Coronavirus Outbreak Exposes China’s Monopoly on U.S. Drug, Medical Supplies
STR/AFP via Getty Images
13 Feb 20208,931
The coronavirus outbreak has exposed the United States’ dangerous dependence on China for pharmaceutical and medical supplies, including an estimated 97 percent of all antibiotics and 80 percent of the active pharmaceutical ingredients needed to produce drugs in the United States.
The economic repercussions of the coronavirus reveal the dangers of allowing one country to have a near monopoly on global manufacturing, David Dayen explains in an article at the American Prospect:
China is a source of not only finished goods, but also of input parts and raw materials. A substantial number of the materials needed for defense and electronic systems come from China, and that nation is “the single or sole supplier for a number of specialty chemicals,” according to a recent Defense Department report. Rare earth minerals, which are critical to electronics, are largely mined in China. As a result, Chinese disruptions don’t just hit Chinese manufacturing, they hit everyone’s. Automakers have already had to slow or shut down factories globally due to supply shortages.
Perhaps the biggest concern is over medical supplies. China produces and exports a large amount of pharmaceuticals to the U.S., including 97 percent of all antibiotics and 80 percent of the active ingredients used to make drugs here. Penicillin, ibuprofen, and aspirin largely come from China. Last month, the medical supply firm Cardinal Health recalled 2.9 million surgical gowns “cross contaminated” at a plant in China; the blood pressure drug valsartan also saw shortages recently, thanks to tainted active ingredients at one Chinese plant. The combination of supply chain disruptions and increased demand at hospitals if coronavirus spreads to the U.S. could prove devastating.
In a dark irony, most of the world’s face masks—now ubiquitous in China as a precaution—are made in China and Taiwan, and even for those made elsewhere, some component parts are Chinese-sourced. Shortages have led China to declare the masks a “strategic resource,” reserving them for medical workers. U.S. hospitals are “critically low” on respiratory masks, according to medical-supply middlemen. Lack of protective gear could increase vulnerability to the virus, and the one place on earth suffering from production shutdowns is the one place where most of the protective gear originates [emphasis added].
In testimony yesterday before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Scott Gottlieb, a physician and the former Food and Drug Administration commissioner in the Trump administration, explained in detail the extent of the U.S. pharmaceutical industry’s dependence on China:
About 40 percent of generic drugs sold in the U.S. have only a single manufacturer. A significant supply chain disruption could cause shortages for some of many of these products.
Last year, manufacturing of intermediate or finished goods in China, as well as pharmaceutical source material, accounted for 95 percent of U.S. imports of ibuprofen, 91 percent of U.S. imports of hydrocortisone, 70 percent of U.S. imports of acetaminophen, 40 to 45 percent of U.S. imports of penicillin, and 40 percent of U.S. imports of heparin, according to the Commerce Department. In total, 80 percent of the U.S. supply of antibiotics are made in China.
While much of the fill finishing work (the actual formulation of finished drug capsules and tablets) is done outside China (and often in India) the starting and intermediate chemicals are often sourced in China. Moreover, the U.S. generic drug industry can no longer produce certain critical medicines such as penicillin and doxycycline without these chemical components.
According to a report from the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, China’s chemical industry, which accounts for 40 percent of global chemical industry revenue, provides a large number of ingredients for drug products. It’s these source materials — where in many cases China is the exclusive source of the chemical ingredients used for the manufacture of a drug product — that create choke points in the global supply chain for critical medicines.
Moreover, when it comes to starting material for the manufacture of pharmaceutical ingredients, a lot of this production is centered in China’s Hubei Provence, the epicenter of coronavirus. Most drug makers have a one to three-months of inventory of drug ingredients on hand. But these supplies are already being drawn down. Among big [active pharmaceutical ingredient] makers in Wuhan are Wuhan Shiji Pharmaceutical, Chemwerth, Hubei Biocause, Wuhan Calmland Pharmaceuticals. [emphasis added]
Gottlieb notes that “80 percent of the U.S. supply of antibiotics are made in China.” The sourcing of this estimate is explained in greater detail in section three of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s 2019 report to Congress, titled “ Growing U.S. Reliance on China’s Biotech and Pharmaceutical Products.”
