Technological Innovation Is Making Your Eye Care Cheaper - But Big Medical Lobbyists Are Fighting ItDavid Williams on
April 20, 2017
This article originally appeared in IJ Review on April 13, 2017
Technology that slashes costs for healthcare is good for consumers and taxpayers alike. There are those who don’t want to see these new technologies flourish, but, thankfully, these forces of negativity are losing the battle of bringing new technologies into the market. Just like with the disruptive technologies that have helped Uber and Airbnb become household names, tele-health and tele-medicine are disrupting the cartel that forces consumers to pay inflated prices and suffer the inconvenience of travel and time at the optometrist's office to get a prescription for eyeglasses and contact lenses. With the click of a few keys on a computer or smartphone, consumers can receive their prescriptions (signed off by an eye doctor) from the comfort of their own homes. Thanks to this technology, healthy adults only have to go to the eye doctor’s office once every two years for an eye health exam as opposed to once every time a new prescription is needed - unless the medical lobby’s intense influence campaign is successful.» Read More
March 23, 2017
The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) understands that this is a critical moment for taxpayers and Congress, and that is why our organization supporting for the American Health Care Act (AHCA). The status quo is deteriorating and the nation can no longer afford the disaster that is Obamacare. AHCA provides economic and regulatory relief to the millions of individuals that have continued to suffer under the grips of a failed healthcare bill that must be repealed and replaced. The American Health Care Act provides a path to accomplish the goal of repealing and replacing Obamacare and puts in place a framework that will allow for the Health and Human Services Department to also play a critical role in gutting needless and onerous regulations that have continued to plague our healthcare system. The initial bill, along with the changes made this week provide a substantive opportunity to ensure greater consumer choice and economic stability in the healthcare market. TPA encourages the House to support this legislation so that the Senate can move forward and do the same. TPA signed onto this coalition letter, organized by the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), in support of the legislation.
To read the full letter, click "Read Blog" below» Read More
March 17, 2017
As the 115th Congress enters its second month, lawmakers are finally set to repeal the failed Affordable Care Act. The law, known more commonly as Obamacare, attempted to reign in health-care costs through a litany of crude regulations and tax increases that actually increased insurance premiums, reduced quality, and wreaked havoc on taxpayers. The recently-unveiled American Health Care Act (AHCA) promises to put the brakes on government meddling in the healthcare sector, scaling back the rules and programs harming taxpayers and businesses. Advocates of fiscal responsibility have been pouring over the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) AHCA analysis, released on Tuesday. The CBO projects a deficit reduction of $337 billion over the next ten years, passing the bill for its physical and moving it on for legislative scrutiny. By its budgetary merits alone, AHCA is a positive step forward and part of an overall process to address an unsustainable status quo in healthcare financing.» Read More
March 16, 2017
This article appeared in Independent Journal Review on March 7, 2017
Bernie Sanders rails against “the rich” for using legal deductions to pay less taxes, but then uses the same techniques to keep his own tax bill low. He’s a self-described socialist who honeymooned in the USSR, but in 2016 bought a waterfront vacation home (his third), just like the targets of his anti-market rhetoric. He bashes Uber as an “unregulated” bad actor with “serious problems,” but whenever he needs a ride, guess which company he calls? Although the media is loathe to ever mention it, Sanders is a man of glaring hypocrisies. But his latest move to allow pharmaceutical drugs to be imported from Canada and then Mexico is rich, even for him.» Read More
March 6, 2017
Ever since November 8, 2016, the future of taxpayer-funded healthcare has been in the spotlight. Taxpayers want the government to be compassionate and thrifty. One issue where these two ideals intersect is end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Like most chronic disease patients, people living with ESRD often find out that managing their care can be as difficult as managing their condition. The need for multiple doctors, specialists, prescriptions and facilities can often leave patients feeling confused about how to get the most effective care – which they often don’t. What’s more, poorly managed care compounds inefficiencies and increases costs across the health care system. The good news is that Medicare is experimenting with ways to produce better care for ESRD patients at lower costs. The largest such demonstration project created ESRD Seamless Care Organizations (ESCOs), which currently exist in 37 locations across the country. Under this model, care managers assist patients with tasks such as making doctor appointments, getting answers from pharmacists and cutting through red tape with dentists or state assistance programs.» Read More
January 25, 2017
This week, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) released a series of issue briefs for the 115th Congress titled Roadmap to Fiscal Sanity. The publication puts forward an aggressive reform agenda for Congress. The publication focuses on 14 different policy areas where reform is needed to help reduce the size of government, cut spending, enact tax reform, and help get the economy back on track. Issues covered in the publication include Defense Spending, Earmarks, Energy, Health Care, Intellectual Property, Mergers, Regulatory Reform, Solar Subsidies, Tax Reform, Telecommunications Policy, Trade Policy, United Nations/World Health Organization and United States Postal Service Reform. TPA President David Williams said of the release, “The newly elected Congress has No More Excuses for not acting on real and meaningful reform when it comes to reducing spending and getting the debt under control. TPA’s Roadmap to Fiscal Sanity provides a path forward.”» Read More
January 11, 2017
After a long bout of failed expectations with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obamacare, Congress is finally set to repeal the law as they have promised. A complete list of the legislation’s flaws could span thousands of pages, but the incoming Congress can prioritize and target the most egregious parts when looking at repeal and replace. As a result of the unpopular insurance mandate, more than eight million taxpayers were penalized hundreds of dollars for not purchasing health insurance in 2016. This increased burden was supposed to “nudge” enrollment markets toward a healthy subset of the population, but enrollees “turned out to be sicker and more costly than expected.”» Read More
