Because employer-sponsored health insurance coverage is not taxable, the health insurance of 60% of covered Americans is tied to their job. Government should level the playing field in the tax code between employer-sponsored and individually purchased health insurance, eliminating a substantial bias for employer-sponsored health care which encourages employees to stake both their income and their health care on their job. (more…)
Al Gore’s recent Nobel Peace Prize for his work on climate change has intensified calls for drastic measures to slow “global warming.” However, the global climate is an incredibly complex system known to change throughout history. We need to ask some common-sense questions about the science of climate change and what are truly the best ways to deal with it. (more…)
Congress wants to expand SCHIP to provide more uninsured children with health coverage. While exactly how much private insurance the expansion of public coverage will crowd out is uncertain, the Congressional Budget Office projects that if SCHIP is expanded, 25-50% of new participants would be children who already had private insurance. Instead, Congress and state governments should act to make insurance more affordable. (more…)
The collapse of the I-35 Bridge and loss of life in Minneapolis is a tragedy that prompts Oregonians to ask, could such a tragedy happen here, and how can we reduce our risk?
The first widespread reaction is to demand that our state and federal legislators appropriate more money for bridges and roads. Oregonians should think twice. Federal, state and local transportation appropriation processes regularly produce pork barrel spending (read about pork in the 2005 Federal Highway bill) and wasteful projects like the (more…)
The payday lending interest rate cap passed by the Oregon legislature has reduced gross revenues on a typical loan by 70%, causing the closure of 102 stores. As a result, the Oregonians these regulations were meant to protect have less access to credit than they did before. (more…)
While consumer choice is a proven cost-cutter, health insurance mandates raise premiums, resulting in fewer people covered. Oregon should try a pilot project allowing health insurers to offer mandate-free policies, allowing consumers to choose basic, or more elaborate, health insurance coverage suited to their needs and budgets. (more…)
What do acupuncturists, drug abuse treatment, and non-custodial children have in common? Oregonians cannot buy private health insurance that does not pay for or cover all three. They represent three of the state’s 33 health insurance mandates. Mandates are benefits, providers, and persons that must be included in all private health insurance policies. The list of mandates is expanding: The legislature added contraceptives, prosthetics and orthotics, and treatment for intoxicant-related injuries in the recently-concluded 2007 session (House Bills 2700, 2517, and 2348 respectively).
Requiring insurers to cover more conditions seems like (more…)