November 23, 2017

Presidential Executive Order Promoting Healthcare Choice and Competition Across the United States

PROMOTING HEALTHCARE CHOICE AND

COMPETITION ACROSS THE UNITED STATES

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. (a) It shall be the policy of the executive branch, to the extent consistent with law, to facilitate the purchase of insurance across State lines and the development and operation of a healthcare system that provides high-quality care at affordable prices for the American people. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), however, has severely limited the choice of healthcare options available to many Americans and has produced large premium increases in many State individual markets for health insurance. The average exchange premium in the 39 States that are using www.healthcare.gov in 2017 is more than double the average overall individual market premium recorded in 2013. The PPACA has also largely failed to provide meaningful choice or competition between insurers, resulting in one-third of America’s counties having only one insurer offering coverage on their applicable government-run exchange in 2017.

(b) Among the myriad areas where current regulations limit choice and competition, my Administration will prioritize three areas for improvement in the near term: association health plans (AHPs), short-term, limited-duration insurance (STLDI), and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs).

(i) Large employers often are able to obtain better terms on health insurance for their employees than small employers because of their larger pools of insurable individuals across which they can spread risk and administrative costs. Expanding access to AHPs can help small businesses overcome this competitive disadvantage by allowing them to group together to self-insure or purchase large group health insurance. Expanding access to AHPs will also allow more small businesses to avoid many of the PPACA’s costly requirements. Expanding access to AHPs would provide more affordable health insurance options to many Americans, including hourly wage earners, farmers, and the employees of small businesses and entrepreneurs that fuel economic growth.

(ii) STLDI is exempt from the onerous and expensive insurance mandates and regulations included in title I of the PPACA. This can make it an appealing and affordable alternative to government-run exchanges for many people without coverage available to them through their workplaces. The previous administration took steps to restrict access to this market by reducing the allowable coverage period from less than 12 months to less than 3 months and by preventing any extensions selected by the policyholder beyond 3 months of total coverage.

(iii) HRAs are tax-advantaged, account-based arrangements that employers can establish for employees to give employees more flexibility and choices regarding their healthcare. Expanding the flexibility and use of HRAs would provide many Americans, including employees who work at small businesses, with more options for financing their healthcare.

(c) My Administration will also continue to focus on promoting competition in healthcare markets and limiting excessive consolidation throughout the healthcare system. To the extent consistent with law, government rules and guidelines affecting the United States healthcare system should:

(i) expand the availability of and access to alternatives to expensive, mandate-laden PPACA insurance, including AHPs, STLDI, and HRAs;

(ii) re-inject competition into healthcare markets by lowering barriers to entry, limiting excessive consolidation, and preventing abuses of market power; and

(iii) improve access to and the quality of information that Americans need to make informed healthcare decisions, including data about healthcare prices and outcomes, while minimizing reporting burdens on affected plans, providers, or payers.

Sec. 2. Expanded Access to Association Health Plans. Within 60 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of Labor shall consider proposing regulations or revising guidance, consistent with law, to expand access to health coverage by allowing more employers to form AHPs. To the extent permitted by law and supported by sound policy, the Secretary should consider expanding the conditions that satisfy the commonality?of-interest requirements under current Department of Labor advisory opinions interpreting the definition of an “employer” under section 3(5) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. The Secretary of Labor should also consider ways to promote AHP formation on the basis of common geography or industry.

Sec. 3. Expanded Availability of Short-Term, Limited?Duration Insurance. Within 60 days of the date of this order, the Secretaries of the Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services shall consider proposing regulations or revising guidance, consistent with law, to expand the availability of STLDI. To the extent permitted by law and supported by sound policy, the Secretaries should consider allowing such insurance to cover longer periods and be renewed by the consumer.

Sec. 4. Expanded Availability and Permitted Use of Health Reimbursement Arrangements. Within 120 days of the date of this order, the Secretaries of the Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services shall consider proposing regulations or revising guidance, to the extent permitted by law and supported by sound policy, to increase the usability of HRAs, to expand employers’ ability to offer HRAs to their employees, and to allow HRAs to be used in conjunction with nongroup coverage.

