Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has done some innovative thinking on how to reform the health care system. The Cuban plan is similar to an idea once proposed by Milton Friedman and also by Harvard economist Martin Feldstein. In a nutshell, people would be responsible for medical bills up to a certain percent of their income, and government would pay everything above that. In other words, people would pay ordinary bills out-of-pocket, and government would provide catastrophic coverage for the large bills. More
The intellectual collapse of liberalism and conservatism at the end of the 20th century created space that the cancel culture moved quickly to occupy. The world of ideas abhors a vacuum. Absent the traditions bequeathed to us by the Enlightenment and the Age of Reason, the cancel culture was only too willing to serve up irrationality and unreason. More
What about Joe Biden’s promise that the next big spending bill won’t cost anyone a dime if they make less than $400,000? All economists think that the corporate income tax is partly paid for by lower wages for workers. The only question is: How much of the cost is born by labor? Larry Kotlikoff and his colleagues, using the most sophisticated model of international financial flows that exists, have concluded that the full burden of the corporate income tax falls on workers. Not just in this country. But in every country. The editorial board of the Wall Street Journal says they agreed with him. More
John Goodman was the first person to note that health plans would respond to Obamacare incentives by imposing high deductibles (three times what is normal for employer plans) and narrow networks (as bad or worse than under Medicaid). Along with Boston University economist Laurence Kotlikoff, he has now proposed simple, straightforward reforms to both problems in an editorial published in The Hill. More
Suppose Congress were considering a bill that would do the following: either your employer must double your wage or fire you. Is that the kind of law you would like to see passed? Most people wouldn’t. But then why are they willing to inflict the same threatening edict on those at the bottom of the income ladder?
William F. Buckley is best known for promoting a fusionist approach on the right – uniting traditionalists and classical liberals in a common cause — especially in National Review. Yet in the latest post at National Review, Buckley’s former debating partner, John C. Goodman says this approach is not working. Those who believe “We should stand athwart history yelling stop” have no appeal for the young, he says. “They generate none of the energy and enthusiasm needed for a successful political movement.”
Goodman says conservatives should focus instead on reforming institutions, liberating people and making the world a better place. “The classical liberals were reformers,” he says.” To be successful, modern conservatives must follow in their footsteps.”
More than 80 million people have some kind of savings account targeted for health care. But the system needs reform:
· By law, seniors cannot make deposits to an HSA
· Almost no one with Obamacare insurance has an HSA
· Among those who have an account, money cannot be used to pay the fees of “direct primary care” doctors – who are available by phone, email and Skype and as an alternative to emergency room care at nights and on weekends.
· It is impossible to structure HSAs for diabetes and other chronic conditions
Right now, the interest rate adjusted for inflation on government securities is negative. Today’s yields on TIPS (Treasury Inflation Protected Securities) are minus 1.81 percent out five years and minus 0.21 percent out 30 years But Series I Saving Bonds issued by the US Treasury are offering a real rate of interest of zero fixed for 30 years. You can invest up to $10,000. You don’t receive interest until you cash in the bonds. And you don’t have to ay taxes on inflation-generated returns. More
A far better, fairer and simpler student-loan reform is available. It lets students, as well as their parents, borrow at the government’s long-term Treasury bond rate. The current rate is 1.85 per cent. College students face a 2.75 per cent borrowing rate, graduate and professional students face a 4.30 per cent rate, and parents, who borrow to help finance their children’s education, face a 5.30 per cent rate. Hence, this proposal, which would permit federal and private loans to be refinanced federally at the prevailing 30-year rate, would substantially lower the cost of borrowing for higher education. More