Independent Women's Forum RSS feedhttp://www.iwf.orgThe RSS feed for the IWF. News, Commentary and Blog posts from the Independent Women's Foundation.(...)IWF RSS LIVE: Independent Women's Forum Testifies Before House Ways & Means Committee on Paid Leave<p> Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum (IWF) Policy Director Hadley Heath Manning will testify before the House Ways and Means Committee on its &ldquo;Legislative Proposals for Paid Family and Medical Leave&rdquo; hearing.</p> <p dir="ltr"> Manning, invited to appear before the Committee by Chairman Richard Neal, will focus her testimony on the policy trade-offs, risks, and downsides of federal paid leave entitlements. Manning will explain how paid leave entitlements have been shown to redistribute money from low-income workers to those with higher incomes, to discourage private-sector job, wage, and benefit growth, and to increase gender wage gaps.&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr"> Following testimony from&nbsp;Representatives Rosa&nbsp;DeLauro&nbsp;(D-CT),&nbsp;Ann Wagner&nbsp;(R-MO), and&nbsp;Elise Stefanik&nbsp;(R-NY), Manning will be joined on a panel by&nbsp;Joan Lunden, journalist and former&nbsp;<em>Good Morning America</em>&nbsp;anchor;&nbsp;Kemi Role, director of work equity at the National Employment Law Project;&nbsp;Sharon Terman, director of work and family policy at Legal Aid at Work;&nbsp;Rebecca Hamilton, co-CEO of W.S. Badger; and&nbsp;Vicki Shabo, senior fellow for paid leave policy and strategy at New America.</p> <p dir="ltr"> &quot;Expanding access to paid family and medical leave is a noble goal, but the real question is how,&rdquo; Manning explains in her prepared testimony. &ldquo;[The proposed new entitlement] could exacerbate inequalities, backfire on workers, and reduce overall economic opportunity.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr"> <iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> HeathTue, 28 Jan 2020 09:01:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumTwo Truths and a Lie: The Stock Market<p> Any day now, the Dow Jones Industrial Average may surpass 30,000. This represents enormous gains in the stock market.</p> <p> Everyone loves the party game &ldquo;Two Truths and a Lie.&rdquo; Can you spot which one of the following statements about the stock market isn&rsquo;t true?</p> <ol> <li> <span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>A higher share of Americans own stock than ever before.</strong></span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>Only Americans who own stock are affected by the stock market.</strong></span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>The stock market generally performs better when Congress is on recess.</strong></span></li> </ol> <p> &nbsp;</p> <ol> <li> <span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>TRUE</strong>. A generation ago, about 30 percent of Americans owned stock. Now that number is above 50 percent. This is in large part due to the popularity of 401-K retirement plans that automatically invest in stock. &nbsp;But it&rsquo;s also due to the strength of today&rsquo;s economy. We&rsquo;ve also seen increases in the number of young Americans (under 35) who own stock, as well as the number of women who own stock.&nbsp; As <a href="">Quartz</a> reports on the phenomenon of more Americans investing,&nbsp; &ldquo;In an age of widening inequality, this is a rare bright spot because it means more Americans own a share of an expanding economy.&rdquo;&nbsp;</span></li> </ol> <p> &nbsp;</p> <ol> <li value="2"> <span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>FALSE</strong>. The stock market is not the economy, but the two are linked. And fortunately for Americans, both are strong right now. Of course, people who have much of their money tied up in stocks have the most to gain (or lose) from those investments. But the stock market can have a ripple effect on the economy and on opportunities for non-investors, even for the least fortunate. For example: If a charitable foundation has an endowment, and some of that endowment is invested in the stock market, a strong market will allow the foundation to offer more scholarships, build more hospital beds, or do whatever service they provide. We should all root for a strong market.</span></li> </ol> <p> &nbsp;</p> <ol> <li value="3"> <span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>TRUE</strong>. This funny phenomenon is a theory called the &ldquo;<a href="">Congressional Effect</a>,&rdquo; and it&rsquo;s been studied and documented by several different researchers. Maybe investors feel more comfortable reaching for and opening their wallets when they think Uncle Sam is not. Or perhaps investors simply feel some uncertainty about economic policy when Congress is in session (and the rules might change, for better or worse) versus recess when no legislative changes are on the table. Sadly for the stock market, Congress is in session most of the time!