Health Reforms for Voters

Health Reforms for Voters

Chief among these is Obamacare reform to (1) let families have access to insurance that meets their medical and financial needs, instead of unaffordable deductibles and sky-high premiums; and (2) let families have access to the best doctors and the best hospitals, instead of narrow networks that deny them the care they need. More.

Medicare Prescription Drugs: A Case Study In Government Failure

Medicare Prescription Drugs: A Case Study In Government Failure

Bernie Sanders and other socialists think health care should be provided by the state. Their latest version of that idea is “Medicare for all.” How does Medicare stand up against private, free-market provision of similar services? Since Congress just acted on Medicare prescription drugs, let’s examine drug coverage in answering that question. More.

Ideas for the Fall Election: Seniors

Ideas for the Fall Election: Seniors

The election this fall was supposed to be a red wave. Now it looks like that may not happen.

The Republican problem today is no different than it was 50 years ago. Too many Republicans don’t believe in reforming institutions. They think their only role is to oppose whatever the Democrats are trying to do. Most conservative think tanks aren’t much better.

Yet in troubled times, voters want problems solved. Here are some suggestions for policy changes affecting seniors—the group of voters most likely to vote.

The IRA Bill: What’s Our Answer?

The IRA Bill: What’s Our Answer?

This may surprise some of you, but we have been unable to find a conservative/libertarian alternative to the Democrats’ proposals on Medicare prescription drugs. Yet, there are real problems that need solving. This morning at Forbes, John Goodman provides a first-of-its-kind analysis of why the Medicare prescription drug market doesn’t work as it should, and what can be done to correct those problems – with no new taxes, no new spending and no new impediments to the discovery of life saving drugs. More.

Here’s What’s Wrong With BBB Lite

Here’s What’s Wrong With BBB Lite

Obamacare is a flawed program that has made health insurance unaffordable and unattractive for millions of people. Instead of fixing these flaws with sensible (bipartisan) reforms that need not cost the taxpayers an extra dime, the new proposal would double down on a colossal mistake.

The Marriage Tax

The Marriage Tax

Young adults with low- or middle-income jobs pay a heavy price if they marry. When higher tax rates are combined with a reduction in welfare/entitlement benefits, the economic loss from marriage is equal to between one-and-a-half and two years of income, on average. More.

The Attack on America’s Best Health Plans

The Attack on America’s Best Health Plans

The Medicare Advantage program, by contrast, has enrolled nearly half of all eligible people and has satisfaction rates of 90 percent or higher. There are good reasons why the MA program works so well. More.

Why Do Progressives Support Democrats? Part I

Why Do Progressives Support Democrats? Part I

The words “progressive” and “Democrat” have become virtually synonymous in modern parlance. But did you know that the most important progressive reform ideas of the last half-century have not come from the left? They have come from Republican politicians and right-of-center intellectuals and think tanks. More.

Hidden Traps in the IRA Bill’s Drug Provisions

Hidden Traps in the IRA Bill’s Drug Provisions

In the near future, the elderly and the disabled will face a double whammy: higher premiums for Part D drug insurance and higher prices at the pharmacy. This is on top of negotiated prices (and the consequent drop in new drug production) which will kick in later in the decade.

John Goodman and Linda Gorman explain why this will happen in The Hill.

What Can We Learn from the Election?

What Can We Learn from the Election?

Before the election, the House Republican Study Committee released a document that was chock full of commendable reforms. But no one read it. More.

Is Social Security Sexist?

Is Social Security Sexist?

Theft is a strong word. So, take it from Social Security’s own Inspector General (IG), whose 2018 report estimates that Social Security wrongfully deprived over 13,000 widows and widowers of $132 million and counting! More

Ideas for the Fall Election: Seniors

Protecting Seniors from Inflation

Congress should do three things: (1) index the Social Security benefits tax, (2) let inflation indexed government bonds also index against inflation-induced higher taxes, and (3) let people exchange their non-indexed pensions for an inflation-indexed alternatives. More.

Your Home is a Great Hedge Against Inflation

Your Home is a Great Hedge Against Inflation

Buy now. Houses, like most physical assets, retain their real value during high inflation and have done far better than most such assets. Plus, if you buy a primary residence now and home prices fall, you won’t be affected unless you need to sell. As long as you have a stable job, can manage your mortgage, and don’t need to move anytime soon, a short-term drop in housing prices isn’t a concern.