Sec. 5. Public Comment. The Secretaries shall consider and evaluate public comments on any regulations proposed under sections 2 through 4 of this order.

Sec. 6. Reports. Within 180 days of the date of this order, and every 2 years thereafter, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of the Treasury and Labor and the Federal Trade Commission, shall provide a report to the President that:

(a) details the extent to which existing State and Federal laws, regulations, guidance, requirements, and policies fail to conform to the policies set forth in section 1 of this order; and

(b) identifies actions that States or the Federal Government could take in furtherance of the policies set forth in section 1 of this order.

Sec. 7. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

DONALD J. TRUMP

THE WHITE HOUSE,

October 12, 2017.

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If Climate Change is “Settled Science” Why Do We Continue to Research?

That’s essentially what Joe Bastardi says in his contribution opinion piece to the Patriot Post, suggesting that Congress should take the money budgeted for Climate Change research and give it to cover the costs of “preconditions” within the communist health care plans (fake) being proposed by Congress (fake).

Being that we live is a world that is 100% post normal and there is no longer any discussion about why in hell are we being robbed of the money we work our asses off for so that Congress can continue to pay Big Corporations and Big Pharma and suggest levying more taxes to cover fake things that the fat cats don’t want to pay for?

How about this suggestion for all you communist/socialists who LOVE your damned servitude – LET’S DEFUND CONGRESS AND SEND THEM ALL TO HELL!!

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You Lie!

Ever since the Pope came to America, fired Speaker of the House Boehner and hired Speaker of the House Ryan, it has guaranteed that nothing changes – everything remains the same…with the exception of the rhetoric. All lying, cheating, stealing, criminal politicians are allowed to lie in order to convince their blinded constituency to keep voting for them.

Think not? Then explain why the “compromised” budget deal, supposedly worked out between the democrats and republicans, provides no funding for a wall, no cuts in federal funds to Sanctuary Cities and no cuts to Planned Parenthood.

But that’s okay! You just keep believing that Trump and his entourage are here to “Make America Great Again.”

Up next? A major distraction away from the lies of the “promises” made during election that just aren’t happening and on to another lie about a “compromise” bill on Obamacare.

On a side note – I have a bridge in New York City I want to sell. Any takers?

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Johnson & Johnson Executives Not Remorseful Over ObamaCare Role

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

With Affordable Care Act Collapsing, Pharmaceutical Giant That Promoted It Now Claims It is “Neither a Red Nor Blue” Company

Free Enterprise Project Continues Campaign to Push Corporate Support for Obamacare Replacement

New Brunswick, NJ / Washington, DC –  Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky expressed zero remorse for the company’s integral role in creating ObamaCare, but did vow to work with the Trump Administration and congressional leaders on future health care initiatives. He made this statement today at the company’s annual shareholder meeting in New Brunswick, New Jersey in response to a question from a representative of the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project (FEP) – the nation’s leading proponent of free-market investor activism.

“For the millions of Americans who are suffering under the high costs and burdensome regulations of ObamaCare, Gorsky’s response was less than satisfying,” said National Center General Counsel and FEP Director Justin Danhof, Esq., who attended today’s Johnson & Johnson shareholder meeting and questioned Gorsky. “While we are glad Johnson & Johnson will play a role in working with President Trump on a new path away from ObamaCare, the company still owes a sincere apology to the millions of Americans who suffered harm under ObamaCare. Companies that foisted ObamaCare on the American people have a moral obligation to repair the damage that law has caused to millions. It’s that simple.”

At the meeting, Danhof noted:

Instead of supporting the new plan, you stated : “Whether you take the new plan, [or] the old plan, we are going to have to make changes. The challenges are that we still have a lot of other issues to take care of [and] how we are going to make sure that we continue to make some of the important improvements to healthcare from a quality, from an affordability and from a sustainability point of view.”