</span></li> </ol> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Stay tuned to IWF for more updates on markets, including the marketplace of ideas!</p> HeathTue, 21 Jan 2020 13:01:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumRecord Run on Wall Street and Other Good News for Americans • Cavuto Coast to Coast HeathFri, 17 Jan 2020 21:01:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumJacques: Merit, not tokenism should govern women's success<p> Elizabeth Warren&rsquo;s temper tantrum Tuesday night on the Democratic presidential debate stage made me feel like I&rsquo;d been transported back to 2016.&nbsp;</p> <p> The Massachusetts senator did her best to channel former presidential contender Hillary Clinton in her calculated attack against her &ldquo;friend&rdquo; and rival Bernie Sanders, the senator from Vermont.&nbsp;</p> <p> There&rsquo;s little doubt the Warren campaign leaked&nbsp;<a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="" target="_blank">an alleged conversation</a>&nbsp;Warren had with Sanders in 2018, regarding whether a woman could make it to the White House in 2020. Warren claims Sanders said it couldn&rsquo;t happen &mdash; he denies saying it.&nbsp;</p> <p> Conveniently, CNN got to break the story the day before the cable network hosted the national debate, setting up Warren&rsquo;s &ldquo;woman&rdquo; moment.&nbsp;</p> <div id="module-position-SaLXf_lc5F8"> <aside itemprop="associatedMedia" itemscope="" itemtype=""> <p> <img alt="Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., left and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., talk Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, after a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by CNN and the Des Moines Register in Des Moines, Iowa. Candidate businessman Tom Steyer looks on." data-mycapture-="" data-mycapture-sm-="" itemprop="url" src=";height=&amp;fit=bounds&amp;auto=webp" style="border:0px;vertical-align:middle;" width="540" /></p> <p> Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., left and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., talk Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, after a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by CNN and the Des Moines Register in Des Moines, Iowa. Candidate businessman Tom Steyer looks on.&nbsp;(Photo: Patrick Semansky, AP)</p> </aside> </div> <p> Shortly after Sanders again denied he said those things and made a strong case for his longtime support of women politicians, a CNN moderator asked Warren what really happened. She of course said Sanders did make those comments and then launched into her girl power speech.&nbsp;</p> <p> &ldquo;The only people on this stage who have won every single election that they&rsquo;ve been in are women: Amy and me,&rdquo; she said, referencing fellow Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.&nbsp;</p> <p> Good for them.&nbsp;</p> <p> Warren and Klobuchar are on the debate stage because they are smart, successful women. But Warren&rsquo;s focus on whether a woman can beat President Trump is shifting attention from her qualifications as a candidate and toward tokenism. That was a theme this week, on both the debate stage and in Hollywood, which was hit with charges of &ldquo;patriarchy&rdquo; after&nbsp;<a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="" target="_blank">no women made it&nbsp;</a>on the best director list of 2020 Oscar nominees.&nbsp;</p> <p> Clinton erred in 2016 by assuming she&rsquo;d earn the woman vote simply because of her sex. It was time for the first woman president, after all.</p> <p> She was wrong. Many women didn&rsquo;t trust her and didn&rsquo;t approve of her big-government plans. Yet Clinton assumed her loss was because of sexism &mdash; women voters must have been bullied by husbands and boyfriends to not vote for her.</p> <p> Warren is starting to tread into this territory. And it&rsquo;s not going to help her.&nbsp;</p> <p> Can a woman win the presidency? Absolutely. But it&rsquo;s got to be the right candidate &mdash; one who blends a solid resume with a connection to the voters. Clinton proved that it&rsquo;s very possible; she won the popular vote by 3 million votes.&nbsp;</p> <p> <span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Hadley Heath Manning, director of policy for the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum</span></span></span>, says Americans are ready for a female president, and that many voters (the majority of whom are women) would relish the opportunity to elect a woman. But it has to be someone who also represents their interests.&nbsp;</p> <p> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s certainly possible for a woman to win the presidency,&rdquo; Manning says. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a foregone conclusion.