The Right Prescription

The Right Prescription

Obamacare: They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

By 3.31.14

A new survey reveals that public esteem for Obamacare is continuing to plummet, hitting yet another historic low. According to an Associated Press-GfK poll released last Friday, “President Barack Obama's health care law is languishing at its lowest level since passage of the landmark legislation four years ago, according to a new poll.” The AP survey shows that a mere “26 percent of Americans support the Affordable Care Act.”

When the law was passed, 39 percent of the public supported it. But the President, along with his accomplices in Congress and the media, assured us that this percentage would rise once “reform” was implemented. In other words, Obama and his minions are no better at prognostication than they are at managing websites, insurance exchanges or anything else relating to health care. Even now, they can’t see that Obamacare is a colossal failure.

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Hobby Lobby Has Its Day In Court

By 3.26.14

One of the reasons Clarence Thomas gives for the studious silence he maintains during Supreme Court hearings is that his fellow justices have shown an increasing tendency to talk too much during oral arguments, thus preventing advocates from presenting their arguments coherently. Yesterday’s Supreme Court hearing in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius suggest that Thomas is right.

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Hobby Lobby Hysteria Hits New High

By 3.19.14

Next Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments concerning constitutional challenges to Obamacare’s contraception mandate brought by Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties. The families that own and operate these private corporations believe the mandate violates the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by forcing them to provide employees with health insurance covering abortifacients. Both families have grave religious objections to the use of such drugs.

Neither company objects to birth control, per se. Indeed, both provide coverage to their employees for most types of contraception. Yet civilization as we know it will collapse if the justices rule in their favor, according to the increasingly shrill prognostications of panicky liberals. Such a decision, progressives shriek, would constitute a victory for the dark forces behind the “war on women,” erode employee protections against discrimination, and dramatically reduce access to health care for all workers.

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Uninsured: Obamacare Is Unaffordable

By 3.10.14

A new survey confirms that the “Affordable Care Act” has failed to achieve one of its most important goals — making health coverage accessible to the uninsured. As the Washington Post reports, “Just one in 10 uninsured people who qualify for private health plans through the new marketplace have signed up for one.” Why so few? According to the survey, which was released last Thursday by McKinsey & Company, the most common reason cited by uninsured respondents was lack of affordability. Out of five possible reasons for failing to enroll, most chose, “I could not afford to pay the premium.”

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Another Illegal Obamacare Edict?

By 3.6.14

President Obama is planning to break the law, once again, in an effort to protect vulnerable Democrats in the Senate. According to news reports, “the White House will announce a new directive allowing insurers to continue offering health plans that do not meet Obamacare’s minimum coverage requirements.” In the absence of this “directive,” health insurance companies would have to cancel millions of health policies just a few weeks before November’s congressional elections. Obama’s edict would theoretically forestall, until after those crucial midterms, a tsunami of voter outrage that would inevitably drown the reelection prospects of many Democrats.

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Drug Rationing for Seniors Begins

By 2.24.14

Buried beneath the avalanche of recent news reports about the latest Obamacare-mandated funding cuts to the Medicare Advantage (MA) program is a related but far more disturbing story — the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has taken a major step toward rationing medications to the elderly. Since passage of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, seniors enrolled in the Medicare prescription drug program have been guaranteed access to “all or substantially all” of the drugs in several classes of pharmaceuticals. President Obama’s health care bureaucrats, however, have proposed removing three of these classes from the “protected” list.

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Obamacare’s Little Noticed Victims

By 2.20.14

Earlier this year, the New York Post wrote this about people who get their health insurance through the small-group market: “The 5 million-plus Americans who’ve seen their health plans canceled thanks to ObamaCare will be joined by millions more this year — because the Affordable Care Act makes their employer-provided policies illegal, as well.”

My fellow employees and I at the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR) are among those millions. In mid-January, we each received a letter from our insurer, Kaiser Permanente, informing us “that because the plan currently offered by your employer does not include certain benefits now required under [ObamaCare], it will not be available at the time of your 2014 renewal.”

When I showed this letter to our president, David Ridenour, he replied, “You know, since we have less than 50 employees, this gives me an incentive to just drop our insurance and let you all go on the exchange.”

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MSM Whitewashes CBO Obamacare Report

By 2.10.14

Samuel Butler once observed, “The most important service rendered by the press and the magazines is that of educating people to approach printed matter with distrust.” Anyone who wishes to confirm the accuracy of Butler’s assessment of the Fourth Estate need look no further than its Orwellian coverage of the recent report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) concerning the economic effects of Obamacare.

According to the CBO report, “reduced incentives to work attributable to the Affordable Care Act” will cause a “decline in the number of full-time-equivalent [FTE] workers of about 2.0 million in 2017.” Translated from the argot of the government bureaucrat into plain English, this means that Obamacare will destroy the financial benefits of productive employment for a number of Americans equal to the population of Nevada.

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A Serious GOP Alternative to Obamacare

By 2.3.14

The most frequently repeated Democrat talking point concerning Republican opposition to Obamacare is the claim that the GOP has offered no alternative. This is nonsense, of course, but it has proved an effective device for suppressing a serious debate about the President’s “signature legislative achievement.” Predictably, Obama offered yet another variation on the theme during his recent State of the Union message: “I don’t expect to convince my Republican friends on the merits of this law.… So again, if you have specific plans to cut costs, cover more people, and increase choice — tell America what you’d do differently.”

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Taxpayers Get Fleeced to Make Obamacare Look Affordable

By 1.29.14

Last week, Moody’s rating agency lowered the outlook for health insurers from stable to negative, blaming Obamacare. Few Americans will shed tears for insurance companies. But the Moody’s announcement is a warning sign to taxpayers. They’ll be getting clobbered. Section 1342 of the Affordable Care Act forces taxpayers to make insurers whole for most of the losses incurred selling Obamacare exchange plans through 2016. The bailout is designed to conceal the failure of the president’s signature health law until he is out of office.

No one in the Obama administration talked up the advantages of bailing out insurers. It was kept under wraps until the fall of 2013. That’s when five to six million health plans were canceled because they didn’t comply with Obamacare’s one-size-fits-all-coverage requirements effective January 1, 2014. Insurers developed new plans, as the health law required, set premiums (generally higher) and sent out notices canceling the old plans.