The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported this month that while the number of chronically uninsured Americans is lower than commonly believed (between 21 million and 31 million, rather than 41 million), the number of Americans who go without health insurance for brief periods is around 60 million.
Rep. Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.) recently unveiled the centerpiece of his presidential campaign: a plan to encourage near-universal health coverage. The plan calls for replacing the existing system of federal income tax subsidies for health insurance with a much more expensive system.
The ultimate goals of a new "National Energy Policy" should be economic growth and consumer freedom of choice. Unfortunately, versions of the energy bill currently being debated in Congress include some economically harmful proposals designed to appease certain politically powerful constituencies.
Few issues have as direct a bearing on peoples' well-being as energy policy. A bad energy policy can hamper economic growth and cost American workers jobs.
Former U.S. Secretary of State
As the baby boom generation begins to retire, the cost of maintaining Medicare and Social Security will begin to soar.
Medicare is in need of reform. In a few years, as medical costs escalate and baby boomers retire, Medicare and Social Security will place significant burdens on the federal budget.
Most working couples lose half or more of their second income in taxes and lost government benefits.
Social Security was created in an era in which the typical household consisted of a working husband and a stay-at-home wife. The structure of Social Security rewards that type of arrangement and penalizes two-earner households.
Congress can help control health care costs, reduce the number of uninsured and promote quality medical care by making an existing health benefit – Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) – more flexible, portable and widely available. Doing so would give millions of Americans more control over their medical care and make them more cost-conscious patients.
As the centerpiece of his presidential campaign, Rep. Dick Gephardt recently unveiled a plan to expand federal subsidies to provide near-universal health coverage for Americans.
Schools in Texas differ widely in their ability to teach students.
The report found that differences within schools are almost as great as the differences among schools.
Schools in the Fort Worth area differ widely in their ability to teach students.
The proportion of health care paid directly by consumers has been falling for decades. In 1960, individuals paid directly for 50 percent of their health care. Today they pay for only 15 percent. The other 85 percent is paid by third parties, generally employers, insurance companies or the government. See Figure. As their share of health expenses declined, so also did consumers' interest in controlling health care costs.
Although prices for health care services have risen almost twice as fast as consumer prices generally over the past decade, prices for cosmetic surgery are actually lower in real terms.
Prices for medical services have been rising faster than prices of other goods and services for as long as anyone can remember. But not all health care prices are rising. Although health care inflation is robust for those services paid by third-party insurance, prices are rising only moderately for services patients buy directly.
More than 80 percent of registered voters in Iowa recognize that the financial future of Social Security is at risk.
Last month marked the 20th anniversary of the release of "A Nation at Risk," the devastating 1983 report on the state of education in America. We all remember its key conclusion, that the "intellectual, moral and spiritual strength of our people" were threatened by a failing education system.