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p> Klobuchar on Tuesday got it right when she said winning candidates above all else have to &ldquo;be competent.&rdquo; She pointed to two women governors, including Michigan&rsquo;s Gretchen Whitmer,&nbsp;<a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="" target="_blank">as proof women in politics can best male opponents</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p> While women in the entertainment industry &mdash; and their fans &mdash; were outraged no women were on the best director list this week, women are finding success in Hollywood. But Hollywood is extremely competitive and standards for excellence are high. There&rsquo;s nothing wrong with that.&nbsp;</p> <p> In 2010, Kathryn Bigelow won the honor for &ldquo;The Hurt Locker,&rdquo; and four other women have been nominated, including Greta Gerwig in 2018. Gerwig is getting deserved attention this year for directing &ldquo;Little Women,&rdquo; and she&rsquo;ll no doubt be on the Oscar list again in coming years.</p> <div id="module-position-SaLXf_l5bG4"> <aside itemprop="associatedMedia" itemscope="" itemtype=""> <img alt="Director Greta Gerwig attends the premiere of &quot;Little Women&quot; at the Museum of Modern Art on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in New York." data-mycapture-="" data-mycapture-sm-="" itemprop="url" src=",735,x28,y0&amp;width=540&amp;height=&amp;fit=bounds&amp;auto=webp" style="border:0px;vertical-align:middle;" width="540" /> <p> Director Greta Gerwig attends the premiere of &quot;Little Women&quot; at the Museum of Modern Art on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in New York.&nbsp;(Photo: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)</p> </aside> </div> <p> Women would have a better chance of winning awards if there&nbsp;were more women involved in the industry &mdash; the same with politics.&nbsp;<a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="" target="_blank">The Hollywood Reporter notes</a>&nbsp;a study from the University of Southern California&rsquo;s&nbsp;Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, which found only 10.6% of the directors of 2019&rsquo;s top-grossing movies were women &mdash; too low, but still a 13-year high.</p> <p> When Warren refused to shake Sanders&rsquo; hand at the end of Tuesday&rsquo;s debate, it only made her look petty. Does she assume men should simply step aside because it&rsquo;s her turn?&nbsp;</p> <p> <cta-atoms-container-inline></cta-atoms-container-inline></p> <p> As Clinton proved, that&rsquo;s not a winning strategy.&nbsp;</p> HeathThu, 16 Jan 2020 22:01:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumThe Cost of Inflation: It's Time to Talk About Ways to Make Life More Affordable and Doable for Working Families HeathWed, 15 Jan 2020 21:01:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumNew Proposal Would Allow New Parents to Collect 'Earned Leave' as an Option for Paid Family Leave<p> For many workers in Colorado, a new baby or a sudden medical issue means taking time off from work without receiving a paycheck. It&rsquo;s a problem that state lawmakers have tried and failed to solve.</p> <p> <strong><span style="background-color:#cde9ec;">Now, as Colorado democrats prepare to introduce another paid family medical leave bill, a proposal at the national level is sparking conversation: What if you could get paid now and, as a trade-off, work longer later?</span></strong></p> <p> <strong><span style="background-color:#cde9ec;">That&rsquo;s the idea behind&nbsp;</span><a href=""><span style="background-color:#cde9ec;">Earned Leave</span></a><span style="background-color:#cde9ec;">&nbsp;, a proposal by the conservative-leaning Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum. It would allow new parents to collect Social Security benefits early.</span></strong></p> <p> <strong><span style="background-color:#cde9ec;">&ldquo;You can take up to 12 weeks of pay replacement out of your own earned social security benefits, and in exchange for doing that, you agree to defer or delay your own collection of retirement benefits when you reach retirement age,&rdquo; said Hadley Heath Manning, director of policy for the IWF.</span></strong></p> <p> <strong><span style="background-color:#cde9ec;">The Earned Leave proposal only applies to parental leave, not medical leave. It would also require changing the law on Social Security. But the IWF says an advantage is that it wouldn&rsquo;t cost businesses anything.</span></strong></p> <p> Colorado democrats, on the other hand, are pushing for a social insurance program that both employers and employees would pay into. Their paid family medical leave plan would allow workers to collect a percentage of their salary if they take time off for a new baby, to care for a sick family member, or take care of their own medical needs.