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Cutting Back on Healthcare, Online Privacy and Front-Running on Wall Street

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Cutting Back on Healthcare, Online Privacy and Front-Running on Wall Street

House Democrats debate how to cut healthcare costs as part of their effort to pass major new legislation.

Online advertisers back voluntary industry guidelines for safeguarding consumer privacy.

Goldman Sachs’ use of “high-frequency trading” alarms some rivals and regulators.

Listen to LibertyWeek, the entertaining and insightful CEI podcast.

1. HEALTH 

House Democrats debate how to cut healthcare costs as part of their effort to pass major new legislation.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Senior Fellow Gregory Conko on the costs of new advances in medical technology

“Although the costs of treating many serious medical conditions has risen dramatically over the course of the last few decades, most of these cost increases have come hand-in-hand with significant improvements in health outcomes…Of course, not every costly intervention works as well as the others. Drug-eluting stents [for treating heart attacks] cost from $600 to $1,000 more than bare metal ones, but only provide a very small advantage. The question is: Who gets to decide whether the expense is worth it?”

 

2. TECHNOLOGY

Online advertisers back voluntary industry guidelines for safeguarding consumer privacy.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Information Policy Analyst on Ryan Radia on the debate over online privacy:

“[Prof. Jonathan] Zittrain proposes a ‘fair practices law’ that would require companies to release personal data back to users upon request. Such a rule may sound workable, but purging specific data across globally dispersed server farms is no simple endeavor. Who is to pay for the implementation of such privacy procedures — especially for free services like Facebook or Twitter that have yet to turn a profit? A better approach to online privacy is to educate users on safeguarding personal information. Ultimately, however, the only foolproof approach to protecting sensitive data online is to simply not disclose it.”

 

3. BUSINESS

Goldman Sachs’ use of “high-frequency trading” alarms some rivals and regulators.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Adjunct Analyst Steve Milloy on how Goldman Sachs is positioned to take advantage of future trading in carbon permits:

“If Congress enacts carbon trading through a cap-and-trade scheme, look for Goldman Sachs to figure out how to game the market at our expense. When I was an SEC lawyer, we called this ‘trading ahead’ or ‘front-running’ and it was illegal. But apparently, Goldman Sachs and some other traders with powerful computers have obtained special permission to engage in so-called ‘high-frequency trading’ – which can only be considered a euphemism for front-running. This is outrageous and it gives Goldman and the other frontrunners an unfair advantage in the market, it can only be called legalized cheating.”

 

Listen to LibertyWeek, the CEI podcast, here.