Category: campaignforliberty.org

This Week in Congress Update

S.J.Res. 54, which ends U.S. involvement in Yemen’s civil war, passed by a vote of 56-41.

Here are the 8 Republicans who voted for the resolution:

Susan Collins (ME)

Steve Daines (MT)

Jeff Flake (AZ)

Mike Lee (UT)

Jim Moran (KS)

Rand Paul (KY)

Todd Young (IN)

Before passing the resolution, the Senate defeated an amendment by Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton that allowed the U.S. military to intervene in Yemen to stop the Houthi from attacking targets outside Yemen.

That amendment was defeated 45-54. You can see the vote here.

Concerns have been raised that the resolution has an “Al Qaeda” loophole that allows continued U.S. military involvement in Yemen to fight Al Qaeda. This means all a president has to do is claim any intervention is somehow related to Al Qaeda. While this is a legitimate concern, the bill still represents a step forward in restoring a constitutional foreign policy. The way to address concerns about the Al Qaeda loophole is to get Congress to ensure it is not used to justify perpetual intervention in Yemen.

The “IMPROVE” Act, which is essentially yet another expansion of Medicaid, passed the House 400-11. Here are the eleven representatives who voted no:

Justin Amash (MI-03)

Andy Biggs(AZ-05)

Mo Brooks (AL-05)

Matt Gaetz (FL-01)

Tom Garrett (VA-5)

Paul Gosar (AZ-05)

Andy Harris (MD-01)

Jody Hice (GA-10)

Raul Labrador (ID-01)

Thomas Massie (KY-04)

Francis Rooney (FL-19)

Now a look at other suspension bills Congress considered this week:  

  1. 2736—Directs  the government to develop a comprehensive strategy for relationships with countries in the Indo-Pacific region. For example, the bill directs the president to “… establish a comprehensive, integrated, multiyear strategy to encourage the efforts of Indo-Pacific countries to implement national power strategies and cooperation with United States energy companies and the Department of Energy national laboratories to develop an appropriate mix of power solutions to provide access to sufficient, reliable, and affordable power in order to reduce poverty, drive economic growth and job creation, and to increase energy security in the Indo-Pacific region.” The bill authorizes spending $5 million dollars over five years.

It also directs the State Department to deploy personnel to promote democracy and human rights in the Indo-Pacific region and improve the access to freedom of information in North Korea. It authorizes $100 million dollars-to promote democracy and human rights.

 

The bill singles out China for democracy promotion and instituting a government to preserve Tibet’s cultural heritage as well as promote economic development and environmental conversation in Tibet.

This bill passed the Senate by unanimous consent and the House by voice vote.

 

H.R. 3008—Requires the Department of Interior to study making President George W. Bush’s childhood home a national monument and part of the national park service.

H.R. 6665-Amends the Outer Continental Shelf Act to include United States territories. This puts the submerged land 3 miles offshore under the U.S. Government’s jurisdiction and gives the Interior Department control over the use of the land—including whether or not to lease the land for oil drilling and other purposes. It also authorizes federal funds to prevent erosion of coral reefs.

  1. 245—Directs the Secretary of  Interior to assist Indian tribes in planning their energy resource development programs.
  2. 2511—Creates a process for the U.S. Government to acquire more “unmanned” maritime systems.

H.R. 6140—This bill directs the Department of Energy to develop and deploy high-assay low-enriched uranium for domestic commercial use and to develop a schedule for recovering costs associated with such development.

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This Week in Congress

The Senate has begun working on S.J. Res. 54, the resolution ending U.S. involvement in Yemen. The final votes will occur later today, after a “vote-a-rama” where senators can offer amendments as long as it deals with U.S. policy.

Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) is offering two amendments that actually further U.S. involvement in Yemen.

Campaign for Liberty members should call their U.S. Senators and tell them to vote for S.J. Res. 54 and against the Cotton amendments.