</p> <div> <div id="MAD_INLINE" style="clear:both;"> <strong><span style="background-color:#cde9ec;">Heath Manning, who was on Colorado&rsquo;s&nbsp;</span><a><span style="background-color:#cde9ec;">13-member Family and Medical Leave Insurance Task Force</span></a><span style="background-color:#cde9ec;">&nbsp;, says there are downsides to a mandatory insurance program. She pointed to a&nbsp;</span><a href=""><span style="background-color:#cde9ec;">Pew Research Center study</span></a><span style="background-color:#cde9ec;">&nbsp;that found a wider gender pay gap in countries that have paid family leave, because companies may pay women less if they believe women will take more leave. The task force also struggled to reach an agreement on certain issues like when a worker should become eligible for paid leave, and how many weeks of leave should be allowed.</span></strong></div> </div> <p> <strong><span style="background-color:#cde9ec;">Heath Manning says both democrats and republicans support options for people to take time off from work without losing their income.</span></strong></p> <p> <strong><span style="background-color:#cde9ec;">&ldquo;My hope would be if we had a solution at the national level, like the Earned Leave proposal, that would take a lot of pressure off of states to intervene,&rdquo; she said.</span></strong></p> HeathMon, 13 Jan 2020 12:01:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumOn the Eighth Day of Christmas: Different Chapters of Life<p> <img alt="" class="pull-right" src="" /></p> <p> <strong>Update: </strong>The story below took place two years ago. A lot has changed since then! Now that I have two kids&mdash;and a little more mothering experience&mdash;I have to laugh at myself. I really am in a &ldquo;different chapter of life&rdquo; even just a couple years later.&nbsp; The below is a story of a kid getting hurt in a loud, public, embarrassing way. But it really wasn&rsquo;t that bad. My second child (a boy!) has endured so much worse. He&rsquo;s the one who brought us to a burn clinic after touching a hot charcoal grill. He&rsquo;s fallen down a flight of stairs (and bounced right back)! He&rsquo;s a lot more rambunctious and prone to injury, but I don&rsquo;t know if this is because he&rsquo;s a boy or just because my attention is now divided between two kids! Now he&rsquo;s the same age Madeline was in the story below. And yes, we&rsquo;re planning on going to a candlelight Christmas Eve service. Wish me luck!!</p> <p dir="ltr"> <span id="docs-internal-guid-1a494aeb-7fff-b377-8ff9-82103c42d897">*****&nbsp;</span></p> <p dir="ltr"> <span id="docs-internal-guid-1a494aeb-7fff-b377-8ff9-82103c42d897">My family and I usually go to church on Christmas Eve for a candlelight service.</span></p> <p dir="ltr"> <span id="docs-internal-guid-1a494aeb-7fff-b377-8ff9-82103c42d897">I was a little nervous about the Christmas Eve service last year. My daughter, Madeline, was just one year old, and childcare wasn&rsquo;t provided. Toddlers and candlelight usually aren&rsquo;t a good mix.</span></p> <p dir="ltr"> <span id="docs-internal-guid-1a494aeb-7fff-b377-8ff9-82103c42d897">But don&rsquo;t worry&hellip; this isn&rsquo;t a story about a burn.</span></p> <p dir="ltr"> <span id="docs-internal-guid-1a494aeb-7fff-b377-8ff9-82103c42d897">Just off to the side of the pews there&rsquo;s another seating area in our church where my husband was letting Madeline wiggle around and burn off some extra energy before the service.</span></p> <p dir="ltr"> <span id="docs-internal-guid-1a494aeb-7fff-b377-8ff9-82103c42d897">Then, at 5 pm, a reverent hush came over the sanctuary. The service was starting.</span></p> <p dir="ltr"> <span id="docs-internal-guid-1a494aeb-7fff-b377-8ff9-82103c42d897">BOOM! Madeline had managed to slip between the back and seat of a wooden folding chair. The sound was actually her head hitting the hardwood floor. The initial boom, followed by a scream, called the attention of all the people in the church to Madeline, just in time for us all to watch said folding chair (now folded) fall on top of her. BOOM! Again! It was comical. But horrible!</span></p> <p dir="ltr"> <span id="docs-internal-guid-1a494aeb-7fff-b377-8ff9-82103c42d897">I ran over to my husband, who scooped up Madeline, and the three of us ran out of the back of the church and downstairs to the basement to calm her down. An egg-sized wound was swelling on her head. I felt so bad for her.</span></p> <p dir="ltr"> <span id="docs-internal-guid-1a494aeb-7fff-b377-8ff9-82103c42d897">By the end of the service, Madeline had recovered enough to return to the sanctuary, just in time for the lighting of the candles. She loved it, as evidenced by the look of sheer wonder on her face.</span></p> <p> <img alt="" class="pull-right" src="" /></p> <p> As we go through the different chapters of life, our traditions can take on new tones. I always thought of the candlelight service as dignified and solemn, but last year, it was lively and spirited! But the meaning of the candlelight service is always the same: we light candles at Christmas to represent the coming of Christ, the Light of the world, a truly wondrous event. May the joy of the season inspire us all with childlike wonder at the greatest Light of all. (But please, no head injuries this year!)