Health Care News Podcast

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  • More Fake COVID Deaths to Create Fear (Guest: Joel Hirshhorn)

    Published February 1, 2023
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    Details are now emerging just how much the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention overstated deaths from COVID-19.
  • The White House Covid Censorship Machine (Guest: Jenin Younes)

    Published January 20, 2023
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    Social media companies have defended their role in aiding the government control the COVID narrative by invoking the 1st amendment.
  • Medicaid Expansion Moves Low-Income Children to the Back of the Line (Guest: Charles Blahous)

    Published January 9, 2023
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    The Medicaid expansion in Obamacare has proven to remove health care access for low-income children compared to free-market reforms.
  • Republican Controlled House Must Fix These Health Care Policies (Guests: Brian Blasé and Drew Keyes)

    Published December 24, 2022
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    Republicans are set to take the U.S. House next month. Here’s the four key health care policy errors they need to fix.
  • Veterans Affairs Is Failing on Suicide Prevention (Guest: Sally Pipes)

    Published December 12, 2022
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    The VA highlights why Americans should fear transitioning towards a single-payer health care system.
  • Is Long COVID the Next Excuse for Expanding Government and Mask Mandates? (Guest: Rik Mehta)

    Published December 5, 2022
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    Reports have a knack for becoming public policy, and the latest report released by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Long COVID could be the next case in point.
  • Think Twice Before Signing that Organ Donation Card (Guest: Heidi Klessig, M.D.)

    Published November 28, 2022
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    You may want to rethink checking that box making you an organ donor. Unlike tissue donation, organs often need to be harvested from a live person in order to be viable for a transplant. Heidi Klessig, M.D., retired anesthesiologist, pain management specialist, and co-founder of respectforhumanlife.com, highlights how hospitals have harvested organs from live patients for the last few years. This procedure makes the person brain dead and then resuscitates their heart to keep blood flowing to the organs. According to Klessig, this goes against the Uniform Definition of Death Act (UDODA).

    UDODA, passed in 1981, states that to declare someone legally dead, there must be irreversible cessation of cardiopulmonary function or irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem. These determinations are to be made in accordance with accepted medical standards, but hospitals can never be 100 percent sure.  Klessig says there are many cases where people have been resuscitated and survived 10 minutes after the heart stopped beating, but a transplant team may begin the harvest of organs in a matter of minutes.

    The procedure is banned in Australia and the American College of Physicians has asked for a pause until legal and ethical issues can be ironed out. Yet, hospitals have been vigorously pushing the procedure to increase the supply of organs which require a patient to be alive before they can be harvested.

    She also discusses:

    • How hospitals can take your live organs if you are incapacitated, no family can be reached, and they determine your condition is “irreversible,” which Klessig says, “is terrifying because their interest lies in what money can be made from your organs, not what is in your best interest.” Organs can be worth about $5 million to transplant centers.  The only way to prevent this is by carrying a card: https://halovoice.org/wp-content/uploads/donor_refusal_card.pdf
       
    • How putting all resources into “live organ harvesting” has nearly eliminated research and development of alternatives to people with failing organs
       
    • Ethical donations (tissue after death, kidney or lobe of liver from healthy donors)
  • Does Eugenics Exist in U.S. Health Care? (Guest: Robert F. Graboyes, Ph.D.)

    Published November 17, 2022
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    Many people think the field of eugenics disappeared after the Nazi’s were defeated in WWII. But eugenics, a controversial program to perfect the human race, exists in various forms in modern times. Robert Graboyes, economist, journalist, consultant at RFG Counterpoint, decided to write about the topic. Graboyes was also a panelist that covered the topic in a webinar hosted by The Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism.

    Eugenics has a long history going back way before the Nazi’s practiced it in World War Two. It really got its origins in Victorian England and it got some cover because it was associated with an emerging field at the time, statistics. Graboyes said it entered the U.S. before the Nazi’s came into power and practitioners at first, and in a much more gruesome way. Euthanasia was too controversial, so sterilization of was the weapon of choice and the practice continued well into the 20th century when it was discovered prisons were sterilizing people who were incarcerated. Graboyes also discusses the expansion of euthanasia in Canada and even in the U.S. He discusses whether it could be used for nefarious purposes.

