Archive for July, 2013
Time for Taxpayer Protections on California Transportation Projects

The new span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is $5 billion over its original budget and nine years past its initial completion date. Such massive cost overruns and delays have shocked the public but one key question never gets asked, or answered: Why should taxpayers be on the hook for overruns? They shouldn’t,...
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What a Program for Bureaucrats Tells Us about Obamacare

In my latest book, Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis, I devote much attention to how federal regulations shape the incentives of health insurance companies. To get an idea of how the Affordable Care Act affects incentives, look at the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program (FEHBP), the managed competition model for how insurance will be...
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A New Case for Freedom of Immigration: Alvaro Vargas Llosa’s Global Crossings

Immigration has long been a hot-button topic—and not only in the United States. “[I]n a number of opinion surveys, fewer than one in ten people in many countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development favor increased migration,” the noted development economist Lant Pritchett wrote in 2006. One reason may be a...
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Who Do Workplace Wellness Programs Really Target?

Here is how most people approach the labor market: They search for a job they like, with health insurance tacked on as a fringe benefit. But here is how some other people approach the labor market: They search for the health insurance they need and agree to the other terms of the job in...
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Press Coverage of Florida’s Fiscally Conservative Governor Rick Scott

Florida Governor Rick Scott seems surprisingly unpopular after doing just what he said he’d do when he ran for election in 2010. He has cut taxes, reduced many government programs in a state that already has a lean state government, and under his watch Florida’s unemployment rate has fallen from above the national average...
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Fiscal Responsibility, According to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, commenting on the federal debt limit, says, “Congress needs to do its job. It needs to work on appropriation bills. It needs to pass a debt limit.” With a national debt of more than $16 trillion, Mr. Lew thinks that the responsible thing for Congress to do is to...
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The Wolverine and the Implicit Libertarianism of the Wayward Samurai

I’m not sure what I expected from the 2013 film The Wolverine, the most recent addition to the summer box office from the Marvel comics archives, but a libertarian theme seemed too much to hope for. And I was right—to an extent. In fact, after watching movie, I think the plot has an unusually...
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“Evidence-Based Care”: Hazardous to Your Health?

Remember the words evidence-based care. They are likely to be very much a part of your future. To its advocates, evidence-based care follows medical treatment guidelines and protocols developed by experts, based on the scientific literature—as reported in medical journals and scholarly reports. If all doctors follow the same protocols, they argue, patients with...
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Does Your Doctor Answer to You—or to Third-Party Payers?

The ideal doctor is one who is our agent—not just in dealing with disease, but in dealing with the complicated, complex institution we call the health-care system. The problem, as I explain in my book Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis, is that health insurance undermines the very agency relationship that would best serve our...
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Obamacare: All Your Intimate Information Available to (Almost) Anyone

Does it bother you that a 29 year-old high school drop-out and former security guard could “wire-tap” all of your email and phone communications basically on his own authority? Will it bother you when almost anyone can access your name, birth date, Social Security number, gender, ethnicity, family size, Indian status, incarceration status, veteran...
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