While no plan is perfect, this is far from the full-throated support the company once gave to ObamaCare. In contrast to your comments, after meeting with President Trump, Eli Lilly CEO Dave Ricks said that they “talked about a number of his policy proposals which, on balance, I think would be very good for us. Looking at regulatory reform at the FDA, the changes that are being contemplated on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, and taxation. . . All those things were good.”

As the current political climate offers a unique opportunity for both private industry and health care consumers, I have three quick questions. Do you feel that Johnson & Johnson now has a responsibility to help fix the overall health care marketplace since it was involved in the advancement of ObamaCare? Second, will Johnson & Johnson work with the Trump Administration and Congress to promote its health care agenda as it did with the Obama Administration? And finally, what specific reforms would you suggest to our new President?

Danhof’s entire question, as prepared for delivery, is available here.

“In response to my question, Gorsky claimed Johnson & Johnson is neither a red company nor a blue company. Essentially, he tried to portray Johnson & Johnson as politically neutral. But the company went all-in for ObamaCare despite its top-down approach to health care. Now that President Trump wants to move the nation’s health care delivery system closer to a market-oriented system, the company has been less than cooperative,” added Danhof. “We will continue to monitor Johnson & Johnson’s involvement with any potential ObamaCare replacement because it has a duty to the American people to be part of that process.”

This marks the third time this year the FEP confronted health care executives at their shareholder meetings to ask them about their role in ObamaCare and how they might work with the Trump Administration on health care reform.

Another health care provider in the pharmacy industry, Walgreens Boots Alliance,indicated to the National Center in January that it would be willing to help replace ObamaCare. Walgreens Chairman James Skinner told Danhof the company would be willing to work with the Trump Administration in finding a free-market alternative to ObamaCare. Following that meeting, Danhof joined former Rep. J.D. Hayworth on “Newsmax Prime” to discuss why it is important for corporations to work with the Trump Administration on health care reform.

In April, Danhof confronted Humana CEO Bruce Broussard with a similar question. At that meeting, Humana all but abdicated the company’s responsibility to be involved in the health care reform process.

Launched in 2007, the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project is the nation’s preeminent free-market activist group – focusing on shareholder activism and the confluence of big government and big business. Since 2014, National Center representatives have participated in nearly 100 shareholder meetings to advance free-market ideals in the areas of health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, food policies, media bias, gun rights, workers’ rights and many other important public policy issues. The Johnson & Johnson meeting marks FEP’s eight shareholder meeting attended so far in 2017. 

The National Centers Free Enterprise Project activism has yielded a tremendous return on investment:

  • FEPs highly-publicized questioning of support for the Clinton Foundation by Boeing and General Electric helped trigger an FBI investigation of the Clinton Foundations activities that dominated the 2016 presidential campaign.  
  • FEP inquiries prompted Facebook to address political bias against conservatives in social media.
  •  Company executives acknowledged media bias at ABC News (Disney), the Washington Post and CNN (Time Warner) in response to FEPs challenges, which helped to bring about more objective reporting and more balanced political representation.
  • FEPs Employee Conscience Protection Project strengthened protections for the political beliefs and activities of over five million workers at 13 major U.S. corporations.
So far in 2017, the FEP has been featured in media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Variety, Associated Press, Bloomberg, Breitbart, WorldNetDaily, Drudge Report, Business Insider, CNET, National Public Radio, American Family Radio and SiriusXM. In 2016, the FEP was also featured in the Washington Times, the Fox News Channel’s “Cavuto,” the Financial Times, Crain’s Chicago Business, the Hollywood Reporter, the Los Angeles Times, Fortune, Newsmax, the Daily Caller, Lifezette, the Seattle Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Chicago Tribuneamong many others.  The Free Enterprise Project was also featured in Wall Street Journal writer Kimberley Strassels 2016 book The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech (Hachette Book Group).