January 10, 2017
Waste. Public health risks. Fatal complications. These are only some of the consequences that can result from a consumer or patient taking medicines that are imported from other countries. As the new Congress and administration begin to set the tone and stage for 2017, our nation’s health care system and the importation of medicines will surely be a topic of contention among policymakers. Over the past several years, importing medicines from countries such as Canada or Western European nations has been brought up by members of Congress as a way to address the nation’s health care issues. However, importing medicines from outside the U.S. would be a dangerous solution that would hurt consumers far more than it would help them. While imported medicines are often advertised as cheap and easy to obtain, many are counterfeit and were originally manufactured in countries millions of miles away from Canada and made with untested, unsafe ingredients. The country would be unwise to allow them in. Nevertheless, counterfeit medications have become a growing problem in the U.S., potentially compromising our country’s drug supply chain, risking jobs and wasting taxpayer dollars.» Read More
January 2, 2017
The New Year has begun, and after saying goodbye to 2016, taxpayers are ready to welcome 2017. While many people resolve to shed a few pounds and break some bad habits, this year’s list of resolutions highlights all of the major issues that the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) will focus on throughout the year.
The resolution for Congress in 2017 is clear: No More Excuses. Washington (including the incoming Trump administration) have no more excuses for not getting things done for taxpayers. On a wide range of issues, including tax reform and regulatory reform, members of the House and Senate can longer make excuses for not doing the necessary work to fix some of the major problems impacting taxpayers. It is time for Congress to get to work. For more on Congress, click here.
Click "Read Blog" below to see all of TPA's 2017 Resolutions!» Read More
December 5, 2016
This article originally appeared in Independent Journal Review on November 30, 2016
Obamacare has been the Republican’s White Whale since it was passed and signed into law in 2010. Republicans have mounted valiant efforts to kill Obamacare, but failed each time. Now as President-elect Donald Trump picks Rep. Dr. Tom Price (R-Ga.) to be Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), taxpayers and all citizens see a sign of regulatory and tax relief from Obamacare. But, unlike the book Moby Dick, this giant whale (Obamacare) may be finally slain next year and Captain Ahab (Dr. Price) may be victorious. » Read More
November 14, 2016
This article appeard in The Hill on November 2, 2016
Most researchers, scientists, and leaders in the medical community know that heavily regulating health care doesn’t bode well for innovation. However, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary, Sylvia Burwell, recently announced plans that would give the agency the authority to negotiate the prices of medicines — a proposal that would have disastrous results if implemented. The issue of how much influence the government should have in the marketplace has been tested by Congress and regulators for years. However, when it comes to healthcare, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) seems to have opened the door for the government to seek new ways to interfere in the private sector.» Read More
October 28, 2016
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Halloween is just around the corner! Families across America will soon be ready to celebrate with candy, costumes, and fun! The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) is preparing for the “scary season” in a much different way by watching what government has done to spook taxpayers this past year. You guessed it, it’s time for TPA’s annual Taxpayer Tricks and Treats! This year, there’s no shortage for taxpayers to be terrified by with wasteful spending, missed opportunities, and the frightening prospect of lawmakers returning for some last minute scares! Not to worry, there were some treats. They weren’t easy to find, but we found some. And, we wrapped up the list with items that were tricks and treats. ENJOY!!
October 24, 2016
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Halloween is almost here! Families across America will soon be ready to celebrate with candy, costumes, and fun! The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) is preparing for the “scary season” in a much different way by watching what government has done to spook taxpayers this past year. You guessed it, it’s time for TPA’s annual Taxpayer Tricks and Treats! This year, there’s no shortage for taxpayers to be terrified by with wasteful spending, missed opportunities, and the frightening prospect of lawmakers returning for some last minute scares! Not to worry, there were some treats. They weren’t easy to find, but we found some. And, we wrapped up the list with items that were tricks and treats. ENJOY!!
Click 'read more' below to see the 2016 Tricks and Treats!
October 13, 2016
Obamacare continues to cause problems for working families and the economy, as premiums continue to rise and consumers continue to find themselves with decreasing options. It is a law that was sold on a bill of goods that has turned out to be the opposite in every way, and things are likely to get worse with more rate increases on the horizon. Enrollment numbers are getting worse and it seems like each month we see another state-based exchange go under. There are so many problems with Obamacare that it is surprising to think it is still standing. One of the components of the President’s health care law is what is known as the Risk Corridor program. The Risk Corridor Program allows insurance companies to underwrite risky policies wouldn’t be covered otherwise, in turn making taxpayers responsible for risky policies. Due to massive losses, insurance companies want a bailout using the Risk Corridor program and while the law prohibits the use of money appropriated for the Fiscal Year 2016 to pay for the Risk Corridor program, that hasn’t stopped the Obama Administration from looking for alternative ways to get taxpayer money. This week, Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) joined a coalition effort of more than 50 groups led by Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce sending this letter urging Congress to protect taxpayers against any insurance company bailout through the Obamacare Risk Corridor program.
