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OpenMarket: Insurance

  • Anti-Business and Anti-Freedom: The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

    May 23, 2013
    In the American Spectator, CEI Vice President for Strategy Iain Murray and Geoffrey McLatchey explain why the Senate should be skeptical of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which fell six votes short of the 67 needed for ratification last December.  As they note, "the treaty would enable an enormous increase in the potential power of UN bureaucrats over the American people and undermine national sovereignty."  Moreover, although "CRPD proponents argue that it merely reiterates existing U.S. disability law," this is simply false, based on the treaty's plain language. It also delegates authority to a UN committee, they note, resulting in a "loss of U.S. sovereignty." UN...
  • Dallas Fed’s Fisher And CPAC’s Fishy Too-Big-To-Fail Event

    March 16, 2013
    If the Conservative Political Action Conference’s (CPAC) organizers wanted a speaker or panel on the causes of the financial crisis and what to do about too-big-to-fail financial insitutions, they could have chosen from among many conservative and libertarian experts who not only issued prescient warnings about government policies that egged on reckless behavior through subsidies, regulations, and flawed monetary policies, but also offered detailed free-market solutions to prevent future financial crises and taxpayer-funded bailouts Such experts include John Allison, president and CEO of the Cato Institute, former chairman and CEO of BB&T Corp, and author of The Financial Crisis and Free Market Cure; Peter Wallison, counsel to the Reagan White House in the 1980s, co-director...
  • The Hostess Bankruptcy And The Threat Of A PBGC Bailout

    November 20, 2012
    On Friday, November 16, Hostess Brands announced it was shutting down operations after the Bakers, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM), which rejected the company's last contract offer in September, announced it would go on strike. (Today, the two parties entered into a last-ditch negotiation effort today to avoid liquidation.) The same day, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), the federally created agency that insures private sector pensions, announced that its deficit had increased from $26 billion to $34 billion over the past year. Then yesterday, Hostess announced that  it would pass off its pension liabilities to the PBGC. If this looks like an...
  • Sandy Beaches, Meet Hurricane Sandy

    November 1, 2012
    In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, many reminisce of 2005's Hurricane Katrina. With at least a dozen East Coast states in a declared state of emergency, many look toward the Obama administration and FEMA for assistance. With whispers of the incalculable amount of damage done to the East Coast, few bring up the debt that FEMA has incurred, much from the FEMA-administered National Flood Insurance Program. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), with the Flood Disaster Protection Act, has made the purchase of flood insurance mandatory in certain areas. NFIP under-cuts private flood insurance companies by offering a lower, government-subsidized price for flood insurance. NFIP is around $18...
  • Supreme Court Concocts New "Rational (Tax) Basis" Test in Upholding Health Law

    June 28, 2012
    In a move that seems to have surprised many observers, the Supreme Court today upheld nearly all of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by a 4+1 to 4 majority (I'll explain the math below). Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote the Court's opinion, joined with the four liberal justices in affirming the individual mandate and essentially all of the Medicaid provisions. The Court's three reliable conservatives, plus Justice Kennedy, wrote in dissent that the entire law should be ruled invalid. The opinions can be read in their entirety here. Addressing the question of the individual mandate, Roberts agreed that the mandate was not a proper exercise of Congress's commerce power:
    "The power to regulate commerce presupposes the existence of commercial activity to be regulated. ... As...
  • Quick Thoughts on the Health Care Ruling

    June 28, 2012
    The Supreme Court upheld the health care bill, as you've no doubt heard by now. Over at the Daily Caller, I offer a few quick thoughts about the decision.
  • Obamacare Stifles Job Creation, Causes Layoffs

    December 28, 2011
    At Bloomberg News, Andrew Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, Inc., explains how the 2010 healthcare law is preventing jobs from being created and resulting in layoffs. For example, Puzder notes, CKE Restaurants, which operates Hardee's and Carl's Jr. restaurants, “will have to cut spending on new restaurant construction," in order to “offset higher health-care expenses," even though "building new restaurants is how" the company creates jobs.  Puzder argues that the increase in the company's healthcare costs will “more than consume" the amount it "spent on new restaurant construction last year, leaving nothing for growth."  It “...
  • Obamacare Costs Additional $50 Billion a Year More Than Predicted, Based on Yet Another False Assumption in Calculating its Costs

    August 9, 2011
    "Federal payments required by President Barack Obama’s health care law are being understated by as much as $50 billion per year because official budget forecasts ignore the cost of insuring many employees’ spouses and children, according to a new analysis. The result could cost the U.S. Treasury hundreds of billions of dollars during the first ten years of the new health care law’s implementation," notes the Daily Caller.  “The Congressional Budget Office has never done a cost-estimate of this [because] they were expressly told to do their modeling on single [person] coverage,” and "the Joint Committee on Taxation directed the Congressional Budget Office to ignore family members when determining whether employees actually pay more than 9.5 percent of their...
  • More Confusion on Breast Cancer Screening

    July 26, 2011
    When the federal government's Preventive Services Task Force recommended in November 2009 that most women under age 50 should stop having regular mammograms and that women 50 to 70 should cut back to one screening every other year, it ignited a huge controversy with some critics complaining that women were being patronized and short-changed on essential preventive health services and others claiming the move foreshadowed the carnage that might arise under Obamacare death panels. Indeed, many Obamacare advocates hailed the...
  • Bidding Bon Voyage to Nationalized Wind Insurance

    March 14, 2011
    According to several Gulf Coast legislators, the idea of adding wind insurance to the National Flood Insurance Program is not going to happen anytime soon. The “Taylor bill,” named for the Rep. Gene Taylor of Mississippi, failed to pick up support despite several attempts by Taylor -- a result that made all free-market supporters and anyone not wishing to pay for beach homes in Florida breathe a sigh of relief. Recently, in an interview with the Mobile Press-Register, Mississippi Republican Rep. Steven Palazzo, who defeated Taylor in the 2011 midterm elections, confirmed...

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