  • Should This Non-mRNA Vaccine Have Been Authorized Early in the Pandemic? (Guest: Raymond March)

    Published November 12, 2022
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    The FDA recently gave emergency use authorization (EUA) to the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine. Unlike the vaccines Americans received as a result of Operation Warp Speed, Novavax is not an mRNA vaccine. It was bypassed for EUA early in the pandemic because of a decision to put all resources into mRNA vaccines as it was thought this provided the best approach to get a vaccine out quickly.


    Our guest today, Raymond March, a research fellow for the Independent Institute and assistant professor of agribusiness and applied economics at North Dakota State University, says this was a costly mistake. In an op-ed, March explains why it took so long for the U.S. to get access to the Novavax vaccine. March discusses Novavax’s different technology, the history of protein-based vaccines, and the dangers in using a one-size-fits-all approach when dealing with a public health threat. 
     

    Novavax Authorization: https://ir.novavax.com/2022-10-19-U-S-FDA-Grants-Emergency-Use-Authorization-for-Novavax-COVID-19-Vaccine,-Adjuvanted-as-a-Booster-for-Adults

    Op-ed: https://blog.independent.org/2022/08/12/take-so-long-novavax-vaccine/

  • How Medicaid Compromised Long-Term Care (Guest: Stephen Moses)

    Published November 1, 2022
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    Poverty is no longer a requirement to qualify for long-term care under Medicaid. An entire industry has cropped up over the years instructing families on how to maximize Medicaid’s loose financial guidelines.  While families save a bundle of money by having the government now pay for this care, the system has had a negative impact on the long-term care market. Reimbursement rates under Medicaid do not cover the actual cost of care which impacts quality and supply.  Families no longer save for long term care knowing that Medicaid can come to the rescue.  Stephen Moses, president of the Center for Long-Term Care Reform, has studied long-term care for decades. He joins the show to discuss the first segment of his new report with the Paragon Institute, ”Long Term Care: The Problem.”

    Read the report: https://paragoninstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/202208_Moses_LongTermCareTheProblem_FINAL_2.pdf

    Seventy percent of people who reach age 65 today will require a severe need for long-term care. Long-term care provides medical and social services for those who are unable to care for themselves. 48 percent will receive paid care.  The need spikes after age 85. In ten years, the baby boomers will reach that threshold, causing demand for long-term care to soar.  Due to the loose financial guidelines, even well-off families can qualify for Medicaid coverage. This market manipulation crowds out private long-term care services. Our guest, Stephen Moses is about to release part two of a report which covers the solutions to this Medicaid problem.  His hope is that a new Congress will be open to better alternatives that improve care at more affordable prices.

    In the interview, Moses discusses:

    1.  How easy is it to get Medicaid to pay for long-term care?

    2. How has this compromised the quality of long-term care over the decades?

    3. Who will need long term care? Can any of us live independently until we die?

    4. Baby boomers…most are now 65…what kind of pressure will that put on long-term care and Medicaid in 10, 20, and 30 years from now?

    5. What about counting on family members to care for you? How about covering your care with your own wealth and investments?

  • Biden Wants More Money for COVID-19 Relief (Guest: Chad Savage, M.D.)

    Published October 26, 2022
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    President Biden told 60 Minutes in October that COVID-19 was essentially over. If that's true, why is he still lobbying Congress for billions of dollars in more COVID-19 relief? Biden also extended the emergency declaration another 90 days, further going against his stated position. Dr. Chad Savage, founder, Your Choice Direct Care, thinks the spending is not only unhealthy for the American economy, but “unnecessary, harmful, and blind to Americans’ real needs and problems.

    Savage says there is plenty of COVID-19 relief money unspent, just sitting on the sidelines. As a physician, Savage worries how more government spending will drive inflation further, increasing costs for working families. COVID is now becoming an excuse for Congress to continue its spending binge.

