Author: Sally Pipes

Last week, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., declared that expanding Medicare to cover dental, vision, and hearing benefits as part of the massive $3.5 trillion spending bill winding its way through Congress was "not negotiable." His hardline position is unsurprising. After all, he is the country's most high-profile proponent of a complete government takeover of health insurance. Assigning the federal government responsibility for seniors' dental, vision, and hearing care would seem to represent one more step toward Medicare for All. But it's odd for a self-styled...

Last week, Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent, indicated that one provision of Congress's massive spending bill was "not negotiable." Namely, expanding Medicare to include hearing, dental, and vision benefits. It's an odd place to draw the line. Many seniors already have those benefits, so the proposal is largely unnecessary. And despite the plan's exorbitant costs, the expansion would still fail to deliver much of the care it promises. Nearly half of the Medicare population, more than 26 million seniors , is...

Today, the Pacific Research Institute published an issue brief revealing overwhelming public disapproval for Medicare reforms that Congress is considering as part of its $3.5 trillion spending bill. Click here to read the full issue brief, "Drug Pricing Proposals Threaten America's Most Vulnerable Patients." "It's a relief that Americans oppose Congress's drug pricing proposals once voters learn the true consequences of these misguided reforms," said Sally C. Pipes, the brief's co-author and PRI president, CEO, and Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Health...

Is America in the midst of a health insurance crisis? That's the picture Democrats in Washington are painting. According to their narrative, health coverage is out of reach for a number of Americans. Only an aggressive — and exorbitantly expensive — effort to expand the number of people covered by taxpayer-funded insurance will bring this emergency to an end. Their proposal is not just ill-conceived, but unnecessary. A close look at the uninsured population reveals that the share of people who lack access to affordable coverage...

Democrats are dead-set on having the federal government pick up more of the nation's health tab. This is the principle behind everything from the drive to lower Medicare's eligibility age, to the push for billions of dollars for home care, to bigger subsidies for coverage through Obamacare's exchanges, to the dream on the far left of Medicare for All. People have a "right" to health care, progressives argue. So, in their mind, it should be free -- or at least heavily subsidized. But, health care...

The Food and Drug Administration recently revised its emergency use authorization for Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine by approving a booster shot for individuals 65 and older, immunocompromised adults, and people with a high risk of exposure to the virus at work. It's an exciting development for the nearly 80% of vaccinated Americans who want a booster. But for many, the FDA's announcement was confusing, too. The debate over booster shots has been fraught with misleading information and contradictory federal guidance. This lack of clarity isn't just a...

Senator Bernie Sanders (I.,Vt.), America’s most prominent proponent of government-run health care, is once again leading the charge to move our country to a single-payer system. As chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, Sanders is pushing a $3.5 trillion budget plan that includes expansions of Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare. Some moderate Democrats have balked at the cost. But Sanders predicted Sunday that Democrats would “come together” to pass the massive package via reconciliation later this year. The health-care reforms in the budget would...

For weeks, congressional Democrats have been pushing to lower Medicare's eligibility age from 65 to 60 as part of their $3.5 trillion spending bill. A new paper from the American Action Forum (AAF) by Christopher Holt and Stephen Parente reveals just how radical that change would be. Such an expansion of Medicare would cost taxpayers a minimum of $380 billion over the next decade — and possibly more than $1 trillion. The belief that Medicare ought to be available to all Americans 60 and over has become...

This week, Pfizer-BioNTech submitted data to the Food and Drug Administration demonstrating the safety and effectiveness of its COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5 to 11. The duo is expected to apply for emergency-use authorization in the coming weeks. Federal regulators have promised they'll "urgently" review the data. The FDA's Dr. Peter Marks told  USA Today the data would be "looked at if not within hours, certainly within the day." Speed is of the utmost importance. The FDA has already slowed the...

It's no secret that H.R. 3 -- the Democrats' plan to impose price controls on prescription drugs -- would have devastating consequences for our healthcare sector. After all, artificially restricting the price of any product invariably leads to shortages, rationing, and a slowdown in both investment and innovation. A new study from University of Chicago economist Tomas Philipson shows H.R. 3 would not just slow down drug development but essentially stop it altogether. Yet Democrat leaders are continuing their push to include H.R....

