Focus Point – Ray Bradury

While I infrequently agree with The Washington Post's political mavens, I have to side with their literary critic who said, "Almost no one can imagine a time or place without the fiction of Ray Bradbury. His stories and novels are a part of the American language."

Focus Point – Real Energy Reform

One thing we've learned since September 11 is how precarious our energy supplies from the Middle East could be. One would hope that faced with that realization, congressional doubters, and naysayers would do the right thing and ok oil exploration of the tiny percentage of the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge.

Is War Between Generations Inevitable?

In less than a decade, members of the baby boom generation will begin reaching their retirement years. At that time, 77 million people will begin to leave the labor market. They will cease to be taxpayers and begin to receive Social Security and Medicare benefits. This will mark the beginning of an enormous conflict over resources. Indeed, it is probably no exaggeration to say that we are approaching generational warfare.

Focus Point – Pork Is Back

I know some things are going to fly beneath the radar in Washington these days, but if the numbers in a recent Wall Street Journal story are even close, what's flying under the radar is a whole herd of pigs – pork barreling is alive and well.

Payroll Tax Holiday Won't Stimulate Economy

Momentum is growing in the Senate around the idea to create a one-month payroll tax "holiday" as a way to quickly inject money into the stalled economy. Yet according to National Center for Policy Analysis Senior Fellow Bruce Bartlett, while sounding simple, this idea is actually complex, won't work and sets a bad policy precedent.

Focus Point – The Best Last Word

The most engaging book came my way lately — a collection of obituaries; 52 of them written by the famous obituary writer of the New York Times, Robert MCG. Thomas. It's called "52 MCGs."

New Thinking For Health Reform

A change of thinking is needed so that both goals – universal access to affordable health insurance and a high level of patient satisfaction – can be achieved simultaneously.

Focus Point – Medical Savings Accounts Rediscovered

When Medical Savings Accounts first saw the light of day almost ten years ago, they were shoved off stage by the cure du jour, Managed Care. Ten years later, patients believe managed care costs too much and deprives them of medical care they need. Physicians believe it stops them from doing their jobs.

Focus Point – Religious Freedom

While the Taliban and their allies waste their breath calling us the great Satan we might take a look at their record when it comes to one of the many things we're good at and they detest: Freedom. Several human rights organizations and the state department put a number of Muslim-ruled countries at the bottom of the list when it comes to religious freedom.

Focus Point – A Tale of Two Bills

The senate is debating economic stimulus legislation: Democrat Tom Daschle's bill to spend more and cut taxes a little, and Republican Charles Grassley's bill to cut taxes a lot and edge up spending.

Giving Thanks for What We're Not

Many American families touched by terrorism will have a difficult time celebrating this Thanksgiving. Yet as the world continues to watch America's reaction to the September 11 attacks, there's cause to celebrate what we Americans have proven of late we're not.

Focus Point – What Women Can Do To Close The Wage Gap

If women behaved in the work place like men, there would be little if any wage gap. And that's not a macho statement. According to latest reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women's earnings are about 76 percent of men's. But according to the N-C-P-A's Women in the Economy project, the issue of why is complex.

Uninsured by Choice

The Census Bureau recently reported that the number of Americans without health insurance fell to around 38.7 million in 2000, down about 600,000 from 1999 and well below the record 44.3 million who were uninsured in 1998. However, with health care costs increasing and the economy slowing, many public health advocates are worried that this number might soon begin to rise. Why do more than 38 million Americans lack health insurance? Who are they?

Cipro and the Risks of Violating Pharmaceutical Patents

When the threat of anthrax became a widespread concern, the Canadian government said it had serious doubts that Bayer, the owner of the patent for the anti-anthrax drug Cipro, could meet Canadian needs. Canada ignored the patent and ordered generic copies. In the United States, Sen. Charles Schumer expressed the same concerns and proposed that the U.S. government do the same. After Bayer said it could meet the needs of both nations, and after other drugs that are effective against anthrax were identified, Canada reversed its decision, and the issue was dropped in the United States for the time being.

Focus Point – The Right To Bear Arms

Should the second amendment to the U.S. Constitution be as broadly interpreted as the first? During the 20th century, courts championed the first amendment…guaranteeing freedoms of speech and assembly. "Congress shall make no law…" the amendment begins, and Justice William O. Douglas used to write one-sentence opinions in free speech cases. !! "No law means no law," Douglas would write-case dismissed!

Focus Point – Medical Savings Accounts

After 10 years of managed care, no one likes the system. Patients think it saves them money…but at the expense of services they want and need. Physicians don't like it because they think it keeps them from providing the best care for their patients. And employers don't like it because it doesn't save them money. So what's the answer?