If you have health insurance but no primary care physician, the process for getting a physical can be a bit complicated. Whether or not you get your health insurance through an employer, you’ll probably have to find a practice in your area that is in your network. Then you’ll have to find out if it’s accepting new patients. You may have to wait months until the office will let you come in for a physical. You’ll have to figure out if you’re responsible for a co-pay. Even after the visit, you may need to cover the additional cost of any blood work or other tests, and you probably can’t figure out how much you’ll be billed for that ahead of time. At some point, you’ll also have to decide whether it’s worth the trouble to set up a tax-advantaged account to cover the unpredictable costs of this visit or any future ones.
Biden is deceiving the public about the prior administration’s vaccine project. I should know, because I was there.
Millions of people across the United States have already received doses of vaccines against coronavirus — vaccines developed as part of Operation Warp Speed (OWS), the project conceived, initiated, resourced, and largely executed under Trump administration leadership. Daily, millions more join their ranks. But listening to members of the liberal media and the Biden administration, one could be forgiven for not clearly understanding the pivotal role leaders within the Trump administration, along with private-sector partners, played in developing, manufacturing, and delivering over 300 million safe and effective vaccines in less than one year to the American people.
After President Biden’s address to the nation last week, Nicole Wallace of MSNBC commented that OWS “didn’t do anything to get a needle into the arm” of any American. In February, Vice President Harris commented that the Biden administration was in many ways “starting from scratch.” And, Jeff Zients, from the administration’s COVID-19 task force, commented recently that the Trump administration had “no plan” to vaccinate Americans. The Biden administration’s overall COVID-19 response performance in its first 100 days, averaging over 75,000 cases per day and over 1,700 fatalities per day, has been less effective than the year during which the Trump administration was overseeing the response (~60,000 and ~1,100, per day, respectively). On January 20, 2021, there were approximately 24.5 million total COVID cases and 405,000 fatalities in the U.S. This was one year into the pandemic. In the first 100 days of the Biden administration, we added 7.8 million cases (32.3 million total) and 170,000 fatalities (575,000 total). So much for extinguishing the virus. Also, as of May 1, close to 70 million of the 310 million vaccine doses distributed are sitting idle in U.S. vaccination sites. We were criticized for having less than one-tenth this number of vaccines sitting idle. These are inconvenient facts, so one will not likely hear them from MSNBC or CNN. Clearly, President Biden is learning that governing is more difficult than campaigning.
Government officials and the American people depend on legitimate scientific study, and they have shown extraordinary deference to the U.S. Center for Disease Control throughout the past year.
How reliable are government declarations that mask mandates prevent the spread of the coronavirus?
Our recent experience with researchers from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention has left us less than confident that the public should trust the CDC’s published research, much less any pronouncements based on that research.
At least eight leaders behind Walmart’s push into the health-clinic business have left the company since early 2020, and another is leaving in May.
Walmart launched its first comprehensive health center in September 2019 and now has about 20 of them attached to Walmart stores in four states, including Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois and Florida. The clinics were Walmart’s attempt to get serious about healthcare, compete with other retailers like CVS Health, and capture some of the $3.8 trillion industry.
Some heralded the Walmart Health clinics as a game changer. They sought to disrupt an industry notorious for opaque pricing by offering transparent prices for an array of services, including primary care, dental exams, vision tests, counseling, X-rays, and diagnostics. Seeing a doctor at Walmart’s clinics costs $40, even for patients without insurance.
Less than 24 hours after researchers received the first genomic sequence of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, scientists began working to identify potential preventative vaccines. Since then, the process to develop these innovative medical products has been on full display.
Already, multiple vaccines and treatments have received emergency use authorization (EUA) for use in the United States. Global health authorities outside the United States have also authorized numerous vaccines. Additionally, in the United States, one antiviral medicine has been approved for the treatment of severe COVID-19 infection. While COVID-19 was unknown to scientists until late 2019, research and development essential to supporting the vaccines and treatments ultimately authorized and approved to treat COVID-19 has been ongoing for several years.
The types of financial shocks hospitals currently face illustrate the problems inherent in Democrats’ proposed expansions of government-run health care.
The coronavirus pandemic has inflicted such vast damage on the American economy that one damaged sector has gone relatively unnoticed. Despite incurring a massive influx of new patients, the hospital industry faces what one executive called a “seismic financial shock” from the virus.
The types of shocks hospitals currently face also illustrate the problems inherent in Democrats’ proposed expansions of government-run health care. Likewise, the pay and benefit cuts and furloughs that some hospitals have enacted in response to these financial shocks provide a potential preview of Democrats’ next government takeover of health care.
The federal government has made huge progress in lowering regulatory barriers in order to accelerate access to health care during the coronavirus crisis, including allowing patients to talk with their doctors by telemedicine visits. But one group of particularly vulnerable patients has been left out: Medicare beneficiaries needing access to infused or injected drugs that generally must be administered by clinicians in doctors’ offices or hospitals.
To prepare for a coronavirus surge, initial public-health guidance advised hospitals and medical facilities to shut down for non-emergency care. The motivation was largely to preserve medical resources for those infected with the coronavirus, although another benefit has been to reduce the virus’s contagion to other patients.
Acting on federal advice, 31 states and the District of Columbia restricted non-emergency care at hospitals and surgery centers, including cancer treatments and other potentially life-saving services. Others voluntarily shut down elective services. On the positive side, the chain reaction will accelerate adoption of telehealth, which was vastly underutilized despite its promise to streamline care, reduce wait times, keep sick people out of waiting rooms, and address geographic disparities in access to care. On the negative side, hospital capacity has idled, devastated provider revenue, and led to widespread furloughs.
The administration’s guidelines for “Opening Up America Again” rely heavily on the ability of states to develop a robust COVID-19 testing capacity, and Congress is negotiating adding as much as $25 billion to this week’s funding bill to significantly expand testing.
A dramatic increase in coronavirus testing is needed before people will feel safe to return to work and the marketplace, but an equally dramatic shortage of testing capacity threatens to cripple the recovery.
Ten years ago, in late March 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as ObamaCare, became law.
Everyone loves the icebreaker game “Two Truths and a Lie” where you try to pick which of three statements is false. Can you guess which of the following is NOT true about the ACA?
A. The ACA resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of people with health insurance, mostly by expanding private health insurance.
B. The ACA caused health insurance premiums and deductibles in the individual market to skyrocket.
C. The ACA caused health insurance plans to narrow their networks, in other words, to restrict which hospitals and providers were available to people with ACA coverage.
A. LIE! While the ACA did dramatically increase the number of people with health coverage, it primarily did so by expanding the Medicaid program. A new paper from the Galen Institute makes this abundantly clear. Here are a few facts from the paper: