Kotlikoff and Mina on Home Testing for Covid

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Goodman Institute Senior Fellow Lawrence Kotlikoff and Harvard epidemiologist Michael Mina say the new point of care test developed by Abbott Labs is the right test at the right time.

Here is the disappointment. To conform with government regulations, this test has to be administered in the presence of a medical professional (such as a nurse). That means its value will be limited to schools, large companies, hospitals, etc. It won’t be useful for people who most need to be tested. We don’t insist on having a nurse present when a woman conducts her own pregnancy test. How is a Covid test any different?

What we really need are 150 million tests a day. In the home. MORE

Solutions for Pre-Existing Conditions

Forbes

The best position on pre-existing conditions is not to argue that the problem is small, although it certainly is, writes John Goodman at Forbes. Our argument should be that many – perhaps most – people who come to the individual market with a pre-existing condition are worse off because of Obamacare than they would have been under the old system. And that there is a conservative approach that is much better. More

Goodman on Bidenomics

Forbes

There are a surprising number of illiberal proposals, including health insurance subsidies, Medicare enrollment for seniors who are wealthy and already insured, two years of free college – subsidizing the single greatest cause of income inequality. “The puzzle in all this is, Why? Why impose a whole slew of new taxes on the rich and then turn around and give them a whole slew of new benefits?” More

Health Care Briefing With Newt Gingrich

GoodmanInst-NanHayworthonMSNBC

Former Congresswoman Nan Hayworth, Newt Gingrich and I discuss healthcare in the next election and beyond. Newt has always been an outlier among Republican politicians when it comes to the topic of health care – aggressively searching for solutions instead of avoiding the subject. Watch my virtual briefing on Healthcare & the 2020 Election w/Newt Gingrich. More

Kotlikoff: We Are Not Saving Enough

On net, the U.S. is saving just 2.2 percent of our national income. By contrast, the nation’s saving rate was 7.6 percent in the 1980s, 10.3 percent in the 1970s, and 13.0 percent in the 1960s.

The main reason: government policies that take an ever-larger share of resources from young and give them to the old.

Unless baby boomers change their saving habits substantially and relatively quickly, they may experience much higher rates of poverty in their old age than what the current elderly are experiencing. More

The FDA is Preventing a Solution to Covid

Forbes

With paper-strip tests, Americans could test themselves every day in their own homes, at a cost of $1 to $2 per test. The government could even make the tests available for free. Unlike lengthy swabs and finger prick tests (which cause personal discomfort), paper strip testing involves no more than spitting into a tube or the use of a short nasal swab – with results in a few minutes. By contrast, the standard PCR test currently being used costs from $50 to $100 and sometimes more. Results can take more than a week – and that makes them virtually useless. Also, testing tends to be a one-time, irregular event. More

BofA Behaving Badly – Again

Forbes

Back in April, I wrote about Bank of America’s horrible handling of Payroll Protection Loans…. I received one email after another written by business owners who experienced the same nightmare. I then wrote a column, copying some of these emails, and calling on BofA President, Brian Monyihan, to listen to the truly awful manner in which he and his colleagues were treating his customers, many, like me, who had been customers for decades. More

A Manhattan Project for Covid

Forbes

Same-day, time-stamped cell-phone pictures … of negative test — tests, which were approved and supplied to everyone for free by Uncle Sam — would be required to enter the workplace, fly on an airplane plane, frequent a restaurant, enter a store, or attend a school, college, or university. If home tests weren’t perfectly precise, you’d likely need to show several days of negative test results. These requirements would be established by market players, not by government decree. More

Corporate Tax Reform that Pays for Itself

Republican tax reform could have been better. An ideal reform, originally proposed by Paul Ryan would have produced a of 20.5 percent increase in the nation’s capital stock and a 6.8 percent increase in GDP. Wages would have increased by 6.3 percent for high-income workers and by 7.5 percent for low-income workers. The reasons: a highly elastic global supply of capital, which moves across borders at the first sign of a tax advantage and the inefficiency of the U.S. corporate income tax, which, as of 2014, our year of calibration, had a very high marginal, but very low average tax rate. More

Herd Immunity

We often hear that there’s a tradeoff between saving lives and economic performance. In this case of COVID-19, there’s not. They go together. Reaching Herd Immunity may be the way to bring the economy and daily lives back to normal as soon as possible.