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OpenMarket: Health Care

  • Economic Freedom Declines Again; Government Control Is Bad For Your Health

    January 24, 2013
    Economic freedom has declined under the Obama administration, and America's rank has repeatedly fallen on the Index of Economic Freedom and other rankings issued by think-tanks and research foundations. (The Heritage Foundation just released the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom.) In their Economic Freedom of the World rankings, Canada's Fraser Institute and the U.S.-based Cato Institute note that "The United States, long considered the standard bearer for economic freedom among large industrial nations, has experienced a substantial decline in economic freedom during the past decade. From 1980 to 2000, the United States was generally rated the third freest economy in the world, ranking behind only Hong Kong...
  • Obamacare Increases Unnecessary Medical Tests, Wastes Doctors' Time, Drives Up Billings And Costs

    January 22, 2013
    President Obama claimed Obamacare would cut healthcare costs, but it actually increased them in many ways, some of which are chronicled here. Here are yet more Obamacare fees and cost increases. Another example is given by Mickey Kaus, a staunch supporter of universal health care (he once thanked Obama and Nancy Pelosi for passage of Obamacare), who points out that Obamacare's $19 billion in taxpayer subsidies for electronic recordkeeping appear to have backfired and...
  • Obamacare Imposes New Fees, Cost Increases On The Public

    January 14, 2013
    Obamacare was sold to the public based on the fallacy that it would cut healthcare costs, but each month brings additional evidence that it will drive up healthcare costs instead. The New York Times reported last week that "health insurance companies across the country are seeking and winning double-digit increases in premiums for some customers, even though one of the biggest objectives of the Obama administration’s health care law was to stem the rapid rise in insurance costs for consumers. Particularly vulnerable to the high rates are small businesses and people who do not have employer-...
  • Appeals Court Overturns Dismissal Of Challenge To Obamacare Contraception Mandate By Religious Colleges

    December 19, 2012
    According to law professor Jonathan Adler, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit effectively overturned a district court’s dismissal of a challenge to the so-called “contraception mandate,” a regulation issued by the Department of Health and Human Services that employer-provided health care plans include coverage for all FDA-approved forms of contraception without cost-sharing. Various religious employers have objected to this requirement citing the First Amendment’s free-exercise clause and, more persuasively, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The district court had dismissed the case because the Obama administration claimed it would change the mandate for religious schools and hospitals before it took effect, making the lawsuit unripe. As Adler notes, the appeals court turned...
  • PolitiFact Is The Liar Of The Year

    December 14, 2012
    PolitiFact falsely depicted Michael Cannon, the director of health policy studies at the Cato Institute, as suggesting that state law overrides federal law, erroneously attributing to him a radical claim that he never made (that states can forbid the federal government from setting up health insurance exchanges). Cannon merely observed that state law in 14 states forbids "state employees" to set up Obamacare health insurance exchanges, and he never said that federal employees could not set them up. (Under the Supreme Court's Printz decision, the federal government cannot conscript state officials to administer even perfectly constitutional...
  • More Lawsuits Against Doctors, Hospitals Due To Senate Amendment 3215 To NDAA

    December 4, 2012
    Earlier, I wrote about a proposed amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for 2013, which would dramatically increase lawsuits against schools and colleges by allowing them to be sued for "disparate impact" and for punitive damages under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. But I forgot to mention another area where the amendment, SA 3215, would have a huge impact: doctors and hospitals, which also are commonly subject to liability under Title VI. The disparate-impact/punitive damages provision buried in the amendment several Senate Democrats want to add to the...
  • Obamacare Will Increase Health Insurance Costs In California, Washington, D.C., And Elsewhere

    October 31, 2012
    California officials concede that their state's Obamacare exchange will hike premiums for policyholders by up to 25 percent. In the District of Columbia, small businesses are being forced to buy overpriced insurance on an Obamacare exchange by the "District of Columbia Health Benefit Exchange Authority," which "voted . . . to require D.C. small businesses to buy coverage through the exchange. Although President Obama falsely...
  • FDA Delay Likely Killed Thousands, Imposed Billions In Costs

    July 13, 2012
    The FDA didn't approve a home test for HIV until 24 years after it first received an application. According to an FDA advisory committee, the test "holds the potential to prevent the transmission of more than 4,000 new HIV infections in its first year of use alone." That means thousands of people likely got infected with AIDS as a result of the delay in approving it. As Roger Parloff of Fortune notes, the FDA's delay in approving the home HIV test is a "scandal." It likely caused the deaths of thousands of people, given the mortality rate from AIDS.  It may also have caused billions of dollars in...
  • Dietitian Licensing Board Attempts To Limit Free Speech, Silence Bloggers

    July 11, 2012
    Have you ever given someone advice on how to lose weight through dietary changes? Have you ever recommended that certain foods could be consumed or avoided to aid in sleep, stress, or intestinal issues? Well then, according to the North Carolina Board of Dietetics and Nutrition, you should be thrown in jail for up to a month and a half. Now, newly leaked documents prove what many suspected from the beginning: the effort to silence unlicensed dietitians and online bloggers giving nutritional advice is all about eliminating competition for the Board of Dietetics’ licensed members. The issue received national attention earlier this year after Steve Cooksey, an online blogger promoting the “Paleo” diet, received a letter from the Board of Dietetics telling him that his blog violated state law. By providing advice on his blog for free  and also providing coaching for a fee, the Board of...
  • Court's Obamacare Decision -- What Would John Locke Say?

    July 2, 2012
    Richard Epstein of the Hoover Institution and the University of Chicago Law School gives the Chief Justice some tough love in "What Was Roberts Thinking? The Chief Justice was neither an umpire nor a statesman. Only a lawyer." There are many wise words in Prof. Epstein's column, which I heartily encourage anyone visiting this site to read. My only quibble is that the professor could have been harsher on the Honorable John Roberts. Really, Roberts held that the Obamacare individual mandate is a penalty not a tax so the Court could take jurisdiction but that the mandate is a tax not a penalty so the Court could uphold mandate's constitutionality. Why do Congress’s words (“penalty”) not the provision's alleged function (“tax") count for determining standing but the alleged function not the words count for...

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