Shortly after the US House of Representatives passed its latest iteration of health care reform, President Donald Trump said that Australia has “better health care than we do.”
The bill is actually a step toward the Australian ‘universal’ health system.
White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders clarified that Trump did not intend to suggest that he favors shifting to an Australian-style system, but was merely complimenting an ally. As Sanders explained, “[w]hat works in Australia may not work in the United States.”
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Last week, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions met to consider legislation that would reauthorize the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) user fee programs. These programs make up a large part of the agency’s budget. This process will continue over the next several weeks.
Earlier this month, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce also held a hearing to consider improvements to the regulation of medical technologies. This will most likely become a part of the reauthorization legislation. While an admirable goal, the true goal that policy makers should pursue is to create an environment in which innovation and entrepreneurship can thrive with as few barriers as possible.
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As House Republicans revive a revamped Affordable Care Act replacement bill with more support from the libertarian wing of the Republican party, Republicans and Democrats have gone back-and-forth over the impact of the bill on people with pre-existing conditions. As The New York Times noted in a recent review of each party’s claims, both have played fast and loose with their evaluations of the policy. Republicans have overstated the degree to which the bill protects those with pre-existing conditions, and Democrats have overstated the negative effect it might have on the same group.
Health insurance policy is notoriously complicated, and both liberal and conservative policy experts disagree on how to unravel a 50-year-old mess created by bureaucracy and bad bills.
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