    Savage wrote about COVID-19 relief spending in an op-ed in Real Clear Health this summer.  He also discussed the emergency declaration extension, now scheduled to end in December. Savage covers opportunity costs involved when funds are directed to COVID-19 versus where our health care priorities should be.

    Real Clear Health Op-Ed: https://www.realclearhealth.com/articles/2022/07/06/dont_buy_into_the_covid_relief_spending_spree_111363.html

  • CVS Fires Employee for Religious Beliefs (Guest: Kevin Theriot)

    Published October 19, 2022
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    Late this summer, CVS fired a nurse practitioner for refusing to prescribe ‘Plan B’ ‘Morning After’ pills at the “Minute Clinic” where she had worked for 2 ½ years. CVS had been aware of Paige Casey’s religious objections to prescribing the abortifacients, exempted her from doing so, and even gave her favorable job reviews. In August, CVS changed its mind and told Casey she would no longer be given an exemption. Casey is suing CVS and is being represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom.

    Increasingly, health care professionals are being reprimanded, attacked and even fired for refusing to perform procedures that violate their religious convictions. It is not clear why CVS changed its position this summer regarding Casey. Interestingly, the MinuteClinic where Casey worked is located in Virginia where there are conscience protections in the law. CVS has stated it did not believe the “Morning After” bills are abortifacients but contraception. Kevin Theriot, an attorney with the Alliance Defending Freedom, discusses the facts of the case, the arguments, how the Dobbs decision comes into play, how there will likely be more cases similar to this, and the possibility that the issue could end up in the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Alliance Defending Freedom: https://adflegal.org/paige-casey

  • The New York Times Runs a “Hit Piece” on Medicare Advantage Plans (Guest: John C. Goodman)

    Published October 13, 2022
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    Increasingly, the private component of Medicare, Medicare Advantage (MA), is coming under attack. The latest salvo was a front-page article on October 8, 2022 in the New York Times, titled “The Cash Monster Was Insatiable – How Insurers Exploited Medicare for Billions.” The article claims “most large insurers in the program have been accused in court of fraud.” Today’s guest, John C. Goodman, points out that the “fraud” insurers are accused of is not the typical fraud seen in Sixty Minutes exposes in which the perpetrators are sent to prison. Rather, the “fraud” alleged often involves the risk payments MA plans receive for taking care of sicker enrollees. Goodman says MA attacks are no accident. There is a huge force against privatization in Medicare by the government, politicians and the corporate media. Goodman discusses why MA is the better alternative for both enrollee and taxpayers.

    On his health care blog, Goodman posted a rebuttal to the NY Times article on the day it was published. In the blog post, “Another Hit Job on MA Plans,” Goodman explains why risk payments are not overpayments, and certainly are not something that constitute fraud. Goodman points out in the podcast that some of the accusations come from whistleblowers who may receive rewards for their claims. Traditional fee-for-service Medicare has long been victimized by fraudsters and is rife with waste. Goodman points out MA plans, because they are private, have an incentive not to waste money. Medicare Advantage is the only system in the health care market that actually competes to take care of sick people.

    New York Times Article: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/08/upshot/medicare-advantage-fraud-allegations.html

    John Goodman Article: https://www.goodmanhealthblog.org/another-hit-job-on-ma-plans/

  • Are Doctors Ignorant, Cowards, or Just Biased? (Guest: Joel Hirschhorn)

    Published October 4, 2022
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    Can we trust doctors today to act in our best interest? Joel Hirschhorn, editor of the Pandemic Blunder Newsletter and author of Pandemic Blunder, returns to the podcast to discuss how the corporate takeover of healthcare is impacting patient care. This reached a pinnacle during the pandemic when doctors pushed investigational vaccines, discredited alternative therapies, and supported measures such as masks, lockdowns, and mandates which have done little to stop COVID-19. Hirschhorn reminds listeners that COVID is NOT over. People are still dying from the virus, and some continue to have side effects. Hirschhorn presents a list of questions patients should ask doctors next time the issue of COVID is discussed.