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.  Sign up for email updates here.  Follow us on Twitter at @NationalCenter for general announcements.  To be alerted to upcoming media appearances by National Center staff, follow our media appearances Twitter account at@NCPPRMedia.

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Free-Market Activists Plan to Question Humana Executives About Willingness to Work with Trump, Congress on Health Care Reform

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

Humana’s Steadfast Support of ObamaCare Could Lose Company a Seat at the Table in Setting New Health Care Agenda

After Working with Liberal Politicians to Advance Obama-Era Failed Health Care Policies, Humana Owes it to American People to Work with Trump Team and Congressional Conservatives

Louisville, KY / Washington, DC – At this week’s annual meeting of Humana shareholders, the nation’s leading proponent of free-market investor activism plans to offer the insurer’s executives an opportunity to repudiate its long-standing support for failed ObamaCare policies and embrace market-based alternatives advanced by the White House and some members of Congress.

Humana’s shareholder meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 20, 2017, at the company’s headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky.  This will be the third time a representative of the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project(FEP) has attended a Humana shareholder meeting.

“This is the third time we will address Humana executives about ObamaCare’s failings, and we hope they will have a more open mind this time,” said National Center General Counsel and FEP Director Justin Danhof, Esq., who plans to attend on Thursday and participated in a past Humana shareholder meeting.  “With President Trump determined to set a new course on health care policy and the congressional leadership behind his efforts, Humana risks losing a seat at the table if they continue to provide support for a system they won’t even work with anymore.” 

On April 20, the National Center will post the text of its prepared question for Humana executives prominently on the National Center website after the shareholder meeting starts (which can be accessed here after posting).  Any comments from the Free Enterprise Project after the meeting will be also be available on the site (directly accessible here ) within hours of the conclusion of the meeting.

At previous shareholder meetings, Humana CEO Bruce Broussard refused to cede any ground to National Center representatives who questioned him about the company’s support for ObamaCare.  In 2014, when the National Center’s David Hogberg, Ph.D. asked Broussard if Humana would pledge not to take a bailout from ObamaCare’s “risk adjustment” scheme, Broussard refused and said the money would “ensure that our members have an affordable plan.”  In 2015, Danhof questioned Humana’s support of ObamaCare through an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case of King v. Burwelldespite the Humana website noting ObamaCare “falls short in addressing. . . rising costs.”  Danhof brought copies of a dozen free-market ObamaCare alternatives to that meeting and asked Broussard to consider working with conservatives on a free-market alternative.  Broussard would not commit to working with conservatives, but Humana recently announced plans to exit ObamaCare’s health care exchanges in 2018.

“Humana and other large insurance companies worked in lock-step with the Obama Administration and liberal congressmembers to advance, promote and defend ObamaCare.  We repeatedly brought concerns over ObamaCare’s market-distorting schemes to their attention, but our concerns were dismissed. Now that Humana and other insurers are exiting many ObamaCare exchanges and otherwise suffering the ill effects of the law, the timing is optimal for a new path forward,” said Danhof.  “While the most recent congressional effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare has stalled, there will be plenty of opportunities to enact change.  Humana owes it to the American people to work with President Trump and Congress to craft policies that expand access to care and drive down health care costs.”

Earlier this year, another health care provider indicated to the National Center that it would be willing to work on replacing ObamaCare.  Walgreens Boots Alliance Chairman James Skinner told Danhof at the pharmacy giant’s annual shareholder meeting that his company would be willing to work with the Trump Administration in finding a free-market alternative to ObamaCare.

Launched in 2007, the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project is the nation’s preeminent free-market activist group – focusing on shareholder activism and the confluence of big government and big business.  Since 2014, National Center representatives have participated in nearly 100 shareholder meetings to advance free-market ideals in the areas of health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, food policies, media bias, gun rights, workers’ rights and many other important public policy issues.  The Humana meeting will mark FEP’s fifth shareholder meeting attended so far in 2017.

