Category Archives: Health Care

Planned Parenthood: Making a Bad Situation Worse

An all-out attack on Planned Parenthood has begun. Yesterday Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana, cut all Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood reasoning, “Planned Parenthood does not represent the values of the people of Louisiana and shows a fundamental disrespect for human life. It has become clear that this is not an organization that is worthy of receiving public assistance from the state.”  Jeb Bush also followed suit on the campaign trail remarking, “I’m not sure we need a half a

The Food Stamp Surfer

As any viewer of Fox News will tell you, America has become an entitlement nation. This claim is reinforced by example after example of individuals gaming the system or dissected across Fox’s political theater. The right’s fixation on the poor has become so blatant Fox has even come up with a pseudo-correspondent that fuels the misleading perception. Jason Greenslate, or “Food Stamp Surfer”, has been remarkably effective reinforcing the narrative of widespread welfare abuse. In fact, he was even mentioned

Obamacare Unlocks American Innovation

America’s antiquated health care insurance system has hampered innovation and ultimately slowed economic growth for decades due to the insurance system’s perverse incentives. However, the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, has done much to reverse those disincentives. Consider the following scenario: Imagine you work for a large company that pays an acceptable salary. Like three-fifths of all American workers, your employer also pays a significant portion of your family’s health insurance premium, which, as part of a group

Is Obamacare Doomed for Failure?

When the media finds a narrative it loves, it tends to hang on, even when the facts do not compute. The poll numbers for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, have plummeted since the embarrassingly flawed roll-out of the online health insurance exchanges, and as reports spread regarding cancellations of some lower-grade insurance policies. And while some of the recent criticism of the health law is appropriate and much of the damage self-inflicted, polls also show that most Americans

Shutdown Antics Threaten Constitutional Order

The current shutdown of the federal government and upcoming showdown over the debt ceiling has caused many people to ask who is to blame for this gridlock. The media, in its effort to try to report both sides of the story, often end up giving balanced treatment to an unbalanced phenomenon. What we have is an extremist element within the minority political party that refuses to accept the results of the previous elections. Leading up to the shutdown, House Republicans

Government Shutdown – The Lincoln Analogy

Obamacare pales in comparison to the importance of freeing the Slaves. And shutting down the government is nothing at all like Civil War. But the principles are exactly the same. President Obama came in inexperienced and made mistakes – so did President Lincoln. But they both promoted the overriding principle of Constitutional government of, by, and for the People – all of us People – not any particular faction, party, or philosophy, except for this: The Constitution is not some stale,

The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) Explained

In 2009 when President Obama first took office, America faced a serious healthcare problem that had been ignored for decades.  Significant changes needed to be made to address our nation’s problems, which included rising costs and inadequate care following a trajectory to insolvency.  At President Obama’s inauguration forty-five million citizens did not have access to insurance, using the emergency room as their primary care facility.  Medicare and Medicaid were facing default and driving federal deficits to record levels. The private

Arizona’s Medicaid Expansion

Today brought a conversation that many of my fellow LDS Democrats hear on a regular basis.  Midway into the morning I received a phone call from my wife who was clearly energized by her subject, and began to inform me of an organized petition that a church member asked her to sign.  Here is our conversation: “Some people in the church are trying to stop Obamacare.” “Really? How is that possible?” “I don’t know, they want me to sign a

After Obamacare, Can Congress Make You Eat Broccoli?

Opponents of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 frequently criticized the law’s central component — the individual insurance mandate — and argued that if Congress was permitted to compel everyone to purchase health insurance, it could also pass other laws that compelled Americans to buy products such as broccoli. In his ruling against ACA, Judge Roger Vinson, a conservative Reagan appointee to the Pensacola, Florida Federal District Court, argued that if ACA were upheld, “Congress could require that people

Violence and Mental Health

The recent mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut reinvigorated the national debate about gun control. While I believe that additional measures must be adopted to make it more difficult for criminals and the mentally ill to obtain firearms, it is equally important that Americans evaluate other areas in our society that may contribute to violent crime. One major area where we need significant reform is mental health care. Because I am not a mental health

President Obama Endorsed by Mormon Democrats

In 2008, President Barack Obama was elected into one of the worst economic disasters since Franklin Roosevelt stepped into the Oval Office. The United States economy was shedding approximately 800,000 jobs per month. Home foreclosures were skyrocketing and the stock market plummeted. From continuing the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and the Recovery Act, to the emergency bailout of General Motors and Chrysler, policies pursued by the Obama administration and the Federal Reserve put a floor on the recession and returned

Affordable Care Act Focuses on Workers, Removes Perverse Incentives

President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) was not directed at the poorest Americans, who already have Medicaid, but at the working poor. This includes those who work full-time, but cannot afford their own health insurance policy. In addition, low-wage jobs are far less likely to provide health insurance benefits. Thus, typical low-wage earners are left on their own to purchase prohibitively expensive private health care plans. In 2010, the average cost for a private family insurance plan was $7,102. In

Universal Health Care Benefits Everyone, Eliminates Free Riders

Positive rights should not just be viewed through the lens of entitlement. Positive rights are similar to public goods in that they provide positive benefits to society as a whole (in economics, this phenomenon is called a positive externality). This is especially true with health care. If everyone has access to good health care, the chance of serious epidemic outbreaks declines. More people are thus eligible to work. American productivity increases because workers require fewer sick days. Healthier people spend

GOP Turns on Insurance Mandate at Its Own Peril

In January 2009, Mitt Romney penned some advice to incoming President Barack Obama regarding health care reform in a USA Today op-ed piece. Romney suggested Obama look to “the lessons we learned in Massachusetts,” in contemplating federal-level reform, noting specifically: First, we established incentives for those who were uninsured to buy insurance. Using tax penalties, as we did, or tax credits, as others have proposed, encourages ‘free riders’ to take responsibility for themselves rather than pass their medical costs on