The resolution restoring the IRS’s ability to demand the names of supporters of groups like Campaign for Liberty passed the Senate yesterday by a vote of 50-49. All Democrats vote for it, while all Republicans but two voted no. Susan Collins (R-ME) voted yes, and Thom Tillis (R-NC) did not vote.

You can see the roll-call vote here.

The resolution now goes to the House, but it is less likely to be voted on before the end of the year. However, with the incoming Democratic majority committed to passing new First Amendment restrictions on individuals and groups like Campaign for Liberty—including a renewed attempt to force the DISCLOSE Act into law— we must stay alert AND prepare to fight this battle next year.

The House also hid a rule blocking a vote on our involvement in Yemen in the farm bill; it passed by a small margin of 206-203. Eighteen Republicans joined 185 Democrats in opposing the rule.

Some Republicans may have opposed the rule because of the way the farm bill was rushed to the floor (I’ll have more on the farm bill later).

The roll-call on the rule is available here.

Representative Thomas Massie (KY-4) delivered a fiery speech explaining how denying the ability of the House to consider any war powers resolution violates statutory law and the Constitution.

You can see Representative Massie’s speech, along with commentary from RPI Senior Fellow Adam Dick here.

Also in the House this week:

HRes  1091—Calls on the government of Burma to release imprisoned journalists, calls on the president to impose new sanctions on Burma, and calls for the U.N. ambassador to refer the Burmese government to the “appropriate  international mechanisms for prosecution.”

H.Res. 1157—Reaffirms U.S. support for Pacific Island nations, calls for continued efforts to “enhance the U.S. strategic position” in the region and “keep potential adversaries from establishing a beachhead” in the region. It also calls for enhanced cooperation on climate change. The resolution passed by voice vote, meaning it can and will be used to say the entire House is on record as favoring government action to assess climate change.

H.Res. 1162—Condemns recent Russian action in Ukraine and reaffirms U.S. commitment to provide financial and security assistance to Ukraine. This is another resolution showing Congress’ commitment to “Cold War 2”—and possibly a hot war with Russia.

H.Res. 1149-Proclaims the U.S.-South Korea alliance as the “lynchpin” of stability and calls for continued military involvement with North Korea and continued joint action to stop North Korea’s nuclear-power program. This resolution comes to the floor at a time when South Korea may be moving to improve relations with the North, regardless of what the U.S. thinks.

HR 6118—Requires the Department of Interior to designate at least one U.S. city a year as an “American Heritage” site. This may seem harmless but could be used to increase federal control of land.

 

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Oops Doing It Again

The congressional leadership is trying to ram through the $900 billion, 800 page farm bill this week. The Senate passed it yesterday and today the House is expected to vote on it.

The rule for the bill has a provision that would allow the House to avoid debating and voting on H.Con.Res 142, which ends U.S. involvement in Yemen. Campaign for Liberty members should call their Representatives and tell them to oppose the rule for H.Con.Res 142.

For more on the farm bill, see this coalition letter that Campaign for Liberty signed onto:

 

December 11, 2018

Dear Representatives and Senators,

We write on behalf of the millions of Americans we represent in all 50 states to urge you to reject a Farm Bill agreement that combines the worst elements of each bill while jettisoning the few incremental reforms that would have eliminated favors to special groups and industries. If lawmakers fail to come together to support meaningful reforms, especially to agricultural price support programs that are little more than corporate welfare masquerading as necessary aid, they should instead pass a one-year, clean extension and use such time to draft a new package.

The Farm Bill consistently stands out as one of Washington’s worst offenders when it comes to overspending and corporate welfare. This year is no different, as it is filled with wasteful, duplicative, and unnecessary spending. The lack of much-needed reforms only reinforces the perception that Congress has no interest in restoring fiscal responsibility to Washington.

To be clear, there were efforts to make substantive reforms to farm business subsidies, and those efforts deserve recognition. Several champions stepped forward with amendments to significantly improve both the House and Senate bills, from reforming the sugar program to including common sense reforms recommended by the Trump administration. Indeed, until now, every bill since 2002 has moved incrementally toward a more market-based approach to the farm safety-net that better protects taxpayers and is more responsive toward the needs of farmers. This year, conferees refused to take the principled stands necessary to rein in spending and redefine the Farm Bill as a vehicle for true safety nets instead of a tool for parochial handouts.