The National Centers Free Enterprise Project activism has yielded a tremendous return on investment:

  • FEPs highly-publicized questioning of support for the Clinton Foundation by Boeing and General Electric helped trigger an FBI investigation of the Clinton Foundations activities that dominated the 2016 presidential campaign.  
  • FEP inquiries prompted Facebook to address political bias against conservatives in social media.
  •  Company executives acknowledged media bias at ABC News (Disney), the Washington Post and CNN (Time Warner) in response to FEPs challenges, which helped to bring about more objective reporting and more balanced political representation.
  • FEPs Employee Conscience Protection Project strengthened protections for the political beliefs and activities of over five million workers at 13 major U.S. corporations.
So far in 2017, media featuring the FEP has included the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Variety, Associated Press, Bloomberg, Breitbart, WorldNetDaily, Drudge Report, Business Insider, CNET, National Public Radio, American Family Radio and SiriusXM. In 2016, the FEP was also featured in the Washington Times, the Fox News Channel’s “Cavuto,” the Financial Times, Crain’s Chicago Business, the Hollywood Reporter, the Los Angeles Times, Fortune, Newsmax, the Daily Caller, Lifezette, theSeattle Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Chicago Tribune among many others.  The Free Enterprise Project was also featured in Wall Street Journal writer Kimberley Strassels 2016 book The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech(Hachette Book Group).

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.  Sign up for email updates here.  Follow us on Twitter at @NationalCenter for general announcements.  To be alerted to upcoming media appearances by National Center staff, follow our media appearances Twitter account at@NCPPRMedia.

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Walgreens Vows to Work with Trump Administration on New Health Care Plan

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

A Promoter of the Affordable Care Act, Pharmaceutical Giant Indicates Willingness to Assist New White House Team in Repeal and Replacement of ObamaCare 

National Center for Public Policy Research Seeks Commitment from Walgreens Regarding Employee Health Insurance Costs Caught up In ObamaCare Wake

New York, N.Y./Washington, D.C.  –  At today’s annual meeting of Walgreens Boots Alliance shareholders, responding to a question from the National Center for Public Policy Research, Walgreens Executive Chairman James Skinner indicated the pharmaceutical giant is willing to work with the Trump Administration in efforts to repeal and replace ObamaCare with a free market alternative.  Skinner, however, refused to discuss specific ways the company might be willing to help bring about reform in the health care industry.

“Walgreens says it wants to work with President Trump, but its executives were evasive about what the company could offer.  Leading from behind was a strategy for the previous administration.  The new leadership in the White House is looking for quick and decisive action, and Walgreens owes it to their employees and the communities it serves to come to the table with plans to help reform the government’s broken health care infrastructure,”  said National Center General Counsel and Free Enterprise Project Director Justin Danhof, Esq., who attended today’s meeting in New York City and questioned the Walgreens leadership. 

At the meeting, Danhof asked:

When former President Obama sought assistance with his health care law, Walgreens partnered with the administration to promote ObamaCare and its exchanges.  Largely unpopular, ObamaCare proved to be a failure as premiums skyrocketed, large insurers took massive taxpayer bailouts and many insurers left the exchanges altogether.

The current political climate offers a unique chance for both private industry and health care consumers.  President Trump has vowed to repeal and replace ObamaCare with a more patient-centric approach that provides greater options and relies on market forces to control prices…

[W]ill Walgreens work with the Trump Administration to promote its health care agenda as it did with the Obama Administration, and what specific reforms would you suggest to the new president? 

“While the response from Walgreens leaders lacked specifics, I am encouraged the company seems willing to move on from ObamaCare,” said Danhof.  “By promoting ObamaCare, Walgreens contributed to the vast destruction it caused.  Millions of Americans who lost their doctors and insurance plans are right to blame corporations such as Walgreens for supporting former President Obama’s top-down health care scheme.  If Walgreens is sincere about its willingness to work with the Trump Administration, I hope its leaders will quickly lay out a clear vision of what reforms would be best for health care consumers.”

