Archive for July, 2015
Health Spending Growth Moderate in Second Quarter (Maybe)

A recent report by actuaries working for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services estimates that the rate of growth of health spending, subdued for many years, is picking up again: “The health share of US gross domestic product is projected to rise from 17.4 percent in 2013 to 19.6 percent in 2024.” Readers of this...
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Janet Napolitano Makes History as University of California Pension Reformer

In an effort to control skyrocketing retirement costs in the massive University of California system, U.C. employees hired after July 1, 2016, will be able to choose a 401(k)-style pension plan, the first time this has been offered. Governor Jerry Brown and U.C. president Janet Napolitano negotiated the agreement, which was enshrined in the...
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Medicaid’s Poverty Trap Illustrated

The tragic story of a disabled woman trapped in poverty by the hodge-podge of ways the U.S. finances health care illustrates why we need to sweep the whole thing away and give everyone a universal, refundable tax credit: On a crisp California morning in February 2012, my sister-in-law, Marcella Wagner, was driving down the interstate...
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Remembering Alexis de Tocqueville—and Civil Society in Early America

Today marks the 210th birthday of Alexis de Tocqueville, and so it’s appropriate that we reflect on his experiences and observations through the lens of modern American society. Alexis de Tocqueville brought a unique perspective to his observations of nineteenth-century America. The French aristocrat and historian staunchly opposed the authoritarian French government and advocated for...
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Love Gov: “Too Real”?

As part of our recent exhibit at the FreedomFest conference, we continuously screened our new online video series Love Gov. If you haven’t had a chance to watch it yet, each of the approximately 5-minute episodes deals with one of the five key issues that the Harvard Institute of Politics, Pew Research, and other...
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Patent Reform Is Not a Left Wing Thing

Over at R Street, Zach Graves has a good piece up looking at the American Conservative Union’s opposition to patent reform pending in the Congress. He points out that the sponsors of the much maligned legislation are not looney leftists, but solid leaders on the Right. The American Conservative Union’s own scorecard ranks members sponsoring...
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Is Denial a Good Basis for Abortion Policy?

Once again, a political sideshow is likely to be the sole outcome from the revelations in the recent Planned Parenthood videos, drowning out what could have been an important conversation around another perennially politicized issue. As could have been a good starting point, the videos show definitely that abortion involves far more than the...
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Harassment Ruled a Protected Union Activity

In an advisory to employers, the California Chamber of Commerce provides this not-very-useful recap of a recent National Labor Relations Board decision: Employers have an obligation to investigate and take appropriate corrective action for employee misconduct; at the same time, employees have a protected right to discuss union activities. In a 2012 decision, the...
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Will 11 Million Pay Obamacare’s Mandate Penalty?

I recently took issue with lack of clarity in media coverage of a report by the IRS Taxpayer Advocate, which claimed that 6.6 million people paid Obamacare’s individual-mandate penalty last year. I figured the total must be significantly higher, because each tax return would cover more than one individual. In an e-mail to me...
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Standing with Rand? Maybe Take a Seat.

On April 7, Senator Rand Paul declared he is officially running for President in 2016. Since this time, there has been a lot of buzz surrounding his candidacy. In particular, many are pointing to Rand as a champion of liberty. I recently heard a talk in which the speaker was encouraged by Paul and several...
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