Click 'read more' below to see the full letter» Read More
October 5, 2016
This article originally appeared in Independent Journal Review on September 29, 2016
It has been a tumultuous year for the U.S. healthcare system and consumers. Between the mass exodus of large insurance companies leaving the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges, and a continuous slew of co-op failures, American taxpayers have been busy trying to wrap their minds—and finances—around the fact that they will most likely be paying much more for their health care plans than they did in previous years. Now, insurers are trying to cover up an important piece of news: that the costs of prescription medicines may not be the real reason for increased healthcare costs today. A recent report from the Altarum Institute found that spending on prescription medicines grew by just 3.9 percent from July 2015 to July 2016, a significant decrease from last year’s spending.» Read More
September 21, 2016
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Intellectual Property (IP) continues to come under fire from bad actors all over the world. Unfortunately, sometimes those attacking IP rights are governments and institutional bodies that should be promoting innovation and creation. Now, the taxpayer-funded United Nations (UN) has started an assault on IP. A new UN report titled, The United Nations Secretary-general's High-level Panel on Access to Medicines Report, shows the lack of understanding of the importance of IP in providing for greater innovation and creativity in the marketplace.
The report comes from the UN High Level Panel on Access to Medicines (UNHLP), which was created in November of 2015 and is made up of 16 members plus an expert advisory group of individuals and UN institutions. The panel was formed in order to “review and assess proposals and recommend the solutions for remedying the policy incoherence between the justifiable rights of inventors, international human rights law, trade rules, and public health in the context of health technologies.”
August 15, 2016
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This article originally appeared in Independent Journal Review on August 2, 2016
At times, the government has an uncanny way of coming up with a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. It doesn’t make any sense, but it happens. When the federal government uses its power to micromanage a perceived problem, it hurts the very people it means to protect. The Contact Lens Consumer Health Protection Act (S.2777), put forth by Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana), purports to protect contact lens consumers from health problems associated with using lenses and not following accepted protocol when wearing them. The truth is that this legislation would have the opposite effect by limiting choice and increasing the cost of contact lenses.
August 8, 2016
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This article appeared in The Hill on July 28, 2016
When it comes to Medicare, most seniors rightfully assume that the representatives they elect to Congress are the ones making critical decisions that affect their health care. After all, it’s one of the largest government programs in our country accounting for more than $500 billion in federal outlays and responsible for the health of America’s seniors. What many patients and voters don’t realize, however, is that there is another body in Washington whose power and influence over the future of this program is growing: The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC). MedPAC (established by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997) is an independent congressional agency whose mandate is to advise Congress on issues affecting Medicare (quite broadly) and provide recommendations. Though this mandate and the commission itself aren’t inherently problematic, a closer look at their role reveals the weight their recommendations carry in Congress and the ability they may have to transform the Medicare program in ways that will impact all beneficiaries.
July 5, 2016
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This article originally appeared in The Washington Examiner on June 24, 2016
Most government institutions need transparency in order to gain public trust and uphold integrity. However, when it comes to Obamacare and the insurance industry, transparency is pushed aside in favor of secrecy that hurts taxpayers. Such is the case with the 2017 premium increases, where insurers and the government are once again leaving taxpayers and consumers in the dark about how much they will have to pay for health care and causing them to question their trust in these agencies. Earlier this month, a coalition led by the Taxpayers Protection Alliance sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services pressing for more transparency around the 2017 premium increases. As the November presidential campaign continues, those seeking affordable and accessible healthcare are once again being foiled by insurers and the government. Reports have shown that several average premium increase requests in different states for 2017 are well into the double digits. Some states, like Texas and New York, are asking for sky-rocketing increases of up to 60 and 89 percent respectively. This is not the way to drive down healthcare costs for families.
June 10, 2016
Obamacare continues to face problems all across the country, including a growing scandal with the failure of Cover Oregon that is now under investigation. Aside from the increasing amount of failed state-based exchanges that have wasted billions of dollars in taxpayer money, there is also an exodus from Obamacare by some of the nation’s largest insurers. The Taxpayers Protection Alliance continues to call for a plan to repeal Obamacare and pass real reforms that will help to drive down health care costs for families and provide more choices for those in the marketplace. However, with Obamacare still in place for at least the near-term, families are going to see their health care costs rise. That’s why this week, TPA led a coalition and sent this letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell calling on the agency to release the 2017 rate increases for Obamacare as soon as possible, instead of waiting until November. Families across the country are hurting financially, and they need more than just a few months in order to make decisions on how they will pay for rising health care costs due to Obamacare.
Cliick 'read more' below to see the full letter» Read More