At today’s meeting, Danhof also asked about the future of Walgreens employees’ health insurance needs.  Beginning in 2014, Walgreens dropped 160,000 employees from their private health insurance plans and directed them to enroll in a health care exchange.  It was reported that this move was done, in part, because of high ObamaCare compliance costs.   This shifted the burden of potential higher future health-related insurance costs from the company to its employees.  While Walgreens apparently covered these costs in 2014, it is unclear what the company plans to do going forward.

In light of this, Danhof asked:

Walgreens greatest asset is its employees.  And unless their compensation will continue to increase to cover rising health care costs, Walgreens will have done harm to its greatest advocates.  As the public face of the company, these are some of the same employees that the company tasked with promoting ObamaCare…

[I]n 2014, Walgreens provided its employees with funds to cover the costs of their new health care plans.  Will you commit to continue this practice going forward?   

Walgreens Executive Chairman Skinner responded that the company would do what was necessary to take care of its employees. 

“If I were a Walgreens employee, I would be less than thrilled with Skinner’s response to my question,” said Danhof.  “There is great uncertainty regarding the future costs of health care services and health insurance.  This would be a large burden for its employees to bear.”

“Following the meeting,” Danhof added, “Walgreens spokesman Michael Polzin informed me that the company has continued to subsidize the employee’s health insurance plans at the same rate as before.  He also confirmed that, going forward, the company has every intention of maintaining the same subsidy percentages.” 

The National Center’s Free Enterprise Project is the nation’s preeminent free-market activist group focusing on shareholder activism and the confluence of big government and big business.  Since 2014, National Center representatives have participated in 89 shareholder meetings advancing free-market ideals in the areas of health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, food policies, media bias, gun rights, workers’ rights and many other important public policy issues.  Today’s Walgreens meeting marks its first shareholder meeting of 2017. 

In 2016, the Free Enterprise Project was featured in the Washington Post, the Washington Times, Fox News “Cavuto,” the Drudge Report, the Financial Times, Crain’s Chicago Business, Hollywood Reporter, the Los Angeles Times, Fortune, Newsmax, Daily Caller, Lifezette, the Seattle Times, the Quad City Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Chicago Tribune among many others.  The Free Enterprise Project was also featured in Wall Street Journal writer Kim Strassel’s 2016 book The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech (Hachette Book Group). 

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.  Sign up for free issue alerts here or follow us on Twitter at @NationalCenter for general announcements.  To be alerted to upcoming media appearances by National Center staff, follow our media appearances Twitter account at @NCPPRMedia.

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As ObamaCare Fades, What’s the Future of American Health Care?

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

Free Market Leader Plans to Question Pharmaceutical Giant Walgreens About Its Promotion of ObamaCare While Dumping Private Plans for its Employees

National Center for Public Policy Research Set to Ask Walgreens Executives Whether the Company is Willing to Support President Trump’s Plan to Repeal and Replace ObamaCare

New York, N.Y./Washington, D.C.  –  Less than two blocks from Trump Tower in New York City, at today’s annual meeting of Walgreens Boots Alliance shareholders, a representative of the National Center for Public Policy Research plans to ask the pharmaceutical giant’s CEO – Stefano Pessina – about the company’s promotion of the Affordable Care Act while it simultaneously dropped health care coverage for many of its employees. Pessina will also be asked whether the company will work with President Donald Trump’s administration to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

“Walgreens is in a unique position when it comes to the American health care system.  As a leading pharmaceutical chain, it worked closely with the Obama Administration to promote the Affordable Care Act by having its employees help customers navigate the ObamaCare exchanges.  However, many of those same employees were dropped from the company’s private health care plan because of high compliance costs associated with ObamaCare.  This burdened more than 150,000 Walgreens employees with the rising costs of health care,” said National Center General Counsel and Free Enterprise Project Director Justin Danhof, Esq., who will attend today’s meeting in New York City.  “Walgreens should commit to covering the increased health insurance costs for its employees who lost their coverage.  The company should also seize upon the current political climate and work with the Trump Administration to improve health care choice and access while controlling costs.”