    Hirschhorn’s list of questions: https://joelshirschhorn.substack.com/p/most-physicians-are-ignorant-cowards?utm_source=email

    About today’s guest: Joel Hirschhorn is the editor of the Pandemic Blunder Newsletter, and author of the book Pandemic Blunder. He has been working tirelessly on the issue of the pandemic since the onset and was one of the earliest voices to ring the alarm bell on the “new age” in health care in which the bio-pharma industrial complex has taken control. As a full professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, he directed a medical research program between the colleges of engineering and medicine. As a senior official at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the National Governors Association, he directed major studies on health-related subjects. Hirschhorn has testified at over 50 U.S. Senate and House hearings and authored hundreds of articles and op-eds in major newspapers. He served as an executive volunteer at a major hospital for more than 10 years. Finally, he is a member of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons and America’s Frontline Doctors.

     

    Topics of discussion:

    1. Has the relationship between doctor and patient changed over the years and why?

    2. For most of us, COVID seems like history. Are doctors still bringing it up and recommending COVID shots?

    3. Questions patients should ask if the subject of COVID comes up and their doctor says “get the vaccine.”

    4. What letter did Hirschhorn receive from a doctor that prompted him to draft these patient questions?

    5. Could this same scenario happen with a different virus? 

    6. Should wearing a mask in a doctor’s office, a practice we never did years ago, be a red flag to a patient?

  • Did Pharma Royalty Payments Influence Government COVID-19 Policies? (Guest: Adam Andrzejewski)

    Published September 22, 2022
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    On September 14, Sen. Rand Paul grilled Dr. Anthony Fauci on royalty payments government scientists receive from private third-party entities. The non-profit watchdog,  Open the Books has been relentlessly investigating these private royalty payments because the public has been drastically impacted by public health guidance.  Adam Andrezejewski, CEO and founder of Open the Books, says it is important to understand how government health agencies make their decisions when decision makers have personal wealth gains on the line. He believes the payments over the past ten years come close to $400 million.  Fauci announced he is retiring from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in December, but Andrezejewski believes he will still have much influence in the loop between regulators and pharma.

    Open the Books has been investigating Fauci and the NIH regarding his salary and retirement package as well as the hundreds of media appearances during the pandemic. Now the group, through FOIA is trying to get the names, amounts and payers of royalty payments government scientist get from private companies if their research is eventually licensed by a private company.

    Discussed during the 20-minute podcast:

    1.  Should this be a bi-partisan concern?

    2.  What about Fauci’s point that guidance, vaccine approval came from non-NIH agencies?

    3. Why Open the Books got interested in probing royalty payments

    4. How the payments work. Shouldn’t these royalty payments go back to taxpayers for funding the salaries of the researchers? (Federal law allows the payments)

    5. How forthcoming has NIH been on document requests?

    6. Does Fauci get royalty payments?  Where will Fauci go after he retires from NIH in December? Andrezewjewski speculates

     

    Useful links:

    REP. MOOLENAAR, U.S. House Appropriations hearing: 
    https://www.openthebooks.com/nih-acting-director-admits-royalty-payments-have-appearance-of-conflict-of-interest/

    Homeland Security Government Accountability Committee Letter To NIH: https://www.paul.senate.gov/news/dr-rand-paul-and-hsgac-republicans-send-letter-acting-director-nih-requesting-information

  • Two Bills Are About to Become Law in California and Why We Should All be Concerned – Marilyn Singleton, M.D., J.D.

    Published September 13, 2022
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    SB 107 would allow California to become a “sanctuary state” for a parent and minor to pursue gender altering surgery and care against the wishes of another parent.  AB 2098 redefines the meaning of “unprofessional conduct” to now included the dissemination of COVID-19 misinformation or disinformation.  Physicians and Surgeons could potentially lose their license if found to be in violation. Singleton discusses the ramifications of these bills and how variations could spread to other states.

    Singleton and Schieber discuss:
    1.  Who will determine what  COVID  “misinformation” is
    2.  The possibility that a  physician could lose their medical license over COVID misinformation?
    3. Will this chase doctors out of state?
    4. Could Anthony Fauci be in violation given his flipflopping on COVID -19?
    5.  What could happen if SB 107 is signed into law?
    6. Will the constitutionality of this law likely be challenged in court?
    7. What would happen if a minor runs away to CA and seek emancipation? 
    8.  How these policies could spread to other states


    Check out more of Dr. Marilyn Singleton’s work on her website.

