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Category: Healthcare



  • Taxpayer New Years Resolutions for 2017

    David Williams and Michi Iljazi on January 2, 2017

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    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.


    Congress


    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!

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  • Republicans May Finally Be Able To Slay ObamaCare With Tom Price Leading HHS

    David Williams on December 5, 2016

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    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
  • ObamaCare Demonstrates Dangers of Government Interference

    David Williams on November 14, 2016

    obamacare

    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.

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  • TPA's Tricks and Treats for 2016

    David Williams and Michi Iljazi on 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!!

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  • TPA's Tricks and Treats for 2016

    David Williams and Michi Iljazi on October 24, 2016

    hw1

    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!

    » Read More
  • More than 50 Groups Urge Congress to Protect Taxpayers from Obamacare Bailouts

    Michi Iljazi on October 13, 2016

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    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

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  • Blame Flawed Obamacare, Not Prescription Drug Costs, For Rising Healthcare Premiums

    David Williams on October 5, 2016

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    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.

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  • New Report from Taxpayer-Funded UN Misses the Mark on Medicinal Advances and IP

    Michi Iljazi on 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.”

    » Read More
  • Contact Lenses are About to Get More Expensive if this Legislation Passes

    David Williams on 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.

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  • Do You Know Who is in Charge of Your Health Care Decisions?

    David Williams on 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.

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  • Greater Transparency the First Step to Keeping Americans Healthy and Insured

    David Williams on 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.

    » Read More
  • TPA Leads Coalition Urging HHS to Release Obamacare 2017 Rate Increases

    Michi Iljazi on June 10, 2016

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    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
  • Veterans Affairs Department Still Not Living Up to Promises of Reform

    Michi Iljazi on May 28, 2016

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    VA Secretary Robert McDonald, with President Obama 

    This weekend is Memorial Day, a day to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation. The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) is grateful to all of those in the United States Armed Forces who put their lives on the line so that America can be a safer and freer place.  Memorial Day is also a reminder of the shameful treatment U.S. veterans are receiving at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) clinics and hospitals.

    » Read More
  • Veterans Affairs Department Still Not Living Up to Promises of Reform

    Michi Iljazi on May 25, 2016

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    VA Secretary Robert McDonald, with President Obama 

    This weekend is Memorial Day, a day to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation. The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) is grateful to all of those in the United States Armed Forces who put their lives on the line so that America can be a safer and freer place.  Memorial Day is also a reminder of the shameful treatment U.S. veterans are receiving at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) clinics and hospitals.

    » Read More
  • The Obamacare Bailout

    David Williams on April 25, 2016

    obamacare

    This article originally appeared in Townhall.com

    The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing on April 15th to address yet another failure of Obamacare: the bailing out of insurance companies through the reinsurance program. Created to financially protect insurers during the early years of the implementation of the legislation, the Transitional Reinsurance Program established by the Affordable Care Act requires the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to deposit a certain portion of fees, $5 billion to be exact. The fee was to be collected by the Treasury for deficit reduction, but for the past two years, much of that has been illegally paid out to health insurers instead. It’s no surprise that Obamacare has been riddled with setbacks and broken promises. When the law was enacted, the President assured Americans that patients would come first and health insurers would be held accountable for providing affordable coverage, but the reality is quite the opposite. Patients don’t come first when it comes to Obamacare, insurance companies do.

    » Read More
  • Virginia Looking for Real Competition in Healthcare

    David Williams on February 14, 2016

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    On Friday, members of the Virginia House of Delegates debated and cast their first vote on repealing an archaic law knows as the Certificate of Public Need (COPN).  These laws require hospitals and other healthcare providers to acquire approval from state regulators to add or expand healthcare services, ranging from adding MRI machines or additional beds to performing new surgeries. The intention of this law, which stems from a 1970’s federal mandate, was to control costs and increase access to care. However, it’s accomplished quite the opposite by stifling competition, making healthcare less accessible and more expensive for consumers and taxpayers. As noted in a previous blog, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) these laws, COPN laws create barriers to entry and expansion, limit consumer choice and stifle innovation.