Beginning in 2014, Walgreens dropped 160,000 employees from its private health insurance plans and directed them to enroll in a health care exchange.  It was reported that this move was done, in part, because of high ObamaCare compliance costs.   This shifted the burden of potential higher future health-related insurance costs from the company to its employees.  While Walgreens apparently covered these costs in 2014, it is unclear what the company plans to do going forward.  That’s one question Danhof will ask Walgreens executives later today. 

“Walgreens employees are the face of the company.  It was rather duplicitous of company executives to ask their staff to push ObamaCare onto Walgreens customers while concurrently dropping them from the company’s health plan.  It appears that Walgreens employees, like so many other Americans, could not keep their plan if they liked their plan,” added Danhof.  “Walgreens employees got a bad deal.  The company choose to support ObamaCare, but decided it didn’t want to bear the brunt of increased health insurance costs.  Today, I am going to ask that the company to do right by its employees and pledge to cover these health care costs.  One way that the company might control costs is by working with the Trump Administration as they repeal and replace ObamaCare.” 

President Trump has already begun the process of dismantling the Affordable Care Act.  Last Friday, he issued an executive order requesting that federal agencies relieve the financial burdens of ObamaCare for the American people.  He also expressed a strong willingness to work with Congress on a large-scale repeal and replacement of ObamaCare.  Danhof plans to ask Walgreens executives whether the company will work with President Trump’s Administration as it implements a new health care agenda. 

“The opportunities for the large-scale reforms being sought by President Trump and his team are rare in Washington, D.C.  The President has shown a strong desire to work with American corporations to ensure quality American jobs and growth at home.  The health care sector is no exception,” said Danhof.  “Walgreens has a unique opportunity to help shape a better health care system for all Americans.  In doing so, it can amend for past support of ObamaCare and its top-down system that has harmed so many American families.”  

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a Walgreens Boots Alliance shareholder. 

The National Center’s Free Enterprise Project is the nation’s preeminent free-market activist group focusing on shareholder activism and the confluence of big government and big business.  Since 2014, National Center representatives have participated in 89 shareholder meetings advancing free-market ideals in the areas of health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, food policies, media bias, gun rights, workers’ rights and many other important public policy issues.  Today’s Walgreens meeting marks the National Center’s first shareholder meeting of 2017. 

In 2016, the Free Enterprise Project was featured in the Washington Post, the Washington Times, Fox News Channel’s “Cavuto,” the Drudge Report, the Financial Times, Crain’s Chicago Business, Hollywood Reporter, the Los Angeles Times, Fortune, Newsmax, Daily Caller, Lifezette, the Seattle Times, the Quad City Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Chicago Tribune among many others.  The Free Enterprise Project was also featured in Wall Street Journal writer Kim Strassel’s 2016 book The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech (Hachette Book Group).

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.  Sign up for free issue alerts here or follow us on Twitter at @NationalCenter for general announcements.  To be alerted to upcoming media appearances by NationalCenter staff, follow our media appearances Twitter account at @NCPPRMedia.

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You Can’t Keep Your Stinkin’ Doctor

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Congress to Vote on Scaling Back ObamaCare’s Requirement that Restaurants Print Calorie Counts in Menus

*Editor’s Note* – This is a classic example of how those who pretend to be “conservatives” or “liberals” never attack the real problem. Here we see someone attempting to water down a fascist law that requires restaurants to do as the fascist government demands or suffer the consequences. Why can’t we just tell the truth and say that if we actually lived in a free country, no tyrannical government would be forcing anybody to do anything. But, it’s somehow okay to accept the tyranny so long as we just water it down a bit?