  • What the U.S. Can Really Do to Bring Down the Costs of Biotech Drugs (Guest: Gregg Girvan)

    Published September 6, 2022
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    Americans have a right to complain that some prescription drugs are unaffordable. But the answer is not to have the government (taxpayers) pick up more of the tab. A better solution is to get costly regulatory obstacles out of the way.  Gregg Girvan, a scholar at The Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity (FREOPP), says it is a myth that brand name drugs have to be excessively priced to guarantee future research and development.  He also says regulatory obstacles are standing in the way of making biosimilars, a cheaper alternative to biologic drugs, more available.  Europe outpaces the U.S. in allowing biosimilars to be more widely available.  All Americans should be pushing for reform before health care spending pushes out other spending even more than it does today.

    Ninety percent of all prescription drugs sold are generic.  Generic drugs are replicas of small molecule drugs (the drugs commonly taken in tablet form) and are cheap and affordable.  They have been revolutionary in driving down drug spending.

    Biologic or biotech drugs are the cutting-edge drugs that account for most drug spending and are used by a small percentage of consumers.  Yet, there is no to few cheaper alternatives to these drugs due to regulatory obstacles and “patent padding” that can and are giving drug makers monopoly markets for decades.

     In the interview, Gregg and AnneMarie discuss:

    - Evidence that high drug prices don’t necessarily guarantee more research and development. 

    - What are biologic drugs are and why are prices for so high?  Do they cost more to research and produce?

    - Do biosimilars do the same thing as their biologic counterparts?

    - State of biosimilar market in the U.S.

    - How is the biosimilar market in Europe different and why?

    - Biosimilar Council’s efforts to change the thinking of consumers, pharmacists

    - Interchangeability/concerns with the pharmacies

    - Why we ALL should be pushing for these reforms

    Girvan and Avik Roy have produced a growing body of articles and papers here: https://freopp.org/

    The Growing Power of Biotech Monopolies Threatens Affordable Care, Sept. 15, 2020: https://freopp.org/the-growing-power-of-biotech-monopolies-threatens-affordable-care-e75e36fa1529

    The Fair Care Act of 2020:  Market Based Universal Coverage: https://freopp.org/the-fair-care-act-of-2020-market-based-universal-coverage-cc4caa4125ae

    Drug Companies are Warning that Pricing Reform Spells Doom. (They’re wrong): https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/08/08/drug-companies-medicare-pricing-reform/

    Push is on to Promote Cheaper Biosimilars: https://heartlanddailynews.com/2022/08/biosimilars/

    Europe is Light Years Ahead in Biosimilar Adoption: https://heartlanddailynews.com/2022/09/biosimilar/

  • CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky Calls for Overhaul of the Agency (Guest: Dr. Marilyn Singleton)

    Published August 22, 2022
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    On August 17, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recently stated that the CDC needs a complete overhaul. How serious is her call? As director, can she fix all that is wrong with the agency? Or, is this something Congress needs to address?

    Our guest for today’s episode of Health Care News is Dr. Marilyn Singleton. Dr. Singleton previously served as president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. She’s also written and spoken extensively on how the CDC and other government health agencies politicized COVID-19. She says that at the very least, it’s time for an independent investigation of the CDC.

    During an interview, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky made comments on the state of the agency. Dr. Walensky said the CDC is facing three problems: unclear communication, a fragmented public health system, and action reactively, not proactively.

    Dr. Walensky made these comments as the agency is facing increasing criticism over its handling of COVID-19. The CDC has received criticism for delving into issues beyond its mission such as critical race theory, climate change, transgender medical treatments for children, and teens.

    Singleton discusses whether Walensky has called for a complete overhaul to take heat off the agency right before the midterm election. Singleton discusses her paper, “COVID-19: A Weapon to Fundamentally Transform America,” which highlights the CDC’s other mistakes related to COVID: diagnostic testing, flip-flopping guidance, and early treatment.

