October 30, 2020
A victory for consumers –– Issue #105

The Trump administration yesterday finalized a rule requiring health insurers to disclose price and cost-sharing information, a rule which economists estimate could help families save up to $11,000 a year in health costs.

Galen Senior Fellow Brian Blase, who helped shepherd the price transparency rule through the bureaucratic maze when he was a senior adviser to the president, was quoted in an article by Breitbart:

“Big health insurance companies have profited from keeping us in the dark about how they use our money. With today’s rule, patients and employers will be able to assess the value of their insurer, better compare prices across providers, and institute payment structures that promote value-based purchasing.

“More knowledgeable shoppers will result in competitive pressure on both insurers and medical professionals to do better, which will save families money and enable businesses to hire more workers,” he said.

For much more, here is Brian’s detailed and foresightful paper, Transparent Prices Will Help Consumers and Employers Reduce Health Spending.

With the number of reported cases of Covid-19 increasing, states and localities are threatening a new round of lockdowns.  That would be a terrible mistake.

We have learned a great deal about managing the pandemic since it hit last winter, and we know that we should concentrate resources on protecting the most vulnerable while allowing children and younger, healthy adults to safely go about their lives.

And we also have learned a great deal about the secondary harm that lockdowns cause.  And it is significant, as we wrote for Forbes, reporting that “600 Physicians Say Lockdowns Are A ‘Mass Casualty Incident.”

An article in The Telegraph quotes Charles Levinson, founder of a visiting doctor service in London, describing the mounting costs of lockdown.

“At my service Doctorcall, we deal with the widest range of patients you could imagine and I make no exaggeration when I say this is the worst health crisis I have ever experienced — missed cancer diagnoses, suicides, misdiagnosed acute heart failure, untreated strokes.

“Speaking purely from a health perspective there is every chance over the long term that the restrictions imposed may cause far more suffering than the virus itself.”

Levinson says he does not diminish the seriousness of Covid, but says “My issue is with those who diminish the other health impacts of the first lockdown, as they continue to demand a second one… Government is scrambling to put the pan fire out, but at the same time the rest of the house is burning down.”

Nonetheless, officials in the U.K. reportedly are planning to impose new restrictions forcing restaurants and non-essential shops to close in parts of England with the highest infection rates.

In France, the government announced reposition of harsh lockdowns starting today, with bars, restaurants, and most retail shops ordered to close for a month. The Daily Mail reports that Paris was gridlocked as tens of thousands fled the city, train stations were packed, violent protests broke out, and store shelves were stripped ahead of month-long lockdown that bans travel. “Draconian measures will see people needing documents to show their reasonable excuse for leaving home,” the Daily Mail reports.

They just don’t learn!  Pray that government officials in the U.S. do not reimpose lockdowns here and exacerbate the harm to public health they cause. I have a new article for Forbes I will send shortly with many, many details and examples of the harm of lockdowns.

Now, on to the elections so we will know—hopefully next week—the opportunities or obstacles we will be facing as we proceed with our undaunted efforts at the Galen Institute to fight for health freedom.
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