The Public Policy

The Public Policy

Exemptions, Navigators, and New Members

By 11.8.13

In a “good enough for thee but not for me” display of pure hutzpah, the AFL-CIO is demanding ever increasing exemptions from Obamacare, a law it championed and helped pass.

Kaiser Health News reported on Nov. 6 that the Obama administration may finally be granting one of the demands of its union benefactors. According to Kaiser, “buried in rules issued last week is the disclosure that the administration will propose exempting ‘certain self-insured, self-administered plans’ from the law’s temporary reinsurance fee in 2015 and 2016.”

What are these “self-insured, self-administered plans”? Many are union healthcare plans, of course.

The Public Policy

An Old ‘New’ Program

By 11.5.13

Who decides what is "substandard"?

The Public Policy

An ‘New’ Program

By 11.5.13

Like so many things that seem new, Obamacare is in many ways old wine in new bottles.

For example, when confronted with the fact that millions of Americans stand to lose their existing medical insurance, as a result of Obamacare, defenders of Obamacare say that this is true only when those people have "substandard" insurance.

Who decides what is "substandard"? What is older than the idea that some exalted elite know what is good for us better than we know ourselves? Obama uses the rhetoric of going "forward," but he is in fact going backward to an age when despots told everybody what they had better do and better not do.

Obamacare is old in yet another way. One of the fundamental reasons why private medical insurance has gotten so expensive is that politicians in state after state have mandated what this insurance must cover, regardless of what individuals want.

Insurance covering everything from baldness treatments to sex-change operations is a lot more expensive than insurance covering only major illnesses that can drain your life's savings. Now these mandates have moved up from the state to the federal level.

The Public Policy

Competition in American Education

By 10.30.13

Necessary but not always sufficient.

The Public Policy

Breaking the Third Rail

By 10.28.13

Entitlements are broken and a once-impossible debate over retirement is finally happening. But will it matter?

The Public Policy

BART’s Bogus Ride

By and 10.22.13

California looks like Britain in the 1970s.

The Public Policy

A Return to Keynes?

By 10.15.13

In the name of reducing unemployment Janet Yellen will keep unemployment high.

The Public Policy

Five Steps for a Larger Economic Pie

By and 10.14.13

A short, sweet, and simple recipe for economic growth and job creation.

The Public Policy

Five Steps for a Larger Economic Pie

By 10.11.13

Fewer than 100 years ago, as recently as 1929, federal, state, and local government in the United States taxed and spent only 10 cents out of every dollar, seven cents at the state and local level and three cents in Washington. Today Washington taxes and spends 25 cents out of every dollar (though 40 percent of this money is borrowed), and state and local government takes 15 cents, for a grand total of 40 percent of GDP. Add in compliance and out-of-pocket costs of federal regulations, estimated at $1.8 trillion annually, and government is costing us 50% of our income.

50 percent of GDP is well in excess of the 18 to 20 percent that economists and researchers worldwide consider the target for a nation that wants to maximize economic growth and job creation. The well-being of every citizen is enhanced and assured when economic growth is maximized: The larger the pie, the more there is for everyone.

Here are five kitchen-cleaning steps that must be taken before we can start serving a larger pie to all Americans.

The Public Policy

Countdown to the Implosion of Obamacare

By 10.4.13

When unions join with conservatives in criticizing legislation, something must be really wrong.