</p> HeathFri, 20 Dec 2019 10:12:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWarren Backs Off on Ultra-Liberal Health Care Plan • After the Bell HeathWed, 18 Dec 2019 08:12:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumInter-Party Struggle to Accept the Most Moderate Dem Candidate • Coast to Coast HeathMon, 16 Dec 2019 08:12:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumBill on Criminal Insider Trading will Help Market Flourish Naturally • Making Money HeathFri, 6 Dec 2019 15:12:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWhy You Need to Call the Federal Government About Your Health Care<p> The Trump administration just issued a new set of rules to address why patients don&rsquo;t have the power to make choices that reflect what&rsquo;s best for them and for their pocketbooks. These go a long way to restore price transparency in health care so that we can access price information when it matters &mdash; ahead of time. Yet they need to hear from the public about some of the problems that these rules don&rsquo;t address.</p> <p> Why is it that when we consume almost anything else, we have detailed information up front about what price we will pay, but in health care, we must wait until after the fact? (And often face unpredictably and unbelievably high prices?)</p> <p> It&rsquo;s not sufficient to say that health care is an emergency; the vast majority of health services are pre-planned. In fact, over&nbsp;<a href="">90 percent of healthcare</a><a href="">&nbsp;spending is not emergency care</a>, but it&rsquo;s routine, expected, or to use another word, it&rsquo;s &ldquo;shoppable.&rdquo;</p> <p> But when we ask what these services (or treatments, procedures, or drugs) will cost, we&rsquo;re often met with the answer &ldquo;it depends.&rdquo; It depends on our insurance plan, our employer, and under what conditions or settings the care was delivered. This isn&rsquo;t fair or conducive to a functional marketplace where consumers hold the power to make decisions and providers compete to provide value and keep costs low.</p> <p> The administration&rsquo;s proposed rules would require&nbsp;<a href="">hospitals</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="">insurers</a>&nbsp;to share real net prices for healthcare services. Such changes could dramatically change how Americans shop for and consume health care, because they&rsquo;d infuse our system with information, competition, and accountability.</p> <p> As is always the case in Washington D.C., especially with regulatory changes (which are often drafted behind closed doors by faceless bureaucrats), there are special interests that advocate for the status quo if the status quo serves them well. The same is true when it comes to patients knowing prices and being able to shop and compare. Naturally, there are hospitals and insurance companies who benefit from keeping patients in the dark.</p> <p> It&rsquo;s worth noting that not everyone in the healthcare industry are bad; some have taken admirable steps to offer patients better information. But overall, healthcare lobbying efforts have generally opposed price transparency measures.</p> <p> But price transparency isn&rsquo;t for the industry; it&rsquo;s for the patient. It&rsquo;s critical that the administration adopt rules that keep the patient as the focus and avoid a few potential pitfalls that could render this price transparency effort ineffective:</p> <p> First, special interests are fighting to change the definition of health information (as defined by HIPAA) to include only clinical information (e.g. what tests did you receive, what were the results, what was your diagnosis?) and not pricing information. Patients understand that our right to our health information should include prices. If we are expected to pay the bill, we should have the right to know what the bill will say.</p> <p> Second, the regulations as currently drafted include a fine for noncompliance: a laughably low $300 per day. This is pocket change to hospitals and won&rsquo;t produce any real change. This is simply a pay-to-not-play option. Any requirement must come with real teeth or it will be ineffective, as anyone familiar with the Affordable Care Act&rsquo;s individual mandate should know.</p> <p> Third, there&rsquo;s an effort to offer hospitals an &ldquo;out&rdquo; from price transparency requirements if they offer an internet-based price &ldquo;estimator&rdquo; tool. This isn&rsquo;t real price transparency. These tools always come with a disclaimer about how they are not guaranteed prices and can&rsquo;t speak to an individual patient&rsquo;s situation. This should not be an option for hospitals under the new price transparency rules. They should have to offer a firm, transparent price for their services just as sellers do in practically every other industry.