The report notes that China is “the world’s largest producer of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). The United States is heavily dependent on drugs that are either sourced from China or include APIs sourced from China.” The report further explains that although India is the world’s leading supplier of generic drugs, India gets 80 percent of its active pharmaceutical ingredients directly from China. The United States also imports 80 percent of its APIs from overseas (primarily from India and China) and “a substantial portion” of its generic drugs “either directly from China or from third countries like India that use APIs sourced from China.”
In other words, almost all pharmaceutical roads lead to China.
Furthermore, the report notes that China’s dominance of the chemical industry and global manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients means that “the world is becoming increasingly dependent on China as the single source for life-saving drugs.”
“The U.S. generic drug industry can no longer produce certain critical medicines such as penicillin and doxycycline, and the APIs needed to make these antibiotics are sourced from China,” the report states.
China achieved this dominance in the pharmaceutical industry by the same methods it employed to dominate the steel industry – through anti-competitive trade practices that dumped cheap state-subsidized products on foreign markets to drive competitors out of business.
The report states:
Rosemary Gibson, senior advisor at the Hastings Center and author of China RX, noted in her testimony before the Commission that the United States is losing its ability to produce generic drugs because Chinese drug companies dumped low-price products into the global market, which in turn pushed U.S., European, and Indian producers out of the generic drug manufacturing business. According to Ms. Gibson, China is seeking to disrupt, dominate, and displace U.S. pharmaceutical and other medical companies, and in doing so limit the United States’ ability to produce its own medicines, including critical antibiotics such as penicillin and even generic aspirin. She believes the United States could see its generic drug industry made uncompetitive within five to ten years due to the Chinese government’s policies (including subsidies and export incentives) that allow Chinese pharmaceutical firms to undercut prices and drive U.S. firms out of business. [emphasis added]
Ironically, China’s success in monopolizing the U.S. drug market with these anti-competitive trade practices was reportedly cited by President Trump’s former economic adviser Gary Cohn as an argument against Trump’s efforts to fight back against China’s trade violations.
In his book Fear: Trump in the White House, Bob Woodward describes a heated discussion among Trump administration officials about the repercussions of a trade war with China. Cohn, who disagreed with the president’s decision to impose tariff’s on Beijing, reportedly invoked a Commerce Department study showing that 97 percent of all U.S. antibiotics come from China. “‘If you’re the Chinese and you want to really just destroy us, just stop sending us antibiotics,’ he said.”
Globalist critics like Cohn of Trump’s trade policies “fretted that turbulence from the Trump administration’s tariffs would have catastrophic results on the global economy,” Curtis Ellis wrote last week in an op-ed for Breitbart News. These critics were proven wrong. However, the virus itself will cause economic disruptions because it “has exposed the frailty of global supply chains and the fallacy of the management theory calling for intercontinental supply chains and just-in-time inventory management,” Ellis writes.
Or, to put it another way, the tariffs did not hurt the U.S. economy, but the current virus outbreak in China could due to the very problem that the tariffs were enacted, in part, to address. In this sense, the virus has vindicated the Trump’s administration’s tough trade stance and affirmed the necessity of moving the world’s supply chains out of China. If anything, Trump’s tariffs may have actually made the U.S. economy somewhat more resilient because they encouraged companies to begin the process of moving production out of China.
But this vindication will be of little consolation to Trump if the virus’s ripple effects hurt the economy during an election year. The political repercussions could be significant for a president who has touted the strong economy as a major selling point for his re-election.
Economists are already expecting the virus to have a major impact on China’s economy. Breitbart News’s John Carney reports that HSBC “lowered its estimate for the first quarter growth from an annualized rate of 5.8 percent to 4.1 percent” for China. “The bank’s estimate for full year growth was lowered by half a percentage point from 5.8 percent to 5.3 percent.”
As for the global economic impact, Dayen quotes Washington University in St. Louis professor Panos Kouvelis who estimates $300 to $400 billion in supply chain damage over a period of up to two years.
“That’s actually manageable as a share of the global economy,” Dayen writes. “But as new cases pop up in Singapore, an important financial hub, and as the head of the World Health Organization warns that we could be seeing only the ‘tip of the iceberg,’ those numbers could already be out of date.”
Those numbers may indeed be overly optimistic. In his testimony before the Senate yesterday, Gottlieb warned of the potential for the coronavirus epidemic to become a full pandemic–and maybe even endemic–now that it has spread to Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan. “It could take a new position as a more sinister member of the seasonal pathogens that circulate each year and infect humans,” he said, noting that “the next month is critical.”