We, the signatories, find the below provisions to be especially objectionable:

Failing to focus farm programs on actual farmers. The agreement continues the practice of allowing so-called family farms to designate an unlimited number of individuals to receive subsidies for “actively managing” operations with no requirement they live or work on the farm.

Dramatically expanding the pool of potential abusers of the active management loophole by adding all first cousins, nieces, and nephews to the farm subsidy family tree.

Rejecting the Senate’s common-sense step of prohibiting agricultural businesses achieving an adjusted gross income exceeding $700K from receiving taxpayer subsidies.

Allowing agribusinesses to game the subsidy system by annually switching between the already vastly over budget ARC and PLC programs.

Planting dozens of parochial provisions from grants to the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center, to failed biofuels programs, to an agricultural checkoff program for natural stone.

Failing to implement reasonable reforms to the SNAP program, the most expensive part of the Farm Bill, that would have focused resources on those who most need them while helping put more Americans on the path to self-sufficiency.

To this point, the 2018 Farm Bill has been a huge missed opportunity. We urge lawmakers to consider the interest of Americans footing the bill and vote down the conference agreement in its current form.

Absent these reforms, we urge you to pass a one-year, clean extension of the Farm Bill and go back to the drawing board to root out the waste and corporate welfare that has become ingrained in this legislation. We stand ready to work with any lawmaker who will champion such reforms.

Brent Wm. Gardner

Chief Government Affairs Officer Americans for Prosperity

Norm Singleton

President

Campaign for Liberty

David McIntosh

President

Club for Growth

Jonathan Bydlak

President

Coalition to Reduce Spending

Tom Schatz

Pete Sepp

President

National Taxpayers Union

Caroline Kitchens

Director of Federal Government Affairs R Street Institute

Josh Sewell

Senior Policy Analyst Taxpayers for Common Sense

David Williams

President

Taxpayers Protection Alliance

President

Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

Jason Pye

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It’s a CRISIS!

I just learned that today the Senate will vote on legislation overturning the Trump administration’s regulation forbidding the IRS from demanding the names of Campaign for Liberty’s supporters.

The vote will be in just a few hours, so please call your senators NOW at 202-224-3121 and tell them to vote NO on S.J.Res. 64.

This resolution is nothing less than an attempt to empower the IRS to intimidate Campaign for Liberty’s supporters and force us to waste time and money fighting the agency.

For over four years, Campaign for Liberty waged a costly and time-consuming battle with the IRS over their demand that we surrender the names of our most loyal supporters. We thought we had won that battle when the Trump administration told the IRS to stop.

But now some statist senators are trying to override the Trump administration in an attempt to cripple the liberty movement.

It is no coincidence that this effort is being made at a time when Nancy Pelosi and her cronies are about to take over the House of Representatives.

Statists want the IRS to stop Campaign for Liberty from fighting Pelosi’s statist schemes to increase taxes, take away our guns, increase government surveillance, and implement a “Green New Deal” complete with a cap-and-tax system.

If this is successful, we may once again a have to divert limited resources toward fighting the IRS. Even if we win, we will still lose time and money that could have been spent defending the Constitution and working to pass pro-liberty legislation, including “Audit the Fed.”

So please call your senators at 202-224-3121 and tell them to vote no on S.J.Res. 64.

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Too Much Partisanship in Washington? No, Too Much Bipartisanship!

Washington is once again gripped by the specter of a government shutdown, as Congress and President Trump negotiate an end-of-year spending deal. A main issue of contention is funding for President Trump’s border wall. Sadly, but not surprisingly, neither Congress nor the administration is fighting to cut, or at least not increase, spending.

