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Home > Op-Eds: 2005
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Universal Freedom: The Only Hope for Health Care
By Richard E. Ralston
December 7, 2005
"Universal Health Care" is the increasing drumbeat of advocates who want Americans to place all responsibility for their health care in the hands of government. They say health care needs require us to put aside such considerations as personal choice and individual freedom as outmoded ideology that should be dispensed with. First drop the context of individual rights, private property, and privacy—then the government is liberated to micro-manage every detail of the medical treatment you are allowed to have. . . . [ full article ]


Cut Federal Spending and Put Medicare Prescription Drugs on Hold
By Richard E. Ralston
November 14, 2005
Republicans in Congress are now struggling to carve some spending cuts out of their recent vast increases in the Federal Budget. Democrats, while critical of deficit spending, are helpfully suggesting even more spending increases. The best quick fix would be to delay the single largest increase in Federal spending in forty years: Congress should put implementation of the new Medicare prescription drug program scheduled to begin in 2006 on indefinite hold. . . . [ full article ]


California's Socialized Medicine Rising
By Scott Holleran
August 17, 2005
This month, in a 73-page position paper, California’s insurance commissioner, John Garamendi, proposed a government takeover of medicine. That the bureaucrat who would be governor prescribed more government intervention is not surprising. But, because the culture is steeped in the wrong morality of health care and most people do not grasp that government intervention is the cause of the crisis in health insurance, they are liable to fall for it and it is likely to spread across state lines. . . . [ full article ]


Shoving Government Health Care Down Your Throat
By Richard E. Ralston
August 9, 2005
One of the few bright spots in paying for health care today has been the introduction of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), in conjunction with low-premium, high-deductible insurance policies. In what is perhaps the most popular medical insurance reform in history, more than a million consumers in California and elsewhere have already established these plans that provide tax incentives, reduce cost and increase personal choice. . . . [ full article ]


Prescription Drug Advertising Is Good for All of Us
By Richard E. Ralston
June 16, 2005
When you see a commercial for a new car, a new movie, or a new brand of breakfast cereal it’s because the manufacturers of those products want to incur as much advertising expense as possible so they can pass the cost along to you. Then you can’t afford to buy their product. Isn’t that what they teach in Business 101 as the best way to make big profits? Of course not. . . . [ full article ]


Controlling the Cost of Cost Control: Why Paying for Health Care Has Become Such a Nightmare
By Richard E. Ralston
June 1, 2005
The cost of health care will continue to rise for a number of good reasons. We are living longer, and the retirement of the baby boom generation will increase demand on health care. Cutting-edge technology and new drugs will improve the quality and length of life—but at high cost. The irony, however, is that the efforts to limit costs will actually increase them more rapidly. We have created a bureaucratic monster that none of us can afford. . . . [ full article ]


Social Security and Forced Government Health Care
By Richard E. Ralston
April 29, 2005
When politicians proclaim that you have a “right” to health care, they actually mean many other things. First, that they want unlimited power to force others to provide you with health care—whatever the cost. They also mean that you have no right to manage and provide for your own health care, indeed no right to any health care whatsoever but that which is provided and approved by the government. They want the federal government to decide exactly what treatments you can and cannot have. They also demand that your doctor provide the government with all the personal details of your health care—after all, they’re paying for it aren’t they? Whatever this is, it is not protecting your “rights.” . . . [ full article ]


Health Care on April 15: How Taxes and Government Damage Your Health
By Richard E. Ralston
April 6, 2005
As you raise a pen to sign your tax return this year, you will undoubtedly regret that the United States Treasury is taking so much of your income. You should also ask why so much of the income you have left is spent on health care and health insurance. The two questions are related. . . . [ full article ]


Finding Alternatives to the Food and Drug Administration
By Richard E. Ralston
March 18, 2005
Since the Federal Food and Drug Act came into law in 1906, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has had a century to develop their methodology for insuring drug safety. After expanding to an annual budget of $1.5 billion and a staff of 10,000, they continue to seek additional responsibilities—such as the same control and approval authority for over-the-counter vitamins and nutritional supplements that they exercise over prescription drugs. Now they announce that, whatever their other priorities are, they have not been able to adequately insure the safety of prescription drugs and want to establish an additional bureaucracy in the form of a new "Drug Safety Board" to do so. The first proposed solution to administrative failure in government, no matter how vast the agency, always seems to be more regulation, more staff, and bigger budgets. . . . [ full article ]


New Year for Choosing a Health Plan
By Scott Holleran
January 10, 2005
For many workers, the new year initiates a process called open enrollment—when many employees designate a health plan through their employer—that’s as comprehensible as the tax code. During the annual cattle call, employees are pummeled with bureaucratic jargon about co-pays, deductibles, and out-of-pocket maximums. . . . [ full article ]




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