What’s Behind the Flu Vaccine Shortage

The start of another flu season has found Americans facing a shortage of influenza vaccine. Although nearly 60 million flu shots will be available, vaccination is recommended for 185 million people at risk for complications. In a typical year, less than one-third of the U.S. population receives flu shots. Fortunately, since influenza is a contagious disease, it is not necessary to vaccinate everyone in order to stop widespread epidemics, or even to limit vaccinations only to those who are at risk. However, when there is a shortage, many people will seek the vaccine who might not otherwise have bothered.

Social Security Truths

As the 2004 presidential campaign enters the final stretch, Democratic nominee John Kerry rolled out the tired election-year charge that his Republican opponent plans to cut Social Security benefits.

Kerry’s Energy Plan: Inconsistent, Expensive, Leaving America Less Secure

Sen. John Kerry's (D-Mass.) energy plan promises to reduce energy prices, maintain diversity of supply while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improve our domestic energy security. However, his goals are contradictory and implementation will be expensive. Ultimately, Kerry's energy policy is a hopeless muddle, and would result in less energy security and higher fuel costs.

The Promises and Perils of European Union Membership

On May 1, 2004, the European Union absorbed 10 new members, comprising 250,000 square miles, 80 million citizens and $444 billion in gross domestic product (GDP) – the largest expansion in territory, population and wealth ever achieved by a government in peacetime.

How Will We Pay for Social Security and Medicare?

Social Security and Medicare are making future promises much greater than the taxes that will be collected at current rates. Unfortunately, some policymakers seem to be intent on making the problem worse, not better. Reforms are needed that create more saving today for retirement and increase the nation's capital stock.

Shopping for Drugs: 2004

Seniors, the uninsured and others who pay for prescriptions out of pocket are looking for ways to cope with rising drug costs. While many seniors can lower their drug bills by using the new Medicare discount drug cards and the new subsidies for low income retirees, every patient interested in saving money on drug therapy should consider a common-sense solution: smart shopping.

Kerry Health Plan: Is It Worth the Cost?

Sen. John Kerry has proposed a plan to radically transform the U.S. health care system. The plan has one overriding goal: to reduce the number of the uninsured. Yet roughly two-thirds of the spending under the plan is devoted to subsidizing the cost of health insurance for those who already have coverage. As a result, the plan is very expensive in terms of what it attempts to achieve.

Kerry Health Plan: Who Will Pay?

Sen. John Kerry has a plan to radically change the U.S. health care system. If he is successful, millions of middle-income families will be enrolled in Medicaid, the federal-state health program for the poor. Millions more will get their insurance through a system of managed competition modeled after the federal employee's health system and similar to what Hillary Clinton proposed more than a decade ago. Most people would not be able to continue in the private health plans they have today.

Kerry Tax Plan: “Them” versus “Us”

A key element of the John Kerry-John Edwards campaign is an us-versus-them theme – where "us" are the poor and middle class and "them" are the greedy rich -famously characterized by Edwards as "Two Americas." The Democrats' message clearly implies that the rest of us would somehow be better off if the rich were worse off.

New Evidence: Drug Prices Are Lower In U.S.

A federal task force report issued this week confirms research by the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) proving that patients can save more on prescription drugs by becoming smarter shoppers rather than importing them from Canada.