MEDICAID: A FIFTY-YEAR-OLD FLIMFLAM

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss how Medicaid has morphed from a modest medical safety net for the poor into a bloated vote-buying scheme:

Recently, while most of the media obsessed over the antics of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the nation passed a significant milestone. Medicaid, the federal-state program meant to provide a medical safety net for the poor, turned 50. This anniversary was celebrated by progressives as proof that government-run health care really works. Few of these cheerleaders noted, however, that this once modest program has morphed into a budget-busting behemoth most of whose expenditures go to the middle class.

They also neglected to mention the difficulties Medicaid patients face accessing care or that they experience worse health outcomes than the uninsured.

This last item concerning the poor medical outcomes endured by Medicaid patients is one of the best documented yet least known aspects of the program. The most comprehensive study of this phenomenon was the Oregon Experiment … The results, published by the New England Journal of Medicine, were startling: “This randomized, controlled study showed that Medicaid coverage generated no significant improvements in measured physical health outcomes.”

How much money are the taxpayers coughing up for a program that produces such dismal results? Medicaid cost $492.3 billion in fiscal year 2014.

To read the rest of the column, click here.

TRUMP STILL SUPPORTS SINGLE-PAYER

In today’s American Spectator I discuss the real news that has been drowned out by Trump’s brayings about Megyn Kelly. “The Donald” still supports single-payer:

Most of Donald Trump’s public statements include the rote declaration that Obamacare is a disaster. This is true, of course, but it doesn’t tell us anything new. It’s only when he starts elaborating on his objections that one gets a sense of what he believes, and he doesn’t talk like a friend of the free market. During last week’s Republican debate, for example, he was asked about his past praise of single-payer health care and replied, “As far as single-payer, it works in Canada, works incredibly well in Scotland.”

This answer was both antithetical to free-market thinking and profoundly ignorant.

His praise of Scotland’s system, for example, demonstrated that he is unaware of its role in creating one of the UK’s worst public health disasters. It works so “incredibly well” that tens of thousands received contaminated blood transfusions over two decades, resulting in at least 2,000 deaths and countless Hepatitis and HIV infections.

As recently as last spring, the Scottish Health Secretary still found herself desperately trying to mollify an outraged public.

As to Canada, it’s abundantly clear that Trump has never heard of the Naylor report, released last month by a blue ribbon panel led by a former president of Toronto University. To give you the general flavor of the report, it uses the term “arrested development” to describe the Canadian single-payer system.

Trump is no Friend of free market health care. To read the rest of the column, click here.

A BONUS FOR A BOTCHED OBAMACARE EXCHANGE

In today’s American Spectator I ask how Maryland can recoup money from an IT contractor for an ill-fated “marketplace” that was paid for with taxpayer dollars provided by the federal government:

When former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley signed the bill that created his state’s Obamacare exchange, he bragged that it was “being established using no state funds… due to federal grants.” Later, when the online “marketplace” exploded on the launch pad and a new IT company was hired to untangle the wreckage, O’Malley’s top health official assured Maryland voters that this would be paid for with “leftover federal grants.”

Consequently, it surprised many when Maryland’s AG announced a $45 million settlement with the original contractor the proceeds of which would be split between the federal government and the state.

Why would the state receive any part of the settlement if, as O’Malley and his officials were at pains to point out, all the money used to build and repair the exchange came from Washington? Presumably, this question will come up during the “regulatory approval” process, which will involve negotiations between CMS, the U.S. Attorney’s office for Maryland, and various state insurance officials.

Maryland was given more than $179 million in federal grants. It’s difficult to believe that O’Malley went through the rest of the money and still had to raid the state’s coffers to get its Obamacare “marketplace” up-and-running.

To read the rest of the column, click here.

O’MALLEY, OBAMACARE & THE TECHNOCRACY MYTH

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss Martin O’Malley’s pose as a “technocrat” and the disaster he presided over when Maryland tried to launch its Obamacare exchange:

When Democrat Martin O’Malley announced his presidential bid, the media billed him as part of a new generation of talented technocrats. The former Maryland governor, as one outlet put it, “helped pioneer a data-driven approach that made government more efficient.” These people have evidently forgotten the spectacular failure of Maryland’s online Obamacare exchange, which crashed moments after launch because O’Malley and his administration studiously ignored ominous data provided by its technical experts.

In other words, O’Malley’s “data-driven approach” didn’t involve looking at actual data. It consisted of telling the media that Maryland’s exchange would be a “model for the nation.”

Meanwhile, the danger signs mounted. As the Washington Post reported at the time, “More than a year before Maryland launched its health insurance exchange, senior state officials failed to heed warnings that no one was ultimately accountable for the $170 million project and that the state lacked a plausible plan for how it would be ready.” And these concerns continued to be ignored right up to the go-live date.

The avoidable debacle culminated in a settlement requiring the IT firm Noridian Healthcare Solutions to refund $45 million of the $73 million it was paid to bungle the project. To read the rest, click here.

FOR PLANNED PARENTHOOD BLACK LIVERS MATTER

In today’s American Spectator I discuss one of the most disturbing aspects of Planned Parenthood’s organ harvesting operation—its deliberate targeting of African-American women:

If you have ever witnessed one of those “spontaneous” pro-abortion demonstrations held in Washington whenever Congress contemplates curtailing taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood, you may have noticed that there was something missing:

African-American demonstrators.