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  • Congressional Repeal of Obamacare is an Important Step Forward

    Michi Iljazi on January 8, 2016

    obamacare

    On March 23, 2010 the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), aka Obamacare, was signed into law.  Now, less than two months away from its sixth anniversary, the United States Congress finally passed an Obamacare repeal bill that will be sent to President Obama.  While it is likely that the bill will be vetoed and unable to be overridden in the Senate, this is an important moment in the fight against Obamacare. This victory, while not fully realized without a President willing to sign the repeal bill, presents an opportunity for Congress to make their case on the best way forward to fix the problems that do exist within our healthcare system today. The House voted on Wednesday, January 6 240-181 to pass a repeal bill of Obamacare.  The same bill passed the Senate in December by a vote of 52-47 through a process called reconciliation.  TPA applauded House and Senate leaders for finally doing what had been promised for several years; get a repeal bill onto the President’s desk.

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  • Outdated Virginia Law Reduces Healthcare Competition

    David Williams on January 7, 2016

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    Just before the holidays, three Republican Members of the Virginia House of Delegates introduced multiple pieces of legislation that would repeal Virginia’s Certificate of Public Need (COPN).  In place since the early 1970’s, COPN is an old top down healthcare regulation that stifles innovation. The law was created to ensure access to care and curb rising healthcare costs. But, if a healthcare provider or hospital in Virginia wants to add beds or equipment or even offer a new service such as an MRI machine, they must first go through a lengthy application process seeking approval from state regulators. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), COPN laws create barriers to entry and expansion, limit consumer choice and stifle innovation.

    » Read More
  • Hillary Clinton Opposed Insurance Companies In the 90s, But ObamaCare Is Making Her Sing A New Tune

    David Williams on October 16, 2015

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    This article originally appeared on Independent Journal Review

    Whether it’s because she believes in them or she thinks she must articulate them to defeat Sen. Bernie Sanders and ward off a threat from Vice President Joe Biden, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has become the voice of big leftwing ideas over the last several months. From her sudden opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline to her new plan for federal control of prescription drug costs, she’s leaving precious little room on her left for her Democratic opponents to maneuver. But there is one dragon she appears curiously disinterested in slaying: Big health insurance companies. In 1994 she called Big Insurance, “the very industry that has brought us to the brink of bankruptcy because of the way that they have financed health care.” But today, despite record insurance profits and sky-rocketing premiums that hardly seem to be in the best interest of consumers, Clinton is stone silent. Horror stories about plans in Illinois relied upon by families with special needs being cancelled or deductibles that “are crippling the middle class” seem custom made for Democratic campaign ads. But don’t expect those worried-families-around-the- kitchen-table commercials from Hillary this cycle.

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  • Obamacare Gives Big Windfall To Insurance Companies As Quality of Healthcare Declines

    David Williams on August 31, 2015

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    This article originally appeared in The Daily Caller on August 24, 2015

    When President Obama was selling the government health care takeover to Congress and the American people, he repeatedly promised that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, would keep health insurance companies “honest” and held “accountable” for providing affordable, quality health care to Americans. Over the past five and a half years the country has experienced the unraveling of this unworkable law as millions of Americans continue to struggle with higher health care premiums, increased out-of-pocket costs, less choice and greater health uncertainty. Americans are paying more for out-of-pocket for health care now than they did in the past decade. Most still remember the president’s famous words, “if you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor.” But for many, that’s turned out to be another unfulfilled Obamacare promise. Now, insurance companies are preparing to gouge consumers with massive premium increases. Estimates for 2016 show that insurance companies around the country are seeking premium rate increases of 20 percent to 40 percent or more, saying their new customers under Obamacare turned out to be sicker than expected.

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