More

Why “Testing to Treat” for Covid Isn’t Working

Why “Testing to Treat” for Covid Isn’t Working

We now have wonderful new drugs to treat COVID. Paxlovid, produced by Pfizer, is an example. But half of these medications aren’t being prescribed. Indeed, many go to waste, sitting on the shelves of pharmacies until their expiration dates. More…

Solution for Student Debt

Solution for Student Debt

Let students and parents borrow as well as refinance their loans at the prevailing Treasury’s 30-year bond rate. This policy coupled with the ability to discharge student loans in bankruptcy will end the student loan crisis. More

Money Magic – An Economist’s Look Into Personal Finance

Money Magic – An Economist’s Look Into Personal Finance

“Your World, Your Money sits down with bestselling author & Economics professor Laurence Kotlikoff to discuss his new release, “Money Magic,” an economist’s primer on personal finance for navigating career, retirement, loans, and more; challenging longstanding notions of economics and introducing base principles for pursuing financial security.”

Why Winning is Losing for Putin

Why Winning is Losing for Putin

Invading Ukraine has made him, his associates, and, indeed, his nation radioactive. Aeroflot can no longer land in any Western city. Western airlines are canceling flights to Russia. BP and Shell Oil are pulling out of Russia. AerCap, the world’s largest aircraft leasing firm is doing likewise. So are huge banks, including HSBC. Société Géneral, and Shinhan Bank. Even Disney has had enough. It’s pulling Batman from Russian theaters.

More Bad Advice or Social Security

More Bad Advice or Social Security

Social Security is once again sending out clearly false benefit statements. If the code generating the statements is generating actual benefit payments, millions of Americans may be receiving too little or too much in Social Security benefit payments. If you are receiving too much, you can expect to be billed for all past overpayments years later even though the mistaken overpayment was entirely Social Security’s fault.

Inequality has been Greatly Exaggerated

Inequality has been Greatly Exaggerated

A new study by Goodman Institute Senior Fellow Laurence Kotlikoff and his colleagues says that middle-aged families in the top fifth of the income distribution have almost 200 times the wealth of families in the bottom fifth.  But after taxes and entitlement transfers, the difference in lifetime spending power is only 7.5 to 1. Our fiscal system is far more progressive than critics like to admit. See the New York Times description and the technical paper.

We’re Not Saving Enough

We’re Not Saving Enough

Americans don’t save enough, either individually or collectively. Yet by looking at the wrong data, many journalists and even top economists are claiming we’re experiencing a “savings glut.” This is hogwash. It’s time to talk turkey about U.S. saving and for journalists and professionals to either do their homework or hold their pens. More

The Republicans Need Their Own Student Loan Reform. Here It Is.

The Republicans Need Their Own Student Loan Reform. Here It Is.

President Biden just canceled a mother-load of student debt. The income limit for the President's largess is $125,000 for individual borrowers and $250,000 for married and heads of households. Those below these limits received up to $10,000 in debt forgiveness. And...

Going Against the Grain

Going Against the Grain

In 1973, John Baden and Richard Stroup proposed selling off the U. S. Forest Service to private owners, some nonprofit and some for-profit. In an article in the Journal of Law and Economics, they argued that commercial timber would be better managed by private companies, and non-profit organizations like the Sierra Club could protect the important environmental areas.

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What’s Wrong with Planting More Trees?

What’s Wrong with Planting More Trees?

Planting trees to sequester carbon and prevent carbon dioxide emissions has become very popular (whether it is accomplishing much or not). Now the New York Times reports that the effort to save the world is causing local ecological harm by bringing in non-native species.

Don’t Worry about Greenland’s Melting Ice

Don’t Worry about Greenland’s Melting Ice

Greenland ‘s ice mass is melting—but more slowly than it did a decade ago, and its level right now is about the same as in the 1930s. But little of this information reaches the media or even the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)…

Why California Needs Higher Prices for Water

Why California Needs Higher Prices for Water

California’s extreme drought will force rationing of water or higher prices, say John McKenzie and Richard McKenzie. Raising water prices has a great advantage: “Higher water prices can increase the state’s available water supply—without additional rainfall or...

The Federal Reserve’s Accountability Deficit

The Federal Reserve’s Accountability Deficit

The Federal Reserve enjoys extraordinary independence from the elected branches of government, based on the well-founded fear that politicians cannot be trusted with the power to print money and manipulate interest rates.

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Goodman and Saving: Budget Deal’s Trillion Dollar Surprise

Goodman and Saving: Budget Deal’s Trillion Dollar Surprise

The most significant federal entitlement reform in our lifetime was a little noticed provision that Democrats included in the Affordable Care Act. The provision was a cap on Medicare spending, similar to the cap Republicans proposed for Medicaid last summer.

