In an interview with conservative talk show host Michael Savage on “The Savage Nation” on November 2, 2015, then presidential candidate Donald Trump suggested he would clean out the bureaucracy in the National Institute of Health.
Savage, who has a PhD in nutritional ethnomedicine from the University of California, Berkeley, told Mr. Trump, “When you become President, I want you consider appointing me to head of the NIH. I will make sure that America has real science and real medicine again in this country because I know the corruption. I know how to clean it up and I know how to make real research work again.”
Mr. Trump responded to Savage, one of his earliest supporters after he announced his candidacy, by saying, “Well you know you’d get common sense if that were the case, that I can tell you because I hear so much about the NIH and it’s terrible.”
Since taking office, President Trump has retained key members of the medical establishment, particularly Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has lead the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (part of the NIH) since 1984, serving under every U.S. President since Ronald Reagan.
Dr. Savage is still an influential talk radio host, as well as a New York Times Bestselling author. In 2016, he published Diseases without Borders: Boosting Your Immunity Against Infectious Diseases from the Flu and Measles to Tuberculosis.
In late March, President Trump appointed him to serve on the board of directors of the Presidio Trust, an organization dedicated to preserving a historic park and former U.S. military fort on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula in San Francisco. His term expires May 4, 2023.
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Elizabeth Warren Acknowledges Unintended Consequences of Obamacare
Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a longtime supporter of the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, is now acknowledging the unintended consequences of the healthcare legislation, particularly its impact on industry consolidation and rising healthcare prices.
Warren, who has been a vocal proponent of Obamacare, has recently had what the Wall Street Journal reported as an “epiphany” regarding the consequences of the healthcare law. In a letter addressed to the Health and Human Services Department inspector general, Warren, along with Senator Mike Braun of Indiana, expressed concerns about vertically-integrated healthcare companies potentially increasing prescription drug costs and evading federal regulations.
According to reports from Fox News, the bipartisan letter highlighted issues with the nation’s largest health insurers allegedly bypassing Obamacare’s medical loss ratio (MLR). According to Warren, these insurers, through vertical integration, have manipulated the system, leading to “sky-high prescription drug costs and excessive corporate profits.”
The senators detailed how conglomerates, like UnitedHealth Group, with ownership across various healthcare sectors, could inflate medical payments to pharmacies and, by realizing those payments on the pharmacy side, appear to comply with MLR requirements while retaining more profits.
Moreover, despite the Democrats’ argument that the MLR would benefit patients, it has incentivized insurers to merge with or acquire pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), retail and specialty pharmacies, and healthcare providers. This, in turn, has made healthcare spending less transparent, as insurers can allegedly shift profits to their affiliates by increasing reimbursements.
Warren, who has consistently voted against Obamacare repeal efforts, notably advocated for a “Medicare for All” proposal during her 2020 presidential campaign. Despite her prior support for the healthcare law, Warren’s recent concerns about its unintended consequences have raised questions about the long-term effects of Obamacare and its impact on the healthcare industry.
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