</p> <p> For the sake of fairness, and for the sake of patients, regulators should make rules that are simple and easy to follow, that don&rsquo;t mix up definitions that are established in current law, that don&rsquo;t purport to require something but without real enforcement, or that offer too easy an alternative that won&rsquo;t actually help patients.</p> <p> Sadly, the Swamp is alive and well in Washington, D.C. Information &mdash; about prices and about policymaking &mdash; is the best power we have to fight for what&rsquo;s right. So contact HHS, and let them know that these are great rules for patients, but they need to get these details right for them to work.</p> HeathFri, 6 Dec 2019 07:12:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumHow Long Will One Million Last in Retirement • Making Money HeathWed, 27 Nov 2019 08:11:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumBusiness Investment Surge Points to Trust in Strong Economy • Making Money HeathWed, 20 Nov 2019 10:11:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumRepublicans and Democrats Offer Rival Plans Regarding the Future of Health Care in America<p> Republicans and Democrats are offering very different views on what America&rsquo;s health care system should look like as the country heads into the 2020 election.</p> <p> Exit polling showed that health care was the top issue on a plurality of voters&rsquo; minds heading into the 2018 midterm elections,&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">NBC News</a>&nbsp;reported.</p> <p> Forty-one percent listed it as the issue most important to them, followed by immigration at 23 percent, the economy at 21 percent and gun policy at 11 percent.</p> <p> Health care promises to be among voters&rsquo; top concerns going into 2020 as well, especially with&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">prominent Democratic presidential candidates</a>&nbsp;like Sens.&nbsp;<a href=";download=1&amp;inline=file" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Bernie Sanders</a>&nbsp;of Vermont and&nbsp;<a href=";pgrid=71352540229&amp;ptaid=kwd-780689797147&amp;source=WFP2019-LB-NATL-GS-US-GEN&amp;subsource=71352540229-elizabeth%20warren%20campaign-e-367872843764&amp;refcode=WFP2019-LB-NATL-GS-US-GEN&amp;refcode2=71352540229-elizabeth%20warren%20campaign-e-367872843764&amp;utm_source=Google&amp;utm_campaign=WFP2019-LB-NATL-GS-US-GEN&amp;utm_term=elizabeth%20warren%20campaign-367872843764&amp;utm_medium=Search&amp;gclid=CjwKCAiAzanuBRAZEiwA5yf4uo_dYVoyFcwWlpnmNwNqqAjAdyv0dUDZ4S_KWRVxH6zlJfiaxR7O8hoCVGgQAvD_BwE" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Elizabeth Warren</a>&nbsp;of Massachusetts making &ldquo;Medicare for All&rdquo; a centerpiece of their candidacies.</p> <p> Other Democratic candidates, like former Vice President Joe Biden and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, have called for a public health insurance option.</p> <p> On his&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">website</a>, Biden&rsquo;s campaign describes the public option as being &ldquo;like Medicare.&rdquo;</p> <p> Meanwhile, Buttigieg&rsquo;s campaign has said he wants to achieve universal health coverage in the U.S. by making Medicare available to &ldquo;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">all who want it</a>.&rdquo;</p> <p> With a public option in the mix, the future of private insurance coverage in the country would be unclear, the&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Kaiser Family Foundation</a>&nbsp;reported.</p> <p> Depending on the structure of the public option, the impact would be to underprice and therefore undercut the private market.</p> <p> GOP Rep. Debbie Lesko of Arizona, who is a signatory to the Republican Study Committee&rsquo;s&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">health care plan</a>, told The Western Journal that the public options are &ldquo;just a pathway to get to Medicare for All.&rdquo;</p> <p> &ldquo;It just makes it sound better,&rdquo; she said.</p> <p> Critics of Medicare for All have noted the extremely high costs involved with the vast expansion of Medicare, which is already the nation&rsquo;s second-most-costly entitlement program, only trailing Social Security.</p> <div id="IC2-ad"> <p fl:fl-noexcerpt="true"> Advertisement - story continues below</p> </div> <p> According to the&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Congressional Budget Office</a>, approximately $582 billion went to pay for Medicare in 2018, while an additional $389 billion financed Medicaid, for a total of $971 billion in public health care spending, falling just $11 billion short of the Social Security total of $982 billion.</p> <p> The entire federal budget in 2018 was $4.1 trillion.