The Federal Reserve’s Accountability Deficit

Saving on CNBC: FED is holding 20% of federal debt

The Federal Reserve System is holding 20% of the federal government’s publicly held debt. It also is holding a lot of bank reserves. For every dollar of required reserves, banks have deposited $12 at the FED.

Tom Saving has a new book

Tom Saving has a new book

Tom Saving has a new book called A Century of Federal Reserve Monetary Policy: Issues and Implications for the Future.

Herrick: Future Pandemics Require Better Access to Primary Care

Herrick: Future Pandemics Require Better Access to Primary Care

When Americans become ill or have a health complaint, they often schedule an appointment with a primary care provider (PCP). PCPs are often the first line of defense in the battle against the onset of seasonal outbreaks of colds, flu or more serious problems like COVID-19.

Herrick: Could Free-Market Medicine Respond Better to Pandemics?

Herrick: Could Free-Market Medicine Respond Better to Pandemics?

Many people have come to believe that the only way to protect Americans against future pandemics is to turn over control of our health care system to the government. The folly of this view was apparent when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) utterly failed as the monopoly supplier of COVID-19 diagnostic testing kits. When the first cases appeared, about half of the test kits failed and replacements were slow in coming.

How Obamacare Made Things Worse for Patients With Preexisting Conditions

How Obamacare Made Things Worse for Patients With Preexisting Conditions

One of the strange features of the national health care conversation is how it has evolved. What is often referred to as Obamacare began as an attempt to insure the uninsured. In fact, the initial Congressional Budget Office estimates predicted the Affordable Care Act would be largely successful in doing just that. Yet it was the Senate’s Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer of New York, who identified the political problem with that goal early on. About 95% of those who vote already have insurance, Schumer noted. So Obamacare was promising to spend a great deal of money on people who don’t vote.

Response to Coronavirus Reflects Trump’s Plan to Radically Reform Health Care

Response to Coronavirus Reflects Trump’s Plan to Radically Reform Health Care

Critics of President Trump’s response to the coronavirus crisis characterize it as knee-jerk, spur-of-the-moment, and grasping at any straw within reach. In fact, many of the executive actions we have seen in the past few days reflect a new approach to health policy that has been underway almost since the day Donald Trump was sworn into office.

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Health Reform: There Is Something for Everyone to Love… and Hate

Health Reform: There Is Something for Everyone to Love… and Hate

Why is it controversial to expand the physician supply, creating more competition? Doctors oppose it, just like they oppose expanding the scope of practice for nurse practitioners. Doctors don’t want me to be able to see a nurse practitioner or physician assistant for a wart on my toe unless that NP/PA works for them.

How did doctors get so powerful? In the first half of the 20th Century, the American Medical Association (AMA) waged a largely successful battle to close medical schools that trained competing physicians. …. More than half of American and Canadian medical schools were closed….  Thus, the job of a physician was yanked out of reach of all but the smartest, most disciplined, wealthy elites.

The 60 Percent Solution to Reforming Healthcare

The 60 Percent Solution to Reforming Healthcare

Can we transform the entire health care system by empowering the roughly 60 percent of patients who are in private health plans? That’s the premise of a new book I just read by Todd Furniss (@TFurniss on Twitter). The author ofThe 60% Solution: Rethinking Healthcare, believes there are five major reforms necessary to empower patients and help them get better care at better prices. These include: (1) change governance, (2) modify health savings accounts (HSAs), (3) clear prices, (4) standardize accounting and information technology in the medical industry and (5) emphasize primary care.

What’s Behind the Vaccine Slowdown?

What’s Behind the Vaccine Slowdown?

What’s behind the slowdown in vaccinations? The consensus among experts is those not yet vaccinated either 1) don’t want the vaccine 2) harbor some doubts about vaccine safety or efficacy, or 3) simply lack the motivation to find vaccine providers and make an appointment. Vaccine hesitancy accounts for about one-third of adults. For example, the Kaiser Family Foundation ran a survey in April that found 15 percent of respondents who had not received the vaccine plan to “wait and see.” Another 6 percent will get vaccinated “only if required,” and 13 percent refuse to get the vaccine. 

Gorman in Forbes: Will Tax Reform Kill People?

Gorman in Forbes: Will Tax Reform Kill People?

You know you are in the silly season when the charges against sensible tax reform become more and more outrageous. The silliest and most outrageous is based on this causal reasoning: The Republican tax measure repeals the Obamacare mandate, requiring people to purchase health insurance; without the mandate, fewer people will insure; and without insurance, more people will die.

