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Listening to the Obama Administration’s recent claims about how the sequester is going to affect the Department of Health and Human Services, you might be tempted to think that this sequester threatens your personal health. Warnings from the administration assert that the looming sequestration cuts to the agency will do everything from setting medical science back a generation, to leaving Americans at risk of consuming tainted food, to blocking access to vaccinations, cancer screenings, and HIV tests.
In the battle to get the Medicaid expansion being championed by Gov. Jan Brewer approved by the state’s legislators, her closest advisers are hanging their hopes on the number eight. That is how many of the 17 Republicans in the State Senate they believe they can get on their side.
With a population of 14,500 and a location south of Yuma, until recently I had never even heard of Somerton, Arizona. Yet, this tiny town serves as one of the best examples of what financial transparency by the government ought to look like.
The automatic spending cuts that have been enacted at the federal level – the “sequester” – have generated concern and outrage in some quarters. Breathless press releases from the White House and trade association groups that may receive slightly less federal money than they did last year have permeated the media reporting.
(By Darcy Olsen, National Review Online)
In his State of the Union address Tuesday, President Obama announced an initiative to make preschool universal, citing studies that purport to show academic benefits from earlier school enrollment. Unfortunately, this plan flies in the face of overwhelming evidence that preschool has no lasting impact on children’s future educational success.
A recent article in Time magazine by Steven Brill documents the enormously high prices we pay in this country for health care, including the markups and significant profits of “nonprofit” hospitals. For example, M.D. Anderson marked up an anti-cancer drug some 400 percent. Stamford Hospital billed an individual $8,000 for a test that Medicare would have reimbursed at $600. Blood tests are often marked up by more than 1,000 percent over verifiable costs. Brill’s article is 28 pages long and includes dozens of examples.
I recently wrote about reasons the Arizona legislature should reject efforts to expand Medicaid as part of the implementation of the federal health care law. The governor’s office took umbrage with the points I made, and after carefully reviewing their response, my conclusion remains that expanding the program is a bad idea.
The federal health care law included a provision asking all states to expand their Medicaid programs to cover all adults and children up to 133% of the federal poverty level. Right now, a little less than a fifth of the state’s population is given free healthcare through Medicaid; if the state expands Medicaid nearly a fourth of Arizona’s population would be covered.
After years of pursuing a command-and-control approach to energy regulation and providing massive corporate welfare to the solar industry, the Arizona Corporation Commission has signaled a possible shift in approach.