</p> <p> Warren has&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">estimated</a>&nbsp;the cost of her plan to be $20.5 trillion over 10 years (more than $2 trillion per year), but an analysis by the&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Urban Institute</a>&nbsp;places the figure at approximately $34 trillion.</p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Hadley Heath Manning, director of policy with the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum</span></strong></span></span> and a senior fellow with the Steamboat Institute, sees problems beyond just the costs with&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Medicare for All.</a></p> <p> &ldquo;My number one concern is how it will impact Americans&rsquo; access to health care and the quality of health care that we receive,&rdquo; Manning told The Western Journal.</p> <p> She pointed to Canada&rsquo;s health care system as being most akin to what Sanders and Warren are proposing. Canada is notorious for having&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">long wait times</a>&nbsp;for medical care.</p> <p> &ldquo;I think it is a false promise that Americans will have equal access to high-quality health care under Medicare for All,&rdquo; Manning said. &ldquo;Medicare for All guarantees health coverage, but it doesn&rsquo;t guarantee health care.&rdquo;</p> <p> She referenced the Republican Study Committee&nbsp;plan released earlier this year as offering some strong reforms that would improve the country&rsquo;s health care system.</p> <p> The policy expert highlighted the proposal to greatly expand the size and purpose of health savings accounts as particularly promising.</p> <p> The RSC plan would expand tax-free dollars that employers and employees can contribute to HSAs from $3,500 to $9,000 for individuals and $7,000 to $18,000 for families.</p> <p> This money can then be used to purchase health care plans individually, thereby decoupling health insurance coverage from being directly paid for by the employer.</p> <p> This reform would make coverage portable, meaning when employees leave or lose their job, their health insurance can remain in place.</p> <p> &ldquo;You don&rsquo;t have to rely on your employer and you can take your plan with you if you jump between employers,&rdquo; Lesko said.</p> <p> The change will also mean those with pre-existing conditions will be protected from a gap in coverage.</p> <p> Additionally, the RSC proposal reforms the tax code so employer and individually purchased health care plans would receive the same tax-free benefit.</p> <p> The overall goal is to introduce more market forces, and thereby lower costs without lowering the quality of care.</p> <p> Lesko contended if&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Medicare for All</a>&nbsp;were adopted, &ldquo;Medicare as we know it would be gone. Medicare advantage would be gone and all the people that have employer plans would be gone.&rdquo;</p> <p> &ldquo;All existing health insurance would be gone and just be replaced with this one-size-fits-all, government-controlled health care plan,&rdquo; she added.</p> <p> Both Manning and Lesko would like to see the health coverage function like other insurance plans, such as home and auto, which are in place to handle unanticipated costs.</p> <p> &ldquo;We don&rsquo;t treat health insurance like insurance. Insurance is something that should be a backstop against financial costs, unexpected financial costs,&rdquo; Manning said.</p> <p> Under the Republican plan, annual checkups and other routine medical costs could be handled through health savings accounts or out of pocket.</p> <p> The Trump administration has taken&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">action at the executive level</a>&nbsp;to implement market-based and other reforms into the health care system.</p> <p> President Donald Trump announced last week two regulatory rule changes that make health care prices more transparent.</p> <p> &ldquo;We believe the American people have a right to know the price of services before they go to visit the doctor,&rdquo; Trump said in a White House&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">news release</a>.</p> <p> The first rule change requires hospitals to display prices for &ldquo;shoppable services as a total package in an easy-to-read, consumer-friendly format.&rdquo;</p> <p> A second proposed rule makes &ldquo;insurance companies and group health plans to provide cost estimates to enrollees in advance of care,&rdquo; the news release said.</p> <p> &ldquo;Armed with accurate information, patients can shop around for healthcare services and make the decision that is best for them,&rdquo; the White House said.</p> <p> &ldquo;By increasing price transparency and empowering patients we can help lower the cost of healthcare and drive competition.