Archive for March, 2015
Access to Health Care Unchanged after Obamacare’s First Year

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released early estimates of health insurance and access to health care for January through September 2014. The National Health Insurance Survey (NHIS) is the most effective survey of health insurance, because it asks people three different but important questions: Are they uninsured at the time...
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‘The Hunting Ground,’ Sexual Assault, and the Failure of Civil Society

The Hunting Ground, a documentary about sexual assault on college campuses, opened recently across the country. I saw the film in a commercial theater on opening weekend in Tallahassee. Alone. At least at the beginning. I was joined by one other woman and a couple by the time the opening credits flashed on the...
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More Bad News about the Medicare Doc Fix

Opposition to the outrageous so-called Medicare doc fix bill, which will increase the federal deficit by $141 billion, is growing. Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute explains how this will “bust the budget.” My Forbes editor, Avik Roy, pleads that the Senate stop this monstrosity (which passed the House by a huge majority). On...
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Higher Minimum Wage Leaves Working Poor Without Childcare

Oakland’s voters who approved the March 1 increase of the minimum wage to $12.25 apparently drank the Kool-aid that it would “help the poor.” Tell that to the working poor parents who will now be scrambling to find good, affordable child care: Workers who benefit from Oakland’s minimum wage hike might soon lose a...
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This Doc Fix Is an Outrage

Yesterday’s Health Alert warned against the so-called Medicare doc fix that is being jammed through the Congress this week. More voices are rising up against this flawed legislation. The Health Alert was written and published before the Congressional Budget Office published its estimate of the bill’s effect on the deficit. Here it is: Over...
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Are Health Plans That Cover Yoga the ‘Next Frontier’?

When a leading benefits consultant writes an article in the Harvard Business Review recommending that health plans cover yoga, it should be glaringly apparent that we have perverse incentives in U.S. health benefits: Cigna insurance CEO David Cordani says the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services’ recent payment changes that emphasize quality over quantity...
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Time to KO the Idea of Boxing Bans

Upon watching the first session of women’s Olympic boxing in London in 2012, leading neuroscientist John Hardy stated that, We shouldn’t get our fun out of watching people inflict brain damage on each other. To me as a neurologist it’s almost surreal. Indeed, boxing has a reputation for producing some real medical nightmares. Having...
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The “Miracle” of Kirznerian Entrepreneurship

I learned a lot about miracles recently thanks to a penetrating sermon by pastor Mark McNees of Element3 Church, a “progressive” non-denominational church in Tallahassee. And it prompted a lot of thinking about markets and entrepreneurship, particularly entrepreneurship as conceived by Austrian economists, most notably Israel Kirzner. (Kirzner is required reading in my social...
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How Big Is Government in the United States?

How big is government in the United States? The answer depends on the concept used to define its size. Although many such concepts are available, and several are used from time to time, by far the most common measure, especially in studies by economists, is total government spending (G) as a percentage of the...
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Republicans Split over Patent Reform

The Washington Times has an interesting article on the division among Republicans on patent reform. According to the article: Two dozen prominent conservative political groups, led by the influential American Conservative Union, the Club for Growth and the Eagle Forum, sent a letter Wednesday to House Speaker John A. Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Mitch...
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