February 20, 2018

Bloomberg Anti-Smoking Campaign Has Been a Failure for Years: New Government Numbers Prove It

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

Government Should Embrace, Not Demonize, E-Cigarettes to Help Smokers Quit

Washington, DC – New York City smoking rates have gone up among adults, again, according to newly-released government numbers.

“This failure in public policy provides the most striking and objective evidence to date showing that Mayor Bloomberg’s aggressive anti-smoking campaign has been ineffective,” said Manhattan-based Jeff Stier, senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research.

The Wall Street Journal reports today that this is “the third straight year that tobacco use has crept up in a metropolis once known for its innovations in getting people to kick the habit, according to government data released Monday.”

The article, by reporter Mara Gay, further says, “City officials and public-health workers blamed a steady drop in funding for anti-tobacco programs for the highest rate of smoking since 2007”

“Actually, I’d beg to differ,” says Stier. “Since 2007, New York City has had some of the most aggressive anti-smoking campaigns anywhere. The city has some of the highest tax rates in the nation, the most restrictions on tobacco displays, and regularly advertises and gives away nicotine gum or patches at taxpayer expense. And New York City spends like a drunken sailor on anti-smoking ads.

Stier argues that it’s not that the city wasn’t spending enough money or that the laws weren’t restrictive enough. Rather, he says, “while Mayor Bloomberg was busy punishing smokers and squandering taxpayer money, the city was among the first to ban the use of e-cigarettes in public places. Yet the emergence of e-cigarettes are perhaps the most promising developments that could help people quit,” says Stier. “But instead of supporting their use to help people quit smoking, the New York City public health establishment spends resources demonizing e-cigarettes and making them less appealing to potential ‘switchers.'”

That is the third straight year smoking rates have increased in New York City, according to the government’s own numbers. This is a big defeat to Mayor Bloomberg on one of his signature issues, Stier says.

“I, for one, am not surprised that the nanny-state approach was ineffective in New York City,” said Stier. “Public health officials should learn a lesson: Put your hands back in your pockets, stop asking for more money and more tax increases for your ineffective policies, and instead show some humility given the new findings.”

Stier says the public health community in New York City and beyond should take heed of the latest numbers and embrace private-sector driven solutions such as e-cigarettes.”

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors.

Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.

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New Study Confirms Health Plans on Individual Market in 2013 Were Higher Quality than Plans on Exchanges

Study Shows Single 27-Year-Olds and 57-Year-Old Couples had Access to Plans with Better Cost-Sharing and Larger Provider Networks Prior to ObamaCare Exchanges

Claims by President Obama, Ed Schultz and Others that Plans in the Individual Market Were ‘Substandard’ or ‘Crappy’ Do Not Hold Up

Today is Two Months to the Day to Start of ObamaCare’s Next Open Enrollment Period

Washington, DC – The ObamaCare exchanges have reduced the quality of insurance polices when compared to what existed in 2013 on the individual market, says a just-released study from the National Center for Public Policy Research entitled, “Despite ObamaCare Supporters’ Claims, Health Insurance Plans Prior to ObamaCare Exchanges Were Neither ‘Crappy’ Nor ‘Substandard.'”

“When millions of people were losing their health insurance plans in late 2013, ObamaCare supporters claimed those plans were of poor quality, calling them substandard and even ‘crappy’,” said study author Dr. David Hogberg, health care policy analyst at the National Center. “But they never provided any evidence to support those claims. Quite to the contrary, this study shows that in important ways, the plans on the individual market it 2013 were of better quality than those on the ObamaCare exchanges.”

Today is two months to the day before the ObamaCare open enrollment period re-opens on November 15.

The study compared the cost-sharing — i.e., the deductibles and the out-of-pocket maximums — of plans on the individual market in 2013 and on the ObamaCare exchanges in ten major metropolitan areas for a 27-year-old single person and a 57-year-old couple. It also examined the provider networks, comparing the number of health maintenance organization (HMO) plans to preferred provider organizations (PPO) plans in the individual markets and ObamaCare exchanges.

It found:

• There was an average of 33 plans in each area for a 27-year-old on the individual market that had lower premiums and lower or equal deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums than the cheapest plans on the ObamaCare exchanges. Milwaukee, Wisconsin had the most such plans with an average of 68.

• For a 57-year-old couple there was an average of 10 policies in each area that had lower premiums and lower or equal cost-sharing in the 2013 individual market than the cheapest plans on the ObamaCare exchanges. Louisville, Kentucky had the most with an average of 26.

• The ObamaCare exchanges had many more of the restrictive HMO networks in their plans relative to the individual market, an average of 16 more HMO plans for both 27-year-olds and 57-year-olds.

• The less restrictive PPOs were more common in the individual markets, with an average of 32 more plans with PPOs for 27-year-olds and 25 more for 57-year-olds.

“Overall, the ObamaCare exchanges have resulted in a decline in health-plan quality,” said Dr. Hogberg. “Almost no one would consider it an improvement in quality to pay a higher premium and get less out-of-pocket coverage as was the case with policies on the exchange, and few would consider more restrictive networks to be better quality.”

“We can expect quality to continue to decline as long as ObamaCare is in place,” he said.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors.

Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.

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