Federal spending has increased from 3.6 trillion dollars to 4.4 trillion dollars since Republicans gained control over both chambers of Congress in 2014. Some may try to defend congressional Republicans by pointing out that for two years the Republican Congress had to negotiate spending deals with President Obama. But federal spending has increased by 7.5 percent, or over 300 billion dollars, since Donald Trump become President.

A big beneficiary of the Republican spending spree is the military-industrial complex. Republicans have increased the “defense” budget by eight percent in the past two years. President Trump and congressional Republicans claim the increases are necessary because sequestration “decimated” the military. But Congress, with the Obama administration’s full cooperation and support, suspended sequestration every year but one, so the planned cuts never went into full effect. Congress and Obama also “supplemented” the official military budget with generous appropriations for the Pentagon’s off-budget Overseas Contingency Operations fund. Spending on militarism increased by as much as 600 billion dollars over the amounts allowed for under sequestration.

President Trump has proposed reducing the projected military budget for fiscal year 2020 to 700 billion dollars. This would be a mere two percent cut, yet the usual voices are already crying that this tiny reduction would endanger our security. If history is any guide, the military-industrial complex’s congressional allies and high-priced lobbyists will be able to defeat the president’s proposed reductions and convince President Trump to further increase the military budget.

This huge military budget has little or nothing to do with America’s legitimate security needs. In fact, as candidate Trump recognized, America’s military interventions in the Middle East have endangered our security by empowering terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda.

While the warfare state has been a big beneficiary of the Republican spending spree, the GOP has hardly neglected the welfare state. Domestic spending has increased seven percent since 2016. Except for a half-hearted attempt to repeal Obamacare and some food stamp reforms that were included in and then dropped from this year’s farm bill, Republicans have not made any effort to roll back or even reform the welfare state.

The farm bill, which Congress is expected to pass this week, will spend as much as 900 billion dollars over the next ten years. Much of that spending will be on taxpayer subsidies for wealthy farmers and even “farmers in name only.”

Trump’s budget deals have been supported by the majority of Democrats. Even those who have called for the president’s impeachment are more than happy to vote with him when it comes to increasing spending and debt. These Democrats are the mirror image of 1990s Republicans who made a big spending deal with President Clinton while simultaneously trying to impeach him.

We suffer from too much bipartisanship when it comes to the welfare-warfare state. This bipartisanship has resulted in a national debt that is rapidly approaching 30 trillion dollars. This will inevitably lead to a major economic crisis. The way to avoid this crisis is to replace the bipartisan welfare-warfare consensus with a new consensus in favor of limited government, peace, free markets in all areas including currency, and auditing then ending the Fed.

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Too Much Partisanship in Washington? No, Too Much Bipartisanship!

Washington is once again gripped by the specter of a government shutdown, as Congress and President Trump negotiate an end-of-year spending deal. A main issue of contention is funding for President Trump’s border wall. Sadly, but not surprisingly, neither Congress nor the administration is fighting to cut, or at least not increase, spending.

Federal spending has increased from 3.6 trillion dollars to 4.4 trillion dollars since Republicans gained control over both chambers of Congress in 2014. Some may try to defend congressional Republicans by pointing out that for two years the Republican Congress had to negotiate spending deals with President Obama. But federal spending has increased by 7.5 percent, or over 300 billion dollars, since Donald Trump become President.

A big beneficiary of the Republican spending spree is the military-industrial complex. Republicans have increased the “defense” budget by eight percent in the past two years. President Trump and congressional Republicans claim the increases are necessary because sequestration “decimated” the military. But Congress, with the Obama administration’s full cooperation and support, suspended sequestration every year but one, so the planned cuts never went into full effect. Congress and Obama also “supplemented” the official military budget with generous appropriations for the Pentagon’s off-budget Overseas Contingency Operations fund. Spending on militarism increased by as much as 600 billion dollars over the amounts allowed for under sequestration.