“We must prepare for the prospect that the virus evaded our border protections and was already introduced into the U.S. in late December or early January — when it first appears to have become epidemic in China’s Hubei province. Those index cases could have seeded community spread, and eventually, outbreaks could emerge in America,” Gottlieb stated.
Whatever the economic impacts of the coronavirus, the current dependence on an authoritarian communist regime for vital necessities is an indictment of globalist neoliberal economic policies that have endangered U.S. national security and long-term prosperity.
“[T]he economic threats to locating so much of the global supply chain in one part of the world were eminently predictable,” writes Dayen. “Neoliberal dogma about ‘comparative advantage’ and a concomitant preference for mass outsourcing put the world on a tenuous path.”
There is a growing consensus among populists on the right and left about the need to address the neoliberal trade and economic policies that gave China a monopoly on the world’s supply chains.
Gottlieb urged Congress to empower the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “to look not only at the supply of finished products but to also identify circumstances where key components may have only a single source across an entire category of products.”
Matt Stoller, author of Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy, writes that Gottlieb is essentially asking for the FDA “to have the authority to uncover hidden monopolies.”
“The Federal Trade Commission already has this research authority, it just doesn’t use it very often,” Stoller explains. “And the United States Trade Representative has information on our dependencies on China, because when they threatened tariffs large numbers of companies came to them during a notice and comment period whining about how such dependencies would hurt their business. So we have some information about the scale of the problem. Just not enough.”
“The strongest reason to address monopolies isn’t because monopolies are unjust, but because they are dangerous,” Stoller notes. “And we may be about to find out just how dangerous they are.”
If nothing else, the coronavirus offers business and government leaders another reason to continue the process of decoupling the U.S. economy from China. And it also offers a warning for those who seek to simply relocate production to another developing country in order to exploit cheap labor and lax regulations. All of these short-term money-saving decisions come with long-term risk.
“If there’s a silver lining, it’s that this threat could inspire more diversification of supply chains,” Dayen writes. “The race to the bottom in manufacturing clearly has a cost, and countries must learn that self-preservation demands maintaining some semblance of an industrial base. The U.S.-China trade war did lead to some companies moving their work out of China, but only to cheaper countries where multinationals will likely conglomerate, to build economies of scale. We know the dangers inherent in that. Rebuilding domestic manufacturing is not just a question of jobs; it’s a question of safety.”
Rebecca Mansour is Senior Editor-at-Large for Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Tonight on SiriusXM Patriot channel 125, which broadcasts live weeknights from 9:00 p.m. to midnight Eastern (6-9:00 p.m. Pacific). Follow her on Twitter at @RAMansour.
Healthcare Repeal FAILED 49-51
Skinny Repeal has failed 49-51 .. what is next? We weep for America. Republican & Democrat Senators Hang your face in shame. Is it Time to "Revolt"? 7 Years of LIES
Remember Obamacare was given to us by the DEMOCRATS ONLY.
Cuban doctors tired of ‘being slaves’ sue Cuban Government
September 30, 2017
by Dr. Rich Swier
As former Bill Clinton said, “It’s the economy stupid!” For the Cuban people it truly is the economy, stupid.
Perhaps a few of my first hand experiences during my visit to Cuba will help those who favor big government understand where “socialismo” leads.
One of the things some people, many of whom have never visited Cuba, tout is their “excellent” healthcare system. Let me explain about the Cuban single payer government healthcare system. First, every visitor to Cuba must purchase health insurance from the Cuban government. For example, the cost of my health insurance was automatically included in the price of my plane ticket. So how much does the Cuban government pay its doctors to provide universal healthcare? The salary of a doctor is $30 a month.
In 2013 Brazil hired 4,000 doctors from Cuba to “work in areas where medical services and physicians are scarce.” These Cuban doctors were to be paid approximately $30,000 a year to provide medical services to remote areas of Brazil. According to U.S. News & World Report, “Analysts say the export of medical services adds about $6 billion a year to Cuba’s economy.”
How does this work? Brazil paid the Cuban government the $30,000 annual salaries of the Cuban doctors and the Cuban government then paid the doctors $30 a month or $360 a year. This equates to an 83% profit for the Cuban government. Not surprisingly many of these Cuban doctors sought asylum in Brazil to be paid what they actually earned, $30,000.
