Health Insurance Choice

A citizen who lives in any one state can buy a toaster produced in any other state. The same citizen can also buy a lawnmower, a sofa, an automobile or virtually any other product — regardless of the state where the product is made.

This same freedom does not exist in the market for health insurance, however. 

. . . and tenure traps

The resignation of Sandra Day O'Connor from the Supreme Court means the rest of the summer will be spent in a deeply acrimonious debate about the court's direction.

An Ill Wind for Consumers: The Energy Bill

One of the most important differences facing a congressional conference committee reconciling the Senate and House versions of the 2005 energy bill is a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) that appears in the Senate version but was rejected by the House. It would require all electric utilities selling more than 4 million kilowatt-hours (kwh) per year – which would include all major and many minor electric power systems – to obtain at least 10 percent of their power from "renewable" sources by 2020. In effect the RPS defines renewables by exclusion – sources that are not fossil-fueled, nuclear or hydroelectric. Eligible renewables include windmills, solar power, waste burning, geothermal, landfill gas and exotic sources like the tides.

A Generation's Challenge

Three weeks ago, my wife and I brought home our first child, a brand new baby boy. The experience has invigorated my thinking about the kind of world we will leave to the next generation.

Should Kids Have To Pay Their Parents' Medical Bills?

Skyrocketing Medicaid costs for long-term care may lead states to more aggressively enforce laws to collect expenses for care of indigent parents from their adult children, according to a brief analysis published today by the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA).

The Legal Responsibility of Adult Children to Care for Indigent Parents

Currently, 30 states have filial responsibility statutes that establish a duty for adult children to care for their indigent elderly parents. When enforced, the statutes can require the adult child to reimburse state programs or institutions that have cared for the indigent parent with either a one-time contribution or installment payments. Today, there is no uniform federal filial responsibility statute, and indeed, it may be difficult to enact one; but if even a few states began to more systematically enforce their laws, their action could help reduce the explosive growth of Medicaid's long-term care benefit.

Social Security and Progressive Indexing

President Bush has barnstormed across the country promoting Social Security reform. So far, the president has proposed two primary ideas: 1) Allow younger workers to prefund a portion of their retirement benefits by creating personal retirement accounts equal to 4 percent of wages, and 2) Use "progressive indexing" to reduce the growth in benefits for higher earners.

Reformation in three steps

There is a reason legislators in Austin are having so much trouble solving the school finance problem. They insist on taking one giant step instead of three smaller steps.

Stock Returns and Economic Growth

Over the last decade, the Social Security Administration has evaluated numerous reform proposals. Recently, when evaluating reforms that involve investments in the stock market, the Social Security Administration assumed the historical average annual real stock return of 6.5 percent will persist into the future. The Social Security Administration also projects the future status of the program. These projections are summarized in the annual Trustees Reports and form the basis for scoring the reform proposals. The most recent Trustees Report assumes the real annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate will be about 1.9 percent over the 75 year horizon. This assumption is lower than the actual experience of the past 75 years, a period in which the economy grew at a real rate of 3.4 percent a year, on average.