teary testimonials of patients and their families suggested: Although Burzynski’s antineoplastons are far from a cure-all, they seem to be more effective, and are certainly much less devastating in their side effects, than radiation and chemotherapy for certain deadly, intractable cancers."
  • CEI Podcast for February 2, 2012: The FDA's Latest Power Grab

    February 2, 2012
    Fellow in Consumer Policy Studies Michelle Minton breaks down the FDA's behind-the-scenes push to regulate dietary supplements nearly as strictly as prescription drugs.
  • Justice Kagan Should Recuse Herself from Obamacare Case

    January 30, 2012
    Only in Bizarro World can you claim someone is your attorney -- and thus shielded by attorney work-product privilege -- and then insist in the very next breath that they never represented you. But that is what the Obama administration and Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan are doing. The Obama administration refuses to release its communications with Kagan about health care litigation back when she was the administration's Solicitor General, on the grounds that they are covered by attorney work-product protection. Yet, contradictorily, it and Kagan insist that she never acted as the administration's lawyer in the matter, and thus doesn't need to recuse herself from hearing the constitutional challenges to Obamacare that will be decided by the Supreme Court this year. Law Professor Ronald Rotunda, the co-author of a leading constitutional law...
  • Michigan SEIU Scam the Product of Government Collective Bargaining

    January 30, 2012
    Proponents of government collective bargaining view it as a fundamental human right. The shameful actions of SEIU in Michigan, however, undermine this claim. In 2005, Michigan lawmakers signed off to create the Michigan Quality Community Care Council (MQC3). MQC3 maintains a registry of homecare providers to assist Medicaid recipients looking for a caregiver. In reality, the primary function of MQC3 was to make 45,000 private homecare providers government employees and dues-paying union members. In 2006, SEIU took advantage of Michigan law deeming homecare providers government employees. To gain exclusive representation SEIU organized a covert union campaign. The stealth-organizing tactic led to...
  • Doctors Grow Disenchanted With Obamacare's Costs and Burdens; Health Care Law Arbitrarily Discriminates

    January 20, 2012
    69% of physicians are "pessimistic about the future of medicine" because of the 2010 healthcare law, notes Dr. Marc Siegel in USA Today. "Just 13% of those surveyed backed the Affordable Care Act."  "When surveyed by" the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, "83% of doctors said one likely change to the medical system as a result of the law would be increased wait times."  "73% said it would not reduce costs." "The concern of doctors is reflected among the American people: Support for the law has sunk to 29% in the latest...
  • Obama Administration to People Needing Bone Marrow Transplants: Drop Dead

    January 19, 2012
    In December, a federal appeals court ruled in Flynn v. Holder that the National Organ Transplant Act of 1984 (NOTA) does not forbid compensation for the majority of "bone marrow donors." That was great news for patients needing bone marrow transplants: As CEI's Greg Conko noted earlier, the court's...
  • War on Drugs Keeps Badly Needed, Perfectly Legal Medicine Away from Sick People

    January 18, 2012
    Sick people, like those suffering from narcolepsy, are suffering from a manufacturing shortage of Adderall. That shortage was caused by the Drug Enforcement Agency, which controls and limits the supply of Adderall’s ingredients. Denying the obvious, the DEA falsely claims that there is no shortage, and that if there is one, it's because manufacturers don't want to make more of the drug, despite the fact that there is plenty of market for the drug:
    To manage controlled substances that can potentially be abused, the DEA sets manufacturing quotas for drug ingredients each year to control supplies like Adderall. But Adderall...
  • Price Fixing Causes Greek Medicine Shortage

    January 12, 2012
    Greece is rapidly degenerating into third-world status. The UK's Daily Mail reports:
    Youngsters are being dumped by their parents who are struggling to make ends meet in what is fast becoming the most tragic human consequence of the Euro crisis. It comes as pharmacists revealed the country had almost run out of aspirin, as multi-billion euro austerity measures filter their way through society.
    If you only read this much of the article, you would assume that the country’s “austerity measures" are responsible for the medicine shortage, but if you’ve ever opened an economics textbook, you’d know this can’t be the case. Shortages occur when prices aren’t able to readjust to higher demand. Why aren’t prices able to adjust? Keep reading....
  • Obamacare Causes Layoffs in Medical Device Industry, Harms Medical Innovation

    January 3, 2012
    Ramesh Ponnuru writes about the layoffs and lost jobs resulting from Obamacare's new tax on medical devices at Bloomberg News:
    A year from now, the federal government will start collecting a new tax on medical devices from tongue depressors to imaging machines, thanks to the sweeping health-care overhaul that Democrats enacted in the spring of 2010. People in the industry say it’s already having an effect. In November, citing the new tax, Stryker Corp. (SYK), whose products include artificial hips and knees,...

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