In socialist governments the “minimum wage” inextricably becomes the prevailing wage.
Ernesto Londono in his New York Times article “Cuban Doctors Revolt: ‘You Get Tired of Being a Slave’” reports:
RIO DE JANEIRO — In a rare act of collective defiance, scores of Cuban doctors working overseas to make money for their families and their country are suing to break ranks with the Cuban government, demanding to be released from what one judge called a “form of slave labor.”
Thousands of Cuban doctors work abroad under contracts with the Cuban authorities. Countries like Brazil pay the island’s Communist government millions of dollars every month to provide the medical services, effectively making the doctors Cuba’s most valuable export.
But the doctors get a small cut of that money, and a growing number of them in Brazil have begun to rebel. In the last year, at least 150 Cuban doctors have filed lawsuits in Brazilian courts to challenge the arrangement, demanding to be treated as independent contractors who earn full salaries, not agents of the Cuban state.
“When you leave Cuba for the first time, you discover many things that you had been blind to,” said Yaili Jiménez Gutierrez, one of the doctors who filed suit. “There comes a time when you get tired of being a slave.”
What I observed is that the Cuban people have great potential if they are unleashed and allowed to earn what they are truly worth.
As one Cuban man put it to me, “the people have no love for their work.” They have no love for their work because Cuba needs a change in direction. This change in direction will only come when there is a change of the socialist regime.
The Executive Orders That End Obamacare - Once and For All
Wayne Allyn Root
Posted: Jul 30, 2017 12:01 AM
Republican Senator John McCain just singlehandedly killed the repeal of Obamacare. Now it’s time for President Trump to act. It’s time for President Trump to expose McCain and the rest of Congress for the frauds and hypocrites they are. It’s time for two Executive Orders that have the power to change everything.This is how President Trump makes "The House of Cards" collapse. This is how President Trump ends Obamacare once and for all.
Executive Order #1: President Trump should issue an immediate Executive Order forcing every member of Congress to use the same healthcare plan as the rest of us. Let Senator McCain come off his high horse and live under the rules of Obamacare. Make every member of Congress live by same rules as the rest of us.
I wonder if John McCain would have voted against the Obamacare repeal, if he had to live under the rules of Obamacare? I wonder how quick and successful his brain cancer surgery would have been, if he had to use the Obamacare plan. Or the VA system.
Would he have waited 6 months in line, like rest of us? Maybe a year. Of course, he’d probably be dead by then. That’s how the VA solved their money shortage a few years back. They put vets on waiting lists until they died. Problem solved. Why not make Senators wait on those same waiting lists?
Or would McCain have had a gigantic deductible (just like the rest of us)? Would he have had a $30,000 bill after surgery that insurance would not cover (just like the rest of us)?
Would McCain have even been allowed to have a surgery, or would a "Death Panel" advise no surgery for a 80 year old with advanced brain cancer? Let's find out.
President Trump should immediately use Executive Order to put every member of Congress in the exact same boat as rest of us. Let them pay for their own healthcare- just like the rest of us. Let’s see each member of Congress pay $2000 per month for health insurance that covers virtually nothing. That was what I was forced to pay after Obamacare passed. That’s what my insurance covered- nothing.
I don’t even have health insurance anymore. I was forced to switch to a Christian Health Sharing plan. Because $2000 per month was completely unaffordable. I’m betting Democrats would call me “rich.” And I could not pay the bill anymore, because of Obamacare. So, I left traditional insurance as of January 1st.
My predicament means no middle-class family in America that buys their own insurance can afford the bill. It’s no wonder an upscale couple jumped to their death in Manhattan on Friday. The 53-yr old husband was a chiropractor. They left behind two children. Their suicide note said they were in a financial death spiral. Thanks to Obamacare, so is every middle-class couple in America.
It’s time for Congress to feel our pain.
Executive Order #2. My gut instinct is usually on the money. I feel it in my bones. The Senators who voted against the repeal are corrupted, bribed, on the take. Senators and Congressmen are making an unimaginable fortune off of Obamacare. That’s why they are against the repeal. They don’t want to end the gravy train.