Congress Could Improve Health Care by Reforming the False Claims Act

Congress Could Improve Health Care by Reforming the False Claims Act

In a new Independence Institute working paper on the use and misuse of the False Claims Act (FCA), attorneys Mark W. Pearlstein and Laura McLane explain how an 1863 statute written to expose and punish Civil War contractors who billed for gunpowder and supplied kegs full of sawdust raises costs and threatens access to medical care.

ObamaCare is a success — at sucking vast sums of money from the private sector

ObamaCare is a success — at sucking vast sums of money from the private sector

In Washington, the healthcare debate isn’t about rescuing the people in the individual insurance market from ObamaCare’s high premiums and poor coverage. Nor is it about improving patient welfare, or reducing medical costs. It’s about using the “coverage for all” mantra to suck huge sums of money out of the private sector with ObamaCare taxes, premiums, and regulations.

ObamaCare is a success — at sucking vast sums of money from the private sector

Gorman: We can cover those with pre-existing conditions without Obamacare

There are many ways to provide medical care for people with pre-existing conditions. Real world experience shows that some work better than others. Properly structured stand-alone high risk pools and medically underwritten individual health policies guaranteed coverage for more than a decade before ObamaCare.

ObamaCare is a success — at sucking vast sums of money from the private sector

Linda Gorman Study: Obamacare Dollars Wasted

The percent of the population with private health insurance actually declined during the eight years of the Obama presidency, according to a study by health economist Linda Gorman.

Gorman: US Hospitals are Safer

Gorman: US Hospitals are Safer

A frequent criticism of US hospitals is the charge of excessive adverse medical events,  sometimes leading to avoidable deaths. How do our hospitals compare to hospitals in national health care systems? Quite well. The percent of patients who experience an adverse event is twice as high in Canada, three times as high in Britain and four times as high in New Zealand. 

Obama’s Foreign Failure

Obama’s Foreign Failure

The world hasn't lived up to his Pollyannaish expectations. Commentary by Pete du Pont August 27, 2013 Source: The Wall Street Journal Barack Obama entered the White House with the promise of restoring our nation's standing in the world. Suffering from war fatigue and...

Obama’s Foreign Failure

Second­-Term Nightmare

ObamaCare's chickens come home to roost. Commentary by Pete du Pont July 27, 2013 Source: The Wall Street Journal Talk about being between a rock and a hard place. The Obama administration and its allies in Congress are faced with the challenge of trying to convince...

Obama’s Foreign Failure

Obama’s Anti-­Energy Agenda

He threatens to cut off the fuel the economy needs. Commentary by Pete du Pont July 01, 2013 Source: The Wall Street Journal Not surprisingly, President Obama and Speaker John Boehner have different views on energy policy, differences brought into stark contrast by...

Obama’s Foreign Failure

Obama’s Scandalous Legacy

He has given Americans new reason to distrust the government. Commentary by Pete du Pont May 28, 2013 Source: The Wall Street Journal It's too early to tell if May will be remembered as marking the beginning of a failed second term for President Obama, but it is clear...

Obama’s Foreign Failure

Make Government Less Taxing

Our returns don't have to be this unhappy. Commentary by Pete du Pont April 26, 2013 Source: The Wall Street Journal Americans don't like things that are inefficient, costly or unfair. Our federal tax code seems designed to be all three, a failing exacerbated by a...

Obama’s Foreign Failure

Peace Through Strength: Still a Good Idea

Has Obama overcome his foreign­ policy naiveté? Commentary by Pete du Pont March 29, 2013 Source: The Wall Street Journal The domestic policies of the Obama administration evince a lack of understanding and experience in how an economy functions and grows. Things are...

Obama’s Foreign Failure

The Democratic Majority Is Doomed

The entitlement mentality can't survive a weak economy. Commentary by Pete du Pont March 01, 2013 Source: Wall Street Journal Many argue the coalition that elected and re-­elected Barack Obama represents a long-­term shift in the electorate that will determine...

Obama’s Foreign Failure

Big Bird Should Leave the Nest.

Romney was right about public broadcasting. Commentary by Pete du Pont January 31, 2013 Source: Wall Street Journal It's time to end the federal subsidy for public broadcasting. Doing so now would be good for President Obama, Congress and the American taxpayers. And,...