    Dr. Singleton’s work can be found at her website https://marilynsingletonmdjd.com.

  • Doug Seaton: Covid Vaccine Lawsuits

    Published August 11, 2022
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    Attorney Doug Seaton joins Health Care News managing editor Anne Schieber to discuss a $10.3 million settlement involving hospital employees who were forced to take Covid vaccines against their wishes.  
  • Democrats Go After Medicare to Shore up Obamacare (Guest: Phil Kerpen)

    Published August 2, 2022
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    Congressional Democrats are pushing through a plan that shift $288 billion away from Medicare drug spending and into Obamacare plans and Green New Deal ventures. Extended Obamacare plans from the pandemic expire around the midterm elections. Premiums will likely skyrocket at a critical time: the midterm elections.

    The plan will authorize the federal government, through Medicare Part D and B spending, to hit drug makers with a 95 percent tax on total sales if they fail to lower drug prices to the satisfaction of federal regulators. One economic study found drug research and development fell by 18.5 percent. This tax will also lead to supply shortages of pharmaceuticals. Dems are selling the plan as “drug negotiation,” but Phil Kerpen, president of American Commitment, tells AnneMarie Schieber that it’s a classic mob-style ‘offer you can’t refuse.’

    The drug price control measure is being salvaged from the Build Back Better bill that collapsed in Congress a few months ago. Given the upcoming mid-term election, it is likely the Dems will succeed in getting it through. Sen. Joe Manchin is on board, prompted after the Dems changed the name of the bill to the “Inflation Reduction Act of 22.” Kerpen says there is nothing inflation busting about drug price controls. The key to fighting inflation is increasing supply. Kerpen explains how this bill will send a huge chill through the pharmaceutical industry. Companies will not develop drugs if they think the government will dictate the price.

    See Kerpin’s latest blog post:
    https://www.americancommitment.org/content/democrats-want-raid-medicare-pay-obamacare-–-again

  • Is Medicare Advantage a Bad Deal? (Guest: John Goodman)

    Published July 25, 2022
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    Medicare Advantage (MA) is under attack after a report by the Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General.  John Goodman, a health care economist, president of the Goodman Institute for Public Policy Research, and co-publisher of Health Care News, is a champion of MA plans. Goodman says the report looks at a tiny fraction of enrollees and fails to consider the overall popularity of MA.  Not only can MA save Medicare enrollees a significant amount of money; they are the closest thing to doing what all health care plans should do: cover the essentials when people really need the coverage, when they get sick. Don’t raise prices and overcover individuals.  MA plans are the only plans that seek out enrollees with particular health risks and are incentivized to provide care that matters.

    Medicare Advantage plans have been around for a while. They can save seniors money because they are managed, inclusive plans and spare them the need to buy something called Medigap insurance. Medigap insurance covers things that traditional Medicare does not. But recently, MA plans have come under attack with critics saying they’re a bad deal.  In the discussion, Schieber and Goodman cover the following:

    1. What is Medicare Advantage, how does it differ from traditional Medicare?
    2. How do the plans work, sign up for a lifetime or can you go back and forth?
    3. Why has Medicare Advantage been under attack most recently?
    4. Let’s address the criticisms, first denial of authorized service
    5. Are the risk payments a perverse incentive to declare someone sicker?
    6. Are the plans accurately priced. Is the government paying more than it should?
    7. Do you take a risk if you become critically ill and you’re in an MA plan?
    8. What can be done to make MA better?

    Goodman also discussed a new service at the Goodman Institute, the “Health Care Toolkit.” Political candidates can use it to become better educated about health care free-market reforms. 

    Goodman defended Medicare Advantage in his column in Forbes:
    Are America’s Best Health Plans Being Attacked Unfairly?
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/johngoodman/2022/07/13/are-americas-best-health-plans-being-unfairly-attacked/?sh=3f67e3073974

  • Why Is Biden Pushing Medical Debt Relief if the Affordable Care Act Is Working?