President Trump has proposed reducing the projected military budget for fiscal year 2020 to 700 billion dollars. This would be a mere two percent cut, yet the usual voices are already crying that this tiny reduction would endanger our security. If history is any guide, the military-industrial complex’s congressional allies and high-priced lobbyists will be able to defeat the president’s proposed reductions and convince President Trump to further increase the military budget.

This huge military budget has little or nothing to do with America’s legitimate security needs. In fact, as candidate Trump recognized, America’s military interventions in the Middle East have endangered our security by empowering terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda.

While the warfare state has been a big beneficiary of the Republican spending spree, the GOP has hardly neglected the welfare state. Domestic spending has increased seven percent since 2016. Except for a half-hearted attempt to repeal Obamacare and some food stamp reforms that were included in and then dropped from this year’s farm bill, Republicans have not made any effort to roll back or even reform the welfare state.

The farm bill, which Congress is expected to pass this week, will spend as much as 900 billion dollars over the next ten years. Much of that spending will be on taxpayer subsidies for wealthy farmers and even “farmers in name only.”

Trump’s budget deals have been supported by the majority of Democrats. Even those who have called for the president’s impeachment are more than happy to vote with him when it comes to increasing spending and debt. These Democrats are the mirror image of 1990s Republicans who made a big spending deal with President Clinton while simultaneously trying to impeach him.

We suffer from too much bipartisanship when it comes to the welfare-warfare state. This bipartisanship has resulted in a national debt that is rapidly approaching 30 trillion dollars. This will inevitably lead to a major economic crisis. The way to avoid this crisis is to replace the bipartisan welfare-warfare consensus with a new consensus in favor of limited government, peace, free markets in all areas including currency, and auditing then ending the Fed.

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WILL PAUL RYAN AND CO. DENY ANOTHER VOTE ON YEMEN?

Remember when the House leadership squashed a vote on a resolution ending US involvement in Yemen by removing it’s privileged status?

Well, the leaders of that resolution have reintroduced it as H.Con.Res.142 and I just heard from a friend on the Hill that the House leadership may pull the same trick and they may do it as early as Monday!

So, Campaign for Liberty members should call their Representatives and tell them to vote NO on any legislation that removes H.Con.Res 142’s privileged status!

 

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Worse Than Canada

If you’re still spooked by yesterday’s post on the horrors  of the UK’s socialized health care system then you may want to pass on today’s entry. Ryan McMaken of the Mises Institute looks at three ways that Bernie Sander’s “Medicare for All” plan is worse than Canada’a system of socialized medicine:

One: It’s Decentralized

As many observers of the Canadian healthcare plan have noted, Canada doesn’t have one government healthcare system. It has 13: one for each territory and province. Since the beginning, the Canada Health Act, including its subsequent revised versions, places much of the control over healthcare coverage at the provincial level. In other words, the “details of how each system operates, including what is covered and how, is determined provincially.”

The federal mandate means that provinces must cover “medically necessary” hospital services and services performed by a doctor. This may sound pretty comprehensive, but what is “medically necessary” is usually defined at the provincial level. Moreover, what is defined as medically necessary can be — and has been — changed to lessen the number of procedures covered by the state. This, in effect, puts that procedure or product into the realm of the private sector.

And there are some big holes in coverage in government healthcare in Canada that may surprise advocates for “socialized medicine” in America. In Canada, patients must rely primarily on private insurance for prescription medications, dental care, physiotherapy, ambulance services, prescription eyeglasses and other procedures deemed to experimental to too costly to be covered by government facilities. Moreover, long-term care is “practically invisible at the federal level,” and, “the majority of mental health services do not meet the eligibility requirement of ‘medically necessary.’ Unless received in a hospital, psychological services must be paid for out-of-pocket or covered by private third-party insurance.”

All the territories and provinces have added coverage beyond the federal mandates, of course, but they remain free to undo these policies as well. After all, expanded coverage puts a burden on local budgets. And provincial governments have neither the ability to print money or — thanks to the realities of tax competition — raise taxes endlessly.

