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OpenMarket: Health and Safety

  • Antitrust Policy #NeverNeeded and Dangerous in a Crisis

    April 1, 2020
    The Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission will now allow some collaboration between companies to address the corona virus health threat. They also warned a frazzled business community that certain practices could still land them in antitrust hot water. The uncertainty will prevent some ideas from being tried and deny citizens the benefits of what could have been.
  • The Guardian Props Up Lame Greenpeace Tirade, Ignores Potential COVID-19 Risks from Reusable Grocery Bags

    March 27, 2020
    The Guardian recently published a story on a Greenpeace attack on CEI for pointing out that reusable grocery bags might contain dangerous pathogens, including COVID-19. I have no problem with people who choose reusable bags, but it’s good for them to know that they need to be washed after every use. I do have a problem with government bans and regulations that force people to use reusable bags.
  • Post-Corona Politics: Opportunities and Threats

    March 19, 2020

    There is a lot of attention being paid to the latest emergency legislation being proposed to address the coronavirus pandemic, from $1,000 checks for every American to paid leave for U.S. workers to a bailout for the airline industry. While those proposals are debated and implemented, however, we have the opportunity to think about what lessons the current crisis can teach us about longer term changes. Political observers often facetiously use the phrase “never let a crisis go to waste” to refer to a cynical attempt to hijack an emergency with unrelated priorities, but if the dislocations caused by our current...

  • Getting Rid of #NeverNeeded Regulations Hindering Coronavirus Response

    March 18, 2020
    What can Washington do to minimize harm from the coronavirus? Some of the best policy responses are coming not from imposing new regulations, but from loosening old ones. In fact, many such rules were never needed in the first place. To that end, a Twitter hashtag, #NeverNeeded, is collecting a small but growing list of ideas for rules to get rid of, as well as rules that already have been eased.
  • Liberty in the Time of Coronavirus Part 2

    March 16, 2020
    Much of the money dedicated to medical research and services comes from the federal government. While some may see this is a good way to coordinate efforts on important health goals, libertarians have criticized this top-down influence for corrupting the reliability of research.
  • Regulation, Confusion, and the Irony of Emergency COVID-19 Testing

    March 16, 2020
    By now, readers are aware that testing in the United States for the novel coronavirus COVID-19 has been embarrassingly slow. Less well known is that overregulation is largely to blame. And the biggest obstacle to more expedient testing has been, ironically, a law intended to expedite treatment during public health emergencies.
  • Coronavirus and the Limits of "Flash Policy"

    March 12, 2020
    The coronavirus outbreak is serious, and it deserves a serious response. If you’re healthy, help people out. If you have elderly relatives or neighbors, reach out and see if they need anything. If you need help yourself, don’t be embarrassed to ask for it. If you need to cancel travel, work from home, or even self-quarantine, do so. It might be unpleasant, but it’s likely better than the alternative. And, of course, be diligent about washing your hands. But what about public policy? The real meat of Washington’s coronavirus response should focus on the long term, not the short term. Congress should refrain from passing what my colleague Wayne Crews calls “flash policy,” such as a crisis-inspired stimulus package, or bailouts, or rash monetary fixes.
  • Trump Administration Expected to Adopt Socialized Medicine Drug Pricing Control Scheme

    February 3, 2020
    Regardless of the outcome of the Iowa Caucuses on Monday night, the successive presidential campaigns of Democratic Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) have dragged the Overton window far left on issues such as health care to the point that virtually every leading Democratic candidate now favors some form of Medicare for all. As a result, the general election in 2020 is shaping up to be a referendum on socialized medicine in America. 
  • Proposals for and Problems with International Drug Reference Pricing

    November 5, 2019
    Healthcare costs remain top of mind in American politics. Polls consistently show that healthcare is one of, if not the top, priority for voters heading into the 2020 election cycle. Politicians and other policymakers face a looming crisis with healthcare expenditures. Medicare and Medicaid, the federal single-payer programs for the elderly and indigent, comprised over a quarter of all federal spending in 2018. This share is rising.
  • UPDATE: Big Picture in 'Vaping-Linked' Lung Poisonings

    September 16, 2019
    Over the last three months, the news has been filled with stories of people falling ill from a mystery lung ailment supposedly caused by vaping. The majority of the coverage has been incomplete, inaccurate, and done little more than scare and confuse the public. Anti-vaping activists and certain public health agencies that have long wished to ban e-cigarettes have skillfully exploited this confusion to convince people the outbreak is a manifestation of the health threat posed by e-cigarettes, of which they have long warned.

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