    Published July 21, 2022
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    Obamacare was supposed to be affordable, but on April 11, the White House announced new actions to “lessen the burden of medical debt and increase consumer protection.”  Why are consumers being flanked with extra medical bills if the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was doing its job?  Devon Herrick, a health care economist, discusses Obamacare’s narrow networks and high deductibles as being a big part of the problem and how a free market in health could solve the problem of “medical debt.”

    This is the fact sheet the White House released describing the need for medical debt relief and the actions it plans to take: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/04/11/fact-sheet-the-biden-administration-announces-new-actions-to-lessen-the-burden-of-medical-debt-and-increase-consumer-protection

     

    Herrick discusses the following:

    1.  Wasn’t medical debt what the ACA was designed to prevent?
    2.  Fact sheet says the feds pay $1.5 trillion towards health care, why are people getting bills at all?
    3. Do you have any concerns with preventing credit agencies not being allowed to use medical debt in credit ratings, would this send a chill to providers, might they restrict care unless you can first prove you can pay your extra bill?
    4. Medical Debt forgiveness for low income vets…aren’t vets supposed to get free health care, period?
    5. One action is informing consumers about their rights through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Do we even consider this in industries where the free market is able to rein?
    6.  Pete Sessions bill: What’s in it and how are its chances for success in Congress?

    Devon Herrick’s health care blog at the Goodman Institute can be found here:
    https://www.goodmanhealthblog.org

  • Could Too Much Telehealth Drive Up Medicare Costs? (Guest: Josh Gordon, Ph.D.)

    Published July 1, 2022
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    Telehealth soared in popularity soon after Medicare started covering telehealth claims during the pandemic. There is a five-month time limit on reimbursing claims after the pandemic emergency declaration ends, which is now expected after the mid-term election. Before making reimbursements permanent, Josh Gordon, Ph.D., Director of the Health Policy Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, recommends putting guard rails in place to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse of telehealth claims, especially in a fee-for-service model such as Medicare. Congress will also have to reconsider pay parity, since telehealth should cost less than a physical visit.

    To most, telehealth is relatively a new phenomenon. Before the pandemic, Medicare barely covered it. First, Medicare patients had to be living in an underserved rural area. If they did receive a telehealth visit, it had to be done at an approved health care facility. When the pandemic hit, and states instituted lock downs, telehealth was a saving grace because it was the only way many patients could get health care. Telehealth visits are fully covered by Medicare, but only during a public health emergency. Gordan talks about how telehealth could lead to higher health care utilization which would drive up Medicare costs.  He also addresses telehealth innovation and whether “guardrails” could slow this down. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget released this paper on the topic on April 21, 2022.

    https://www.crfb.org/papers/fiscal-considerations-future-telehealth
  • Should We Give the COVID-19 Shot to Infants and Toddlers? (Guest: Dr. Jane Orient)

    Published June 23, 2022
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    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved emergency use authorization of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 shots for infants and toddlers six months and older. Should parents get them for their young children? The shots have been in use among the general population for 1.5 years. There have been 60,442 adverse events related to the shots on the FDA’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. More, millions of people have gotten the shots and COVID is still with us.

    Jane Orient, M.D. is the executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.  She minces no words, calling the trial used to support approval “a disgrace.” Dr. Orient points out the lack of effort to measure not just efficacy, but safety, in giving the shots to an age group with zero to no risk of dying from COVID-19. 

    Jane Orient, M.D. covers a range of questions about the infant and toddler COVID-19 shot approval.  Details of the clinical trial include the fact that 67 percent of participants dropped out. What prompted this interest in wanting to provide these shots to young children and why did the trial reverse this trend in parents?

    Orient and host AnneMarie Schieber also go over the history of other childhood vaccines. How long did it take to get those approved and how do those diseases compare to COVID? Why are parents so fearful of COVID-1919 infecting their children even though many have been exposed to it, show antibodies and had few to no symptoms? Orient believes the COVID shots will like be part of the panel of recommended shots for children, perhaps mandated for entry to school, yet there has been no effort to examine whether the shots will cause heart damage, already demonstrated in some trials.

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