They want the system complex and expensive. They want government involved. They want taxpayer money wasted by the billions. That's how they milk the system. They all own stocks of medical companies, health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies. I'm betting many actually own companies with government contracts that benefit from Obamacare. They put them in the names of their spouses, children, parents, siblings, childhood buddies. They own them in offshore accounts. The conflicts of interest are the size of Texas.
Obamacare is the best thing to ever happen to Senator Schumer, Senator McCain, Senator Collins, Senator Murkowski, Nevada Senator Heller. They’re all bums. They’re all thieves. They are all getting rich at our expense.
President Trump should issue an immediate Executive Order demanding disclosure of all financial interests and ownership in healthcare related companies or stock by every member of Congress- including all family members and offshore accounts. Failure to disclose will result in a long prison term.
Then we’ll find out why they voted against repeal. They are all on the gravy train.
Issue these two Presidential Executive Orders and the “House of Cards” will collapse. The scam will be revealed.
We’ve been robbed.
P.S. Throw in a third plank. Term Limits. Limit each member of Congress to two terms. One term in office and one term in prison.
ObamaCare Repeal Without Replacement All but Dead
by Michael Tennant
The brief glimmer of hope that ObamaCare would actually be repealed, not merely replaced with a Republican me-too version, has quickly been all but extinguished. Three GOP senators — Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, West Virginia’s Shelley Moore Capito, and Maine’s Susan Collins — have already announced their opposition to passing a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without replacing it.
“I do not think that it’s constructive to repeal a law that is so interwoven within our health care system without having a replacement plan in place,” Collins said in a statement. “We can’t just hope that we will pass a replacement within the next two years. Repealing without a replacement would create great uncertainty for individuals who rely on the ACA and cause further turmoil in the insurance markets.”
Monday evening, after it became clear that the Republican leadership’s ObamaCare replacement bill would go down to defeat, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced that the upper chamber would instead vote on “a repeal of Obamacare with a two-year delay to provide for a stable transition period.” The legislation, he said, would be based on a bill Congress sent in 2015 to President Barack Obama, who vetoed it. (Collins voted against that bill, too.)
By Tuesday afternoon, Murkowski, Capito, and Collins had all declared that they not only opposed the repeal bill but would vote against a motion to allow it to proceed to debate.
“My position on this issue is driven by its impact on West Virginians,” Capito said in a statement. “With that in mind, I cannot vote to repeal Obamacare without a replacement plan that addresses my concerns and the needs of West Virginians.”
Murkowski, in a press release, detailed the many failures of ObamaCare in Alaska, including skyrocketing health-insurance premiums and deductibles and a loss of insurance carriers. But, she added, “Repealing the ACA without a clear path forward just creates confusion and greater uncertainty.”
“I cannot vote to proceed to repeal the ACA without reform that allows people the choice they want, the affordability they need and the quality of care they deserve,” she said.
It would be easy to dismiss the senators’ concerns as simply the result of their moderate-to-liberal views; their cumulative Freedom Index scores range from 40 percent (Collins) to 48 percent (Murkowski). Yet the Congressional Budget Office forecast that ObamaCare repeal would significantly increase both the number of uninsured and the premiums on individual-market policies (mostly because of the loss of subsidies), an estimate that, if accurate, should concern anyone.
None of this is to say that ObamaCare should remain the law of the land. The ACA has, as Murkowski pointed out, contributed mightily to rising premiums, and it still leaves millions of Americans uninsured while increasing government control of healthcare. Plus, it’s unconstitutional. Repeal would certainly be welcome.
However, economist Ryan McMaken observed in a piece for the American Conservative, “repeal-only proposals do little to actually address the problem of upward spiraling healthcare costs generated by government mandates and subsidies.”
“Thanks to more than 70 years of government meddling, the American healthcare system was already broken long before Obamacare came along,” he explained. “Because of this, returning to the status quo of eight years ago would hardly be a victory for freedom and free markets.”
“If GOP politicians really wanted to do something to improve access, reduce costs, and generally improve the lives of Americans, they’d quit with the grandiose repeal schemes,” he wrote. “They’d simply focus on passing reforms that open up healthcare markets to competition, and allow consumers to circumvent the subsidized and regulated healthcare system.”
McConnell appears determined to proceed with his repeal bill nonetheless. According to CNN, he “announced Tuesday night on the Senate floor that Republicans would hold a procedural vote on the health care bill ‘early next week.’”