A record 5.6 million patients in the United Kingdom are currently on waiting lists for hospital care. That's equivalent to nearly one in 10 Britons. Of that group, about 300,000 have been waiting at least one year for treatment. Those who can afford to are increasingly paying out of pocket for private care. More than 20% of British residents are doing so, according to recent polling. Britain's National Health Service has long been a source of pride for the country. The organizers of the 2012 London Olympics made the NHS...

The delta variant has wreaked havoc. This week, the U.S. reported a seven-day average of more than 146,000 daily cases . In total, COVID-19 has killed more than 660,000 Americans since the start of the pandemic. Thankfully, the rate of increase appears to be falling in many areas, compared to the surges in July and August. But significant damage has already been done. Much of this carnage could have been avoided if the Food and Drug Administration had accelerated approvals of...

The Biden administration's "Comprehensive Plan for Addressing High Drug Prices," released last week, paints a vivid picture of the difficulties patients face affording their medicines. "Americans pay too much for prescription drugs," the report notes. "Many Americans do not take medications as prescribed because of their cost." How does the administration intend to ease their financial burden? By calling on Congress to give the federal government the ability to essentially dictate drug prices. Lowering drug prices by fiat may be popular. But it would represent...

As part of their $3.5 trillion budget plan, Democrats hope to expand Medicare to include, among other additions, coverage for dental benefits by 2028. It's a dream progressives have been pursuing for years. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., called for the changes in his 2016 and 2020 presidential campaign platforms. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., recently said she's "all for" expansion. But adding dental coverage to traditional Medicare is imprudent and unnecessary. In the long run, it could even reduce seniors' ability to access quality dental care—if...

This crisis was avoidable. By showing no sense of urgency to approve COVID-19 shots for children under 12, the Food and Drug Administration has left children vulnerable — not just to the virus but to the emotional and social harm caused by missing in-person interactions with their teachers and peers. The shots could have been approved by now if not for the FDA's decision last month to require six months of clinical trial data on the effect of Pfizer-BioNTech's and Moderna's COVID-19 shots...

The Congressional Budget Office just released an analysis of House Democrats' effort to impose price controls on prescription drugs, H.R. 3 -- the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act. The CBO's chief finding is grim. By drastically limiting pharmaceutical revenue, H.R. 3 would starve scientists of the funding they need to research and develop new medicines. The result is that dozens of treatments and cures -- therapies that could save and enhance people's lives -- would never be invented. In other words, Democrats are...

"Everyday low prices" are coming to health care. Walmart recently launched its own private-label analog insulin, a synthetic form of the hormone that's been genetically modified to be released rapidly or slowly, depending on a per- son's needs. It will be manufactured by pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk – but costs 75% less than brand-name analog insulin. The deal is obviously good for people with diabetes, who have long clamored for more affordable insulin. And Wal- mart and Novo Nordisk wouldn't have...

President Joe Biden has finally figured out how to get Americans onto the Obamacare exchanges — by paying them. The administration recently congratulated itself after 2.5 million Americans signed up for plans through the government-run marketplaces during a newly created Special Enrollment Period that closed August 15. But these figures don't reflect newfound enthusiasm for Obamacare. The numbers are the result of more generous federal subsidies enacted in April as part of the American Rescue Plan Act. Through next year, those who make more than 400% of the poverty level, or...

On September 14, the people of California will have the chance—in a recall election—to oust Governor Gavin Newsom. His record over his more than two and a half years in power is checkered. Nowhere is that clearer than on health policy. Early in the pandemic, Newsom instituted some of America's most draconian policies: shutting down schools, shuttering business, and essentially locking people in their homes. What good did that do the people of California? The state has experienced over 4 million cases of COVID-19 and...

Imagine you’re in the market for a new car. You go to the dealership, take a few models out for a test drive, and ultimately choose the one that has the features and driving experience you’re looking for. But now imagine that there’s no sticker price. You just tell the salesperson you’ll take it — and silently pray that it’s not too expensive. You’ll find out how much you owe in a few weeks, when the bill comes in the mail. Of...