Archive for May, 2014

Obamacare’s War on Women’s Health

Friday, May 16th, 2014

Originally posted at The Daily Caller

Brace yourselves — it’s National Women’s Health Week! I hope you’ve been watching the Washington elite extoll Obamacare’s alleged virtues to mark the occasion. As they congratulate themselves, they’ll surely ignore how condescending it is to equate female empowerment to government dependency. Expect them to also gloss over the fact that a program supposedly designed to help womenhas banned the health insurance millions of us depended on and made access to care more expensive.

Ironically, the political class expects women to submissively believe that Obamacare is all unicorns and rainbows. But in my case, I’m among the countless women notified that my insurance policy is now illegal thanks to Obamacare. Please, disproportionately male politicians, forgive my naïve feminine skepticism when you tell me how great this law is.

I know it’s not just me – millions of women admire the trailblazing feminists who stood up against oppressive government to fight for equality. Today however, this legacy is tarnished by those who use the force of law to limit women’s health care options. In the spirit of National Women’s Health Week, let’s explore how the latest iteration of this war on choice is impacting women – especially those of us who happen to be Millennials.

– Obamacare increases out-of-pocket medical costs for women: Due to the fact that Obamacare plans feature high deductibles, women are disproportionately hit with higher out-of-pocket costs. This is because females generally require more medical care than our male counterparts. In fact, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women age 18 and older visited the doctor an average of 121 times more than men in 2010. Couple that with monthly premium payments that have risen an average 193 percent for the typical 30 year old woman, and you find that Obamacare is anything but affordable.

– Obamacare leaves working women with fewer hours and insurance options: One of the most damaging provisions in Obamacare is the employer mandate. Well-intentioned as it may be, forcing businesses with 50 or more employees to purchase medical coverage for employees that work 30 hours or more hurts a company’s bottom line. This unrealistic mandate doesn’t magically create more insured people – but it does force businesses to move more employees to part-time schedules. This has a negative effect on women, because 57 percent of part-time workers are female. When companies are forced to cut hours and there’s more competition for part-time work, women, especially single mothers, suffer. Additionally, Obamacare hurts working wives who used to be eligible for coverage under their husband’s health insurance, but no longer are.

– Obamacare limits women’s access to the doctors of their choice: In a failed effort to control costs, Obamacare plans are designed to have narrow doctor networks. This is particularly problematic for women who develop life-long relationships with their specialists, and especially their children’s doctors. If you liked your doctor before you signed up for Obamacare, good luck. Obamacare limits your access to the medical care you want in the name of “affordability,” all while there’s no actual market in health care with transparent prices that allow women to make informed decisions for themselves and their families.

Ultimately, the federal government simply cannot centrally manage the health care of 313.9 million Americans. Women should be empowered to make their own choices absent government mandates that limit our access to health care and negatively impact our economic prospects. Unfortunately, in that regard, Obamacare is a step in the wrong direction. The good news is that an educated female electorate can push for the right kind of change, which will empower us as informed individuals rather than forcing us to be part of a faceless government collective.

Women’s health care should be about options, access, and price transparency. The more government strangles choice and innovation, the less we’ll have of all three. During National Women’s Health Week, let’s promote women as the knowledgeable, self-reliant people we are, and finally put an end to the outlandish idea that government control is empowerment.

The Texas GOP’s Lieutenant Governor Runoff Race

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

The runoff between Dan Patrick and David Dewhurst, the two remaining GOP Lieutenant Governor candidates in Texas is May 27th. Neither choice is ideal, and both are running what, in my opinion, are lackluster campaigns. Nevertheless, liberty-minded Republicans (including my original choice for Lt. Governor Jerry Patterson) are leaning toward  the current Lt. Governor, David Dewhurst, which I sympathize with despite prior wounds from the last Texas Senate race in which Dewhurst was a candidate.

Looking back to 2012, I was a hardcore Ted Cruz supporter during the Texas Senate primary. I certainly engaged in my share of Dewhurst bashing at the time. Some of it I regret in light of finally interacting with the Lieutenant Governor (I wish he’d been more accessible to the grassroots back then, as it would have served him well. He’s a very likable man in small group settings).

What I stand by however, is the fact that the Dewhurst campaign released some really classless ads against Cruz. Despite preferring Dewhurst over Patrick in the current Lt. Gov runoff by a significant margin, I’ve been quite vocal about the fact that I’m still having a hard time getting over many of those ads. Especially the not-so-subtle race baiting “Cruz supports amnesty” one.

However, one of the reasons I’ve chosen Dewhurst over Patrick despite my concerns is because I’ve never heard the Lieutenant Governor personally use the divisive rhetoric that, unfortunately, his Senate campaign was reduced to utilizing in the aforementioned attack ad. Sadly, I cannot say the same of State Senator Patrick, who regularly engages in insensitive commentary, handing ready-made talking points to Battleground Texas operatives.

But now, I find myself frustrated yet again by the tone deafness of Dewhurst’s campaign, despite my new-found appreciation of his reasoned approach to accomplishing legislative goals in his current role. The recently released “Dannie Goeb” parody of a song from “Frozen” is just bizarre, and is rightfully getting made fun of across the internet. Instead of focusing on the serious problems with Dan Patrick (and there are many), Dewhurst’s campaign is choosing to highlight the fact that Patrick changed his name, and has appeared in public shirtless.

The overall level of discourse in this race has been a disappointment to me. I know that attack ads are more effective than positive ones, and I don’t have a fundamental problem with going negative. But the “Frozen” ad reeks of desperation, and makes it look like there’s nothing substantive to criticize Patrick on, which is simply false. That being said, I’m still supporting David Dewhurst despite wondering what goes on in the man’s mind when he OK’s ads that go out under his name.

Another relevant point is to remind Ron Paul supporters outraged over his recent endorsement of Dewhurst that this is nothing new. Dr. Paul has been endorsing less than ideal politicians longer than those of us who jumped on the bandwagon in 2008 and 2012 have been alive. Sometimes, he actually exercises a bit of political savvy, and thinks about the the long-term impact of certain races. It’s much better to keep Dewhurst in a position he’s held for quite some time after he’s demonstrated that he can’t move much higher than to provide someone like Dan Patrick, who makes Dewhurst look like a saint, an upward trajectory.

Google Hangout with Senator Rand Paul

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

I recently sat down with Generation Opportunity’s President Evan Feinberg and Senator Rand Paul at Google’s headquarters in Washington DC to discuss electronic privacy reform and how we can protect the Fourth Amendment.