Archive for April, 2013
Healthcare for the Poor: An Alternative to Obamacare

The Affordable Care Act is expected to add up to 16 million more Medicaid enrollees and will significantly expand eligibility for families with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. Initially, the federal government will pay 100 percent of the cost of the newly eligible, newly enrolled populations and 95 percent...
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Libertarian Wishful Thinking

As a rule, libertarians incline toward wishful thinking. They constantly pluck little events, statements, and movies from the flow of life and cry out, “Eureka! Libertarianism is on the march!” With some of my friends, this tendency is so marked that I have become amused by its recurrent expression—well, there he goes again! Some...
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Goodbye, Maggie

Margaret Thatcher’s death caught up with me in the worst of places: a speech in Argentina. What to do? Should I follow my conscience and say a few words in memory of her—and risk offending an audience sensitive to the legacy of the Falklands War—or should I keep silent? I opted for saying a...
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The Coming Healthcare Cuts for Seniors and the Disabled

Senior citizens are major losers in health reform. More than half the cost of the reform will be paid for by $523 billion of cuts in Medicare spending over the next ten years.[1] Although there are some new benefits for seniors (mainly new drug coverage), the costs exceed the benefits by a factor of...
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The Totalitarianism of Universal Background Checks

Finally, some sanity, and from a somewhat unexpected source. The ACLU is concerned about the civil liberties implications of the new Harry Reid Senate bill to establish so-called “universal background checks” for firearms purchases. The organization has tended toward silence on gun rights, but at least now it recognizes aspects of the problem with...
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Texas Tech Free Market Institute

In January I left Suffolk University to start the new Free Market Institute at Texas Tech University. I remain affiliated as a Senior Fellow with the Independent Institute and plan to continue my productive relationship with them well into the future. Since I’ve continued to write commentary for Independent some of you might have...
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Emergency Rooms and the Healthcare Crisis

One of the most oft-repeated arguments for health reform is to reduce costly and delayed trips to the emergency room by uninsured patients. But will that happen? The heaviest users of the ER (in proportion to their numbers) are Medicaid patients (perhaps because many doctors won’t accept them), and more than half of the...
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What Gives Rise to “Crony Capitalism”?

The term crony capitalism has appeared frequently in the popular press of late, but rarely has it been used—let alone defined—in the academic literature. Independent Institute Research Fellow Randall G. Holcombe, a frequent contributor to The Beacon, helps remedy this deficiency in an article published in the Spring 2013 issue of The Independent Review. “Crony capitalism,”...
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The State—Crown Jewel of Human Social Organization

Since the earliest stage of human history (say, the time of Cain and Abel), human beings have been homicidal maniacs. Yet, for untold ages, something was missing, something with the capacity to raise their murderous mania to truly magnificent heights. Only very late in human history—perhaps 10,000 years ago or thereabouts—did the long-awaited breakthrough...
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To Improve Healthcare, Liberate Nurses

The most obvious way to avoid a huge imbalance between the supply and the demand for medical care (especially primary care) is to abolish the requirement that health plans provide a long list of preventive services with no co-pay or deductible. In addition, nurses, physicians’ assistants, and other paramedical personnel should have greater freedom...
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