This is odd, considering that black women are far more likely to have abortions than are their Caucasian counterparts. And, examined in light of the now infamous video of a white Planned Parenthood official discussing how to crush a baby without damaging marketable livers and other organs, it is particularly ominous. Why? Because the terminated baby will probably have been black, and that is no coincidence.

Am I suggesting that Planned Parenthood purposely mines a specific minority group for “products of conception”? Yep. To read the rest of the column, click here.

WHY KRUGMAN LIES ABOUT OBAMACARE

In today’s American Spectator I discuss Paul Krugman’s pathological need to paint a completely counterfactual picture of Obamacare’s performance:

We have all known someone who, having paid an exorbitant sum for a car that seems to spend a lot of time in the shop, insists it’s the best automobile he’s ever owned. That´s Paul Krugman where Obamacare is concerned. His psychological and professional investment in the perversely titled Affordable Care Act is such that he cannot bring himself to admit that he bought a lemon.

And like the guy with the pricey car that keeps breaking down, his claims about the dysfunctional law are becoming so preposterous that they are literally provoking laughter when he makes them in public.

This is what happened last week during a debate at Freedom Fest between Krugman and Stephen Moore of the Heritage Foundation … Krugman, desperate to convince the audience that the rattletrap was “working quite well,” claimed that it had lowered the cost of U.S. health care. PJ Media’s Liz Sheld reports, ‘The whole room laughed at that howler.

To read the rest of the column, click here.

MEDICARE’S VICTIMS

In today’s American Spectator I take a look at a new book by David Hogberg that disposes of the myth that Medicare is a spotless paragon of government-run health care.

Despite the Supreme Court’s repeated attempts to prop it up, Obamacare is collapsing. This is obvious not merely to the majority of Americans who have always disapproved of the law, but also to an increasing number of progressives. Consequently, we are once again hearing calls for single-payer health care. Most advocates of this system … favor Medicare-for-All. They want, in other words, to put all Americans on the government program that covers the elderly and disabled.

An excellent antidote for this simplistic solution is David Hogberg’s new book, Medicare’s Victims: How the U.S. Government’s Largest Health Care Program Harms Patients and Impairs Physicians (National Center for Public Policy Research, 336 pages, $14.99 paper; $6.99 Kindle).

Hogberg, a Senior Fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research, explodes the myth that Medicare coverage is consonant with cost effectiveness, high quality care, and satisfied patients. He combines the stories of beneficiaries harmed by the program with an analysis of its perverse incentives and unsustainable costs. Hogberg also proposes reforms based on the principle that ‘beneficiaries should exercise ultimate control over how Medicare funds are spent.’

Anyone laboring under the delusion that Medicare is a panacea for the ills of U.S. health care should read this book, which is available at Amazon beginning today.

OBAMACARE IS HERE TO PREY

In today’s American Spectator I discuss the continuing depredations of the ironically titled “Affordable Care Act” as well as our President’s pathetic delusions about its permanence and efficacy:

Saturday morning, fresh from his latest victory over the rule of law, President Obama delivered his weekly address to the bored technicians and sycophantic aides who make up most of the audience for this anachronistic performance. His theme was as predictable as it was Orwellian: ‘The Affordable Care Act is working, and it is here to stay.’

The first claim fails to pass the laugh test. And, if you believe Supreme Court rulings are permanent, refer to another SCOTUS ruling much celebrated by Democrats—Plessy v. Ferguson. But Obamacare isn’t harmless:

That it is a failure by every standard set forth by its apologists is of no importance to the President or his fellow Democrats. They never cared what effect the law would have on the cost, quality, or availability of American medicine. It was never really about health care … What they wanted was power over our daily lives, and they knew that gaining control over our medical system was the fastest route to that destination.

It was easy to sell as a human right and offered a handy pretext for trampling genuine rights. And the President’s minions are making full use of that pretext. To read the rest of the column, click here.

VIDEO EXPLAINING KING V. BURWELL

For anyone interested in some actual facts about King v. Burwell (as opposed to the BS that you’ve been getting from the “news” media):

Via Cato

FAILURE IS WOVEN INTO THE FABRIC OF OBAMACARE

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss the absurdity of the President’s claim that Obamacare is permanently woven into the nation’s social and medical fabric:

Obamacare’s apologists, tired of being laughed at for claiming “it’s working,” have adopted a new talking point that they hope will produce less mirth. They now claim the law is such an integral part of our health care system that it is no longer susceptible to repeal or even revision. As President Obama recently put it, “This is now part of the fabric of how we care for one another … This is health care in America.”

This is a perfectly absurd claim to make about a law that has been in effect for only a year and a half. The President’s assertion is particularly ridiculous considering that Obamacare isn’t yet fully in force.

Some of its major provisions, the employer mandate for instance, have only been partially implemented. Others, like the “Cadillac tax, won’t go into effect until the President is conveniently out of office. These facts have not, of course, prevented Obama’s media sycophants from parroting the party line. The New York Times chimes in thus: “The Affordable Care Act … is now fully woven into the nation’s social fabric.”

A medical metaphor involving “metastasis” would be more accurate. To read the rest of the column, click here.