Two: A Limited Scope of the Federal Act Allows for Ways to Control Costs

Needless to say, the fact prescription drugs, mental health services, and long-term care are not covered by federal mandate would be considered scandalous by the authors of the Bernie Sanders plan. They demand that everything from an annual eye exam to a physical-therapy session be covered by US taxpayers right down to the last dime.

The Canadian left has criticized their own system for this limited scope, too, with occasional calls for new reforms to expand federally-mandated coverage. But, so far, this has not happened.

Part of the reason it hasn’t happened is that provinces and the federal government are, in fact, limited by the realities of government budgets. While many Americans perceive government spending to be an utterly limitless and non-scarce resource, other countries such as Canada don’t live in a world where new money can be endlessly created so long as the money remains the world’s reserve currency. The Canadian dollar, of course, isn’t the world’s reserve currency and massive government deficits do present an actual problem for the Canadian state. Thus, medical procedures are sometimes declared not medically necessary, and prescription drugs — a potentially huge burden on government budgets — have never received received blanket coverage.

This version of “universal” healthcare falls far short of what Bernie Sanders and his supporters imagine, but it’s also the reason that Canada is not on the brink of a sovereign debt crisis, or burdened by massive debt payments, as in the US and much of Western Europe.

Three: There Is at Least Some Room for a Private Sector

The limited nature of mandatory coverage allows for some breathing room for a private sector — in drugs, in mental health, and in whatever is not deemed medically necessary. In Canada, nearly one-third of healthcare transactions are financed by private sources, which is higher than most countries with “universal” health systems.

Unfortunately, there are draconian limits on what the private sector can offer if the procedure is indeed listed as necessary. This means the private sector can’t simply set up shop offering parallel hospitals or even basic diagnostic services. Part of the rationale for this has been political, because it is believed that the mere availability of parallel private medical services is “unfair.” Another rationale is economic: policymakers fear all doctors would flock to the private sector, thus driving up the price of doctors for the “public” hospitals. As Canadian historian Ronald Hamowy notes, there has thus been opposition to allowing even small clinics performing diagnostic services like MRI scans. This, it was argued, would allow rich people to “jump the queue.”

It is not a surprise, of course, that the size and speed of “the queue” is an issue in a healthcare system where wait times for a wide variety of treatments can frequently total 20 weeks (or more). This is a direct result of the prohibition on parallel private services. Some people die waiting for their medically necessary services, which is why some governments, such as Australia, have attempted to increase access by allowing parallel private insurance. And its why some Canadians are now suggesting a two-tier system in healthcare.

The prohibitions on market care, after all, are what makes a healthcare system “single payer.” It means there can only be a single payer (the government) for certain services — primarily so that government policymakers can have total control over pricing.

In this respect, though, the Canadian system is “single payer” only in cases of what is deemed “medically necessary.” Everything else becomes a part of a multi-payer system, either public or private.

Things would hardly improve though, if Canadian coverage were to move in the direction of the Bernie Sanders plan. On the contrary, flexibility would be greatly diminished and consumers would have fewer choices. As the Sanders plan is far more extreme than the Canadian plan in terms of making itself a strictly single-payer system, nearly all medical services under the plan would be allowed only within the public sector, and private services in nearly every area of care would become either illegal or very rare.

Naturally, the Bernie plan doesn’t say this is the outcome of their plan. But it’s a likely outcome.

Read the whole  piece here.

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Health Care Horror

Writing about health care in the UK, Sally Pipes of the Pacific Research Institute, writing in Forbes magazine, details some horror stories from the UK. What is terrifying is how many Americans want to bring this horror to our shores:

Vacancies for doctor and nurse positions have reached all-time highs. Patients are facing interminable waits for care as a result. This August, a record number of Britons languished more than 12 hours in emergency rooms. In July, the share of cancer patients who waited more than two months to receive treatment soared.

                            …..

The NHS has struggled to fully staff its hospitals and clinics since its inception in 1948. But today, the shortages are growing worse. Nine percent of physician posts are vacant. That’s a shortfall of nearly 11,500 doctors.