But will the bill pass? “Asked by CNN what would need to change given that leadership currently lacks the 50 ‘yes’ votes from senators to pass even a procedural vote, Senate GOP whip John Cornyn responded: ‘A little passage of time.’”
With strategy like this, Republicans couldn’t beat a three-year-old at tiddlywinks.
Fact Check: It's a Lie That the GOP Healthcare Bill Abandons People With Pre-Existing Conditions
Posted: May 05, 2017 2:45 PM
As we described yesterday, there are some concerning policy elements of the House-passed American Health Care Act, which the Senate would be wise to explore and rectify over the coming weeks. The bill -- and that's all it is at this point: a work in progress -- repeals and alters significant portions of the Democratic Party's failing experiment in "affordability." But based on rhetoric from elected Democrats and the Left generally, one might assume that Obamacare was called the "Pre-existing Conditions Coverage Act" (side-stepping the whole "choice and affordability" fairy tale they peddled), and that the Republican bill obliterates those protections. The proposed law would be a "death warrant" for sick women and children, they shriek, casting Obamacare opponents as the moral equivalent of accessories to murder. This is demagogic, hyperbolic, inaccurate nonsense. To review the actual facts, even under an exceedingly unlikely scenario in which the Senate passed the House bill without making a single alteration, people with pre-existing conditions are offered several layers of protection:
Layer One: Insurers are required to sell plans to all comers, including those with pre-existing conditions. This is known as "guaranteed issue," and it's mandated in the AHCA. No exceptions, no waivers. I spoke with an informed conservative news consumer earlier who was stunned to learn that this was the case, having been subjected to 24 hours of unhinged rhetoric from the Left.
Layer Two: Anyone with a pre-existing condition and who lives in a state that does not seek an optional waiver from the AHCA's (and Obamacare's) "community rating" regulation cannot be charged more than other people for a new plan when they seek to purchase one -- which, as established above, insurers are also required to sell them.
Layer Three: Anyone who is insured and remains continuously insured cannot be dropped from their plan due to a pre-existing condition, and cannot be charged more after developing one. So if you've been covered, then you change jobs or want to switch plans, carriers must sell you the plan of your choice at the same price point as everyone else. Regardless of your health status. This is true of people in non-waiver and waiver states alike.
Layer Four: If you are uninsured and have a pre-existing condition and live in a state that pursued (and obtained after jumping through hoops) a "community rating" waiver, your state is required to give you access to a "high risk pool" fund to help you pay for higher premiums. The AHCA earmarks nearly $130 billion for these sorts of patient stability funds over ten years.It is simply a lie to say that the AHCA guts protections for people with pre-existing conditions. One can argue that perhaps $130 billion (not $8 billion, as some are dishonestly pretending) might at some point prove insufficient to covering the people described in layer four, but I think any such assessment is at best hypothetical and premature. Either way, it's a very different critique than the scare-mongering going around right now. Also, I'll repeat: The number of "uninsurable" Americans with pre-existing conditions within the individual market represents a tiny sliver of the overall population. Helping these people was one of the few credibly-popular selling points and actual achievements of Obamacare. But the existing law's track record on this front helps illustrate how limited the scope of that particular problem is:
Obamacare created a "bridge" program that allowed previously-uninsurable consumers with pre-existing conditions to get coverage in between the law's 2010 passage and full implementation a few years later. At its peak, it attracted less than 115,000 takers. Those people matter, and they were helped. But that statistic helps contextualize the problem, especially compared to Obamacare's overriding flaw: Unaffordability, leading to lack of participation, leading to unsustainable risk pools, leading to insurers pulling out and hiking premiums, leading to unaffordability, leading to further lack of participation, etc. As for the moral bullying about the AHCA supposedly leading to thousands of deaths (with these pronouncements coming from the very same people who lied incessantly and made spectacularly wrong predictions about Obamacare, by the way), consider this data-based evidence:
Public-health data from the Centers for Disease Control confirm what one might expect from a health-care reform that expanded Medicaid coverage for adults: no improvement. In fact, things have gotten worse. Age-adjusted death rates in the U.S. have consistently declined for decades, but in 2015 — unlike in 19 of the previous 20 years — they increased. For the first time since 1993, life expectancy fell. Had mortality continued to decline during ACA implementation in 2014 and 2015 at the same rate as during the 2000–13 period, 80,000 fewer Americans would have died in 2015 alone. Of course, correlation between ACA implementation and increased mortality does not prove causation. Researchers hypothesize that increases in obesity, diabetes, and substance abuse may be responsible. But thanks to the roughly half of states that refused the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, a good control group exists. Surely the states that expanded Medicaid should at least perform better in this environment of rising mortality? Nope. Mortality in 2015 rose more than 50 percent faster in the 26 states (and Washington, D.C.) that expanded Medicaid during 2014 than in the 24 states that did not.If conservatives wanted to turn liberals' demagoguery against them, they could cite these numbers to claim that Obamacare is killing tens of thousands of people -- especially in Medicaid expansion states -- and that Democrats have blood on their hands. Murderers! Let's not match their repugnant hackery. But we should make them aware of evidence that could build that deeply uncharitable and specious narrative. And speaking of Medicaid, I've seen a lot of hyperventilating about "deep cuts" to the program, which was already suffering poor health outcomes and restricted access before Obamacare's huge expansion of it. The AHCA does eventually transition to a major reform of the dysfunctional program, but it does so via a gradual tapering and eventual halt of Medicaid's expansion several years from now, with existing recipients (including new additions under the continued expansion) grandfathered in. May I repeat: There are flaws in the bill that need to be addressed. But the fact-challenged, emotional, manipulate meltdown on the Left is designed to scare people, not inform them. And it has the side effect of distracting from the spiraling betrayals of Obamacare, a program the Left put in place last time they were in charge. I'll leave you with this strong editorial from the Wall Street Journal:
TWO MORE INSURANCE COMPANIES DROP OUT OF FAILING OBAMACARE EXCHANGES
April 5, 2017 by Aaron Bandler
Two more insurance companies have announced that they will leave Obamacare’s failing exchanges.
On Monday, The New York Times reported that Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced their intention to leave Iowa’s Obamacare exchange next year because they lost $90 million in three years due to most of their enrollees having “expensive medical conditions.”
“Finding solutions to stabilize this market is in the best interest of all Iowans, including providers of health care and insurance carriers,” Wellmark Chairman and CEO John Forsyth said in a statement. “No one really benefits from rising costs. While there are many potential solutions, the timing and relative impact of those solutions is currently unclear. This makes it difficult to establish plans for 2018.”
Wellmark’s departure from Iowa’s Obamacare exchange will affect 21,400 people, but 1.64 million will still be able to receive insurance from Wellmark outside of the Obamacare exchanges.
Only two insurers remain in the Iowa exchange – Aetna and Medica – and it’s uncertain if both will choose to participate in the exchange next year. Medica is still mulling over its options while Aetna “has largely exited the market and declined to comment on its plans,” according to The New York Times.
Wellmark isn’t the only insurer to recently leave a failing Obamacare exchange.
On Friday, it was reported that Anthem Inc. is poised to leave most of the Obamacare exchanges, as they had lost $374 million last year. This is a significant development because, as Guy Benson pointed out at Townhall:
Thanks to Obamacare’s slow-motion implosion, just one single provider remains as a “choice” for consumers who live in roughly one-third of all US counties. In many of those places, Anthem has been that last holdout insurer, which is now reportedly about to end in 2018. Millions of Americans could be left with zero marketplace options, as the planned withdrawal of the last remaining US healthcare giant from most areas marks the latest sign that Obamacare is an unworkable actuarial nightmare.
Anthem and Wellmark will join Humana, Aetna and UnitedHealth as insurers who have fled Obamacare exchanges, reaffirming that the Obamacare death spiral is real and will only worsen from here.
Follow Aaron Bandler on Twitter.
10535 Pages of ObamaCare condensed!
Nice summary by a Purdue engineer.
Here are the 10,535 pages of ObamaCare condensed to 4 sentences...
As humorous as this sounds.....every last word of it is absolutely TRUE!
1. In order to insure the uninsured, we first have to un-insure the insured.
2. Next, we require the newly uninsured to be re-insured.
3. To re-insure the newly uninsured, they are required to pay extra charges to be re-insured.
4. The extra charges are required so that the original insured, who became uninsured, and then became re-insured, can pay enough extra so that the original uninsured can be insured, which will be free of charge to them.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is called "redistribution of wealth" ... or, by its more common name, SOCIALISM.
:( :( :( :( :( SAD 4 SURE
Thank You Kent Lamberson