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

Obama Administration’s FDA Makes it a Felony if Even Small Restaurants Make an Error When Posting Calorie Counts

Administration Also Forbids Restaurants from Posting a Range of Calories for Items, Such as Pizza, That May Be Ordered With Variable Toppings

 

New York, NY – “Few people realize ObamaCare’s tentacles extend all the way into your favorite corner pizza shop, even making an error in posting calorie counts a felony. Congress now has the opportunity to take a small slice out of this terrible law,” says Jeff Stier, Senior Fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research in Washington, D.C., and head of its Risk Analysis Division.

This week the House of Representatives is expected to debate and vote on theCommon Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2015.

Stier, who is based in Manhattan, was among the first to notice, as well as criticize, the calorie count requirement on menus buried in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly called the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare.

The bill would scale back the FDA’s onerous one-size fits all rules implementing the requirement that restaurants post calorie counts on menus.

The White House Office of Management and Budget has determined that the calorie count requirements will require more than 14 million compliance hours and cost more than $1 billion.

“The FDA’s reckless implementation of the calorie-count rule makes the launch ofhealthcare.gov look look seamless by comparison,” says Stier.

“Why didn’t the FDA take advantage of the provision of the bill that directs the agency to revise the regulations to account for the unique attributes of these types of entities without compromising consumers’ access to nutrition information?” asks Stier.

Stier is particularly concerned about the lack of flexibility in the FDA’s approach to how restaurants handle variable menu items. “If a restaurant offers individual toppings or menu items that can be ordered with variations, it should be allowed to post a range of calories rather than a specific count for each of what could be millions of variations,” he says.

“The fact that we even have to resort to fixing the FDA’s rules for implementing menu calorie counts is disheartening, since there’s evidence that mandatory calorie counts actually increase the number of calories people consume at these establishments.”

Stier has been a leading voice against the Obama Administration’s regulatory over-reach into our diets, debating the subject on CNBC and writing about it in the New York Post, Forbes, National Review and elsewhere.

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Analysis of Walker and Rubio Health Care Plans

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:
Scott Walker’s and Marco Rubio’s Health Care Plans Would Move U.S. In a Free Market Direction

Walker and Rubio Depart from Previous GOP Candidates by Releasing Plans Early, Signaling Health Care Will Be a Central Issue for the Campaigns

Washington, D.C. – “Both Scott Walker’s and Marco Rubio’s health care plans are a very good start,” said Dr. David Hogberg, health care policy analyst at the National Center for Public Policy Research. “On balance, these are excellent plans for moving our health care system in a free market direction.”

He also praised the candidates for releasing their plans early.

“Usually, Republican candidates release their health care plans late in the election cycle, if they release them at all,” he said. “By putting these plans out there more than 14 months before the election, Walker and Rubio show they are willing to make health care a central issue of the campaign.”

Both Walker’s and Rubio’s plans contain elements that will help facilitate a free market in health care, including:Washington, DC –

-A refundable tax credit to purchase health insurance

-Allowing consumers to purchase insurance across state lines

-Expanding health savings accounts (HSAs)

“These are all big steps that will empower Americans to become health care consumers,” said Dr. Hogberg. “These will be important drivers in reducing the cost of health care and health insurance while also improving their quality.”

Dr. Hogberg notes that each plan has important elements that the other does not.

Walker’s plan allows consumers to pool together in associations and offer health insurance to members of the association.

“Americans have the freedom to form associations in most other areas of our economy, and they should have the freedom to do so to purchase health insurance,” said Dr. Hogberg.

Rubio’s plan reforms the employer-based tax exclusion for health insurance by gradually changing it over a decade so that its value is equal to the value of the tax credit.

“The tax exclusion is one of the biggest inefficiencies in our health care system,” said Dr. Hogberg. “However, taking it on can be political risky. Rubio is to be commended for that.”

To help the public better understand what the many conservative/libertarian health care plans contain, the National Center for Public Policy Research has released a publicly accessible spreadsheet that contains all of the plans and summarizes how each one treats the major health care policy issues. This spreadsheet has now been updated to include the plans of Governor Walker and Senator Rubio. To view it, go here:http://goo.gl/y1ALI2

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. Sign up for free issue alerts here.

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