The NHS is also short 42,000 nurses. In the second quarter alone, nurse vacancies increased by 17 percent. Meanwhile, in the United States, nearly all states will have a surplus of nurses by 2030.

It’s unsurprising that people don’t want to work as nurses in Great Britain; it’s a stressful job, with long hours and terrible working conditions. Some NHS nurses are taking positions at supermarkets because stacking shelves comes with better hours, benefits, and pay, according to a report in the London Economic.

Consider one nurse’s letter explaining why she quit the profession. She described horrific working conditions. Medical professionals worked 12-hour shifts with little time for necessities like bathroom breaks or food. Managers felt they couldn’t do anything to change unsafe conditions created by overcrowded hospitals. “You cannot safely practice under such conditions,” she wrote. “Mistakes will be made and people will be harmed, some fatally.”

The shortage of providers has resulted in longer wait times for patients. In May, 4.3 million people in the United Kingdom were on waiting lists for surgery, a 10-year high. Adjusting for population, that would be like having everyone in the state of Florida on waiting lists. Roughly 3,500 British patients have been on hospital waiting lists for more than a year.

More than one in five British cancer patients waits longer than two months to begin treatment after receiving a referral from a general practitioner. In Scotland, fewer than 80 percent of patients receive needed diagnostic tests — endoscopies, MRIs, CT, scans and the like — within three months.

These delays are deadly. An analysis that covered just half of England’s hospitals found that almost 30,000 patients died in the past year while waiting for treatment — an increase of 57 percent compared to 2013.

In some cases, the NHS has refused to provide treatment at all. In June, NHS England said that it would discontinue coverage of 17 procedures, including tonsillectomies and knee arthroscopies for osteoarthritis patients.

Even when patients receive treatment, the quality of care is poor. Patients in British hospitals are four times more likely to die than in U.S. hospitals, according to an analysis of outcomes from 2,000 similar surgeries conducted by researchers from University College London and Columbia University in New York. Among the more severely ill patients, the disparity was worse; the sickest Brits were seven times more likely to die.

                        ….

NHS defenders claim that the system’s poor results are the inevitable result of underfunding. Yet spending on health care in the United Kingdom has more than doubled in the past 18 years, after adjusting for inflation.

The problem is one of supply and demand. Single-payer systems offer “free” care, so patients have no incentive to moderate their demand for care. But government cannot procure enough supply to meet that demand without bankrupting taxpayers. Government officials’ only option is to ration care.

Read the whole thing here.

If the horror of UK health care is too scary, read Chris Jacobsarticle on President Trump’s expansion of Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRA)

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This Week in Congress

The House has canceled all votes for the week because of the funeral of President George H. W. Bush. They will be passing a one-week continuing resolution to keep the government open while they work on finalizing the spending bills for the year. The big sticking point is funding for President Trump’s proposed border wall. I doubt that whatever deal is voted on is likely to decrease spending.

As of this writing, it is unclear when the Senate will debate and vote on S.Res. 54 which ends the U.S. involvement in Yemen. Campaign for Liberty members should call their Senators and tell them to vote for S.Res. 54.

In addition to the spending bill and farm bill, the Senate will consider nominations. One nomination that will be up is Kathleen Kiraninger as Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. You can read more about Krainiger  and efforts from the CFPB here and here.

In addition to the spending bill, Congress is also expected to debate the farm bill conference report. The bill does not contain the SNAP (food stamps) work requirements but does contain the House version of the bill. It also increases  subsidies. It also allows nephews and nieces of farmers to receive subsidies if they participate in “active management” of the farm, even if they never actually do any real farming. So if you discussed farming with your far uncle or aunt, you can get a check. The bill also does nothing to limit subsidies to wealthy farmers. In fact, it makes it easier for farmers to game the system for the maximum amount of subsides.

One good thing in the bill is it legalizes the use of hemp, a cause long championed by Ron Paul and Campaign for Liberty.

Here is a good article on the Farm bill from Daren Basket of the Heritage Foundation.

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