Obama’s Foreign Failure

Our Gravest Peril

ObamaCare? Stagnant economy? Crushing debt? Foreign ­policy fecklessness may trump them all. Commentary by Pete du Pont January 21, 2014 Source: Wall Street Journal America's most worrisome problem may not be the failed takeover of our healthcare system. It may not be...

Obama’s Foreign Failure

The Great Destroyer

ObamaCare wreaks havoc on health care, the economy, American freedom and Obama's presidency. Commentary by Pete du Pont November 25, 2013 Source:The Wall Street Journal Polls show an increasing majority of Americans dislike President Obama's health­care law and...

Obama’s Foreign Failure

The Left’s “Wars”

The Left’s “Wars” Commentary by Pete du Pont March 28, 2014 Source: The Wall Street Journal The midterm elections are just over seven months away and the left has unleashed its usual rhetoric about the Republican "war on women." It's baseless political pandering of...

Why Do Progressives Support Democrats? Part I

Why Do Progressives Support Democrats? Part I

The words “progressive” and “Democrat” have become virtually synonymous in modern parlance. But did you know that the most important progressive reform ideas of the last half-century have not come from the left? They have come from Republican politicians and right-of-center intellectuals and think tanks. More.

Hidden Traps in the IRA Bill’s Drug Provisions

Hidden Traps in the IRA Bill’s Drug Provisions

In the near future, the elderly and the disabled will face a double whammy: higher premiums for Part D drug insurance and higher prices at the pharmacy. This is on top of negotiated prices (and the consequent drop in new drug production) which will kick in later in the decade.

John Goodman and Linda Gorman explain why this will happen in The Hill.

What I Bet You Don’t Know About Poverty, Inequality And The Role Of Government

What I Bet You Don’t Know About Poverty, Inequality And The Role Of Government

Here are five surprising facts:

  • The U.S. welfare state has almost eliminated poverty in this country.
  • Over the last 75 years, income inequality has actually gone down, not up.
  • Since the end of World War II, income has steadily risen for every income group – with the greatest increase among the bottom fifth of the income ladder.
  • Over half of the population gains very little from working under the U.S. fiscal system – as taxable income replaces untaxed transfer benefits.
  • The U.S. has the most progressive fiscal system among all developed countries.

Health Reforms for Voters

Health Reforms for Voters

Chief among these is Obamacare reform to (1) let families have access to insurance that meets their medical and financial needs, instead of unaffordable deductibles and sky-high premiums; and (2) let families have access to the best doctors and the best hospitals, instead of narrow networks that deny them the care they need. More.

Medicare Prescription Drugs: A Case Study In Government Failure

Medicare Prescription Drugs: A Case Study In Government Failure

Bernie Sanders and other socialists think health care should be provided by the state. Their latest version of that idea is “Medicare for all.” How does Medicare stand up against private, free-market provision of similar services? Since Congress just acted on Medicare prescription drugs, let’s examine drug coverage in answering that question. More.

The Republicans Need Their Own Student Loan Reform. Here It Is.

The Republicans Need Their Own Student Loan Reform. Here It Is.

President Biden just canceled a mother-load of student debt. The income limit for the President's largess is $125,000 for individual borrowers and $250,000 for married and heads of households. Those below these limits received up to $10,000 in debt forgiveness. And...

Ideas for the Fall Election: Seniors

Ideas for the Fall Election: Seniors

The election this fall was supposed to be a red wave. Now it looks like that may not happen.

The Republican problem today is no different than it was 50 years ago. Too many Republicans don’t believe in reforming institutions. They think their only role is to oppose whatever the Democrats are trying to do. Most conservative think tanks aren’t much better.

Yet in troubled times, voters want problems solved. Here are some suggestions for policy changes affecting seniors—the group of voters most likely to vote.

Can There Be Too Many Trees?

Can There Be Too Many Trees?

Drought-resistant trees are replacing grasslands around the world, and, specifically in the western United States. This is a problem? More.

Economic Freedom IS good for the environment

Economic Freedom IS good for the environment

Yes, data from the Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy and the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World Index send a resounding message: Economic freedom brings about environmental protection. Why? Because economic freedom leads to prosperity and only prosperous countries can truly protect their environment. Are you skeptical? More.

Are US retirees foregoing large sums of Social Security benefits?

Are US retirees foregoing large sums of Social Security benefits?

90% of Americans are likely to benefit if they wait until age 70 to claim their Social Security benefits. Yet only 6% do so. If you add up the loss of benefits from these decisions over the remainder of a retiree’s lifetime, the typical retiree is leaving $182,370 (in present-value terms) on the table by claiming benefits too soon. More