&rdquo;</p> <p> According to a Council of Economic Advisers&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">paper</a>&nbsp;put out by the White House, prescription drug prices are decreasing at rates not seen since the 1960s after increasing steadily throughout much of the Obama administration.</p> <p> <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Market Watch</a>&nbsp;reported in March that prescription drugs dropped 1.2 percent over the previous 12 months, which is the largest 12-month decrease since 1972.</p> <p> The Trump administration&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">credits</a>&nbsp;a record-high approval of generic drugs by the Food and Drug Administration last year for helping create competition that puts a downward pressure on drug prices.</p> <p> With&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">180 million Americans</a>&nbsp;currently covered through private insurance, voters clearly face a major decision going into 2020: Medicare for All, public option, the status quo or market-based reforms.</p> <p> How Americans choose clearly could have a profound impact on the health care received for decades to come.</p> <p> The Western Journal reached out to Warren and Sanders for comment. We will update the story if and when they respond.</p> HeathWed, 20 Nov 2019 07:11:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumUK wait times a warning over 'right' to see the doc<div> <p> The&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">report from the House of Commons,</a>&nbsp;published Oct. 16, examined the &ldquo;demand, performance and capacity&rdquo; of medical services in England through its National Health Service, a single-payer system that has served the public for approximately 80 years.</p> <p> According to the report, the waiting list for hospital treatment has jumped 40 percent over five years to a record level of 4.5 million waiting for a hospital bed.</p> <p> &ldquo;Cancer waiting times have risen,&rdquo; the report admits, to the point that the goal of treating people within two months of a referral &ldquo;has not been met consistently since 2013.&rdquo;</p> <p> &quot;They have problems pretty frequently,&quot; <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Hadley Heath Manning</span></strong></span></span> of the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Independent Women&#39;s Forum</a>&nbsp;says of the UK. &quot;They&#39;ve had problems related to women&#39;s health. They&#39;ve had problematic flu seasons where their hospital systems simply cannot accommodate surges in demand.&quot;</p> <p> The new NHS report hits at the same time Democratic presidential candidates are calling for &ldquo;free&rdquo; health care for Americans, vowing to crush insurance companies, and declaring the right to see a doctor without pay should be a legal right.</p> <p> &ldquo;Democrats believe that health care is a right, not a privilege<a href="" target="_blank">,&rdquo; the party website states,</a>&nbsp;&ldquo;and our health care system should put people before profits.&rdquo;</p> <p> The main face of the &ldquo;free healthcare&rdquo; push remains Sen. Bernie Sanders, who introduced his Medicare for All bill earlier this year and claims a majority of Americans, including Republicans, support it.</p> <p> \The UK and its NHS are&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">mentioned on a Sanders&rsquo; campaign website</a>&nbsp;&ndash; but not favorably &ndash; because the senator claims he doesn&rsquo;t support government ownership of hospitals and employment of its doctors and nurses, the website claims.</p> <p> Manning tells OneNewsNow the UK&#39;s health care system is a bureaucratic system that is not &ldquo;well-suited&rdquo; to overseeing health care.</p> <p> &ldquo;Which has to be responsive to the individual needs of millions of patients,&quot; she adds.</p> <p> According&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">to its own website,</a>&nbsp;England&#39;s free health care is not free: 80 percent comes through taxes and 20 percent is funded through National Insurance payments that come from employers, employees, and the self-employed.&nbsp;</p> <p> &quot;The NHS in England is funded mostly through general taxation and National Insurance contributions,&quot; the website summarizes. &quot;A much smaller proportion is collected through patient charges, for things like prescriptions and dentistry.&quot;</p> <div id="storyEditorsNote"> &nbsp;</div> </div> <div> <div data-description="An eye-opening report from the United Kingdom shows hospital wait times have skyrocketed in recent years, fueling warnings in the U.S. that “free” health care will literally kill you." data-title="UK wait times a warning over 'right' to see the doc" data-url="" style="clear:both;"> <div aria-labelledby="at-19d7eb4c-715c-4f88-aa7a-0adaade87c5e" id="atstbx2" role="region"> &nbsp;</div> </div> </div> <p> &nbsp;</p> HeathThu, 7 Nov 2019 08:11:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum