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Capitol Comment 178 - Administered Prices Administer Economic Disaster
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 178 - Administered Prices Administer Economic Disaster

The Ohio Legislature is expected to consider legislation to reduce telecommunications access fees. These fees flow between various telecommunications providers in order to transfer telephone calls between different companies' networks. For example, long distance companies pay a fee to local telephone companies to bring a long distance call all the way to a consumer's home - usually the last portion of that call travels over a local telephone company's network.

03/06/1998
Capitol Comment 175 - Health Coverage Mandates Do More Harm Than Good: A Personal Perspective
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 175 - Health Coverage Mandates Do More Harm Than Good: A Personal Perspective

The Mental Health Parity Act of 1996 left me with a "mental health tax" of $4,300 — more than my federal income tax liability for last year.

02/24/1998
Capitol Comment 173 - 'Gag Clauses' in Managed Care Contracts: If It's Already Fixed, Don't Fix It
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 173 - 'Gag Clauses' in Managed Care Contracts: If It's Already Fixed, Don't Fix It

In September, President Clinton told a union audience he was proud of his 1994 attempt to impose a government-run health care system on America — in effect putting a government bureaucrat between every American and their doctor. He then told the audience how he intends to implement his failed health care take-over one piece at a time: "Maybe we can do it ... a step at a time, until eventually we finish this." The next few "steps" down the road to ClintonCare include one sponsored by Iowa Republican Rep. Greg Ganske in a bill called the "Patient Right to Know Act" (H.R. 586).

01/28/1998
Capitol Comment 172 - How the Balanced Budget Act Will Soon Cut Off Medicare Beneficiaries' Choice of Doctors
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 172 - How the Balanced Budget Act Will Soon Cut Off Medicare Beneficiaries' Choice of Doctors

Americans have always taken pride in being the freest people in the world. As recently as 1994, the American public recoiled at the thought of receiving health care through a socialist system similar to Great Britain's. Among that system's many horrors, "more than one million patients are waiting for surgery in Britain, for everything from tonsillectomies to heart bypasses to exploratory surgery for cancer."1

10/23/1997
Capitol Comment 171 - Free Trade: Fast Track to Prosperity
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 171 - Free Trade: Fast Track to Prosperity

On September 16, President Clinton finally introduced his legislative proposal for renewing fast track authority to negotiate trade agreements. This authority, which expired in 1994, would allow the president to negotiate trade pacts that Congress must approve or disapprove by a simple up or down vote. Therefore, members of Congress — and the special interests who attempt to influence them — could not amend trade agreements during the legislative process.

10/13/1997
Capitol Comment 167 - EPA Ups Expected Cost of Air Quality Standards to $46 Billion
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 167 - EPA Ups Expected Cost of Air Quality Standards to $46 Billion

In April, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) admitted that it overestimated the benefits from the new air quality standard for fine particulate matter, lowering its estimates of annual reduced premature mortality from 20,000 to 15,000. Now the EPA says implementing the standards will cost more than its original estimate of $8.5 billion annually; its final Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) for the new standards contains an annual cost estimate of $46 billion.1

08/27/1997
Capitol Comment 162 - Risky Business: Insurance, Risk Classification and the Consumer
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 162 - Risky Business: Insurance, Risk Classification and the Consumer

Legislators and regulators increasingly are attempting to improve the availability and affordability of insurance -- whether life, health, auto or home -- by restricting how insurance companies can classify risks. However, those who attempt to reform insurance markets by restricting risk classification need to be very careful, for when they undermine the fundamental principles of risk-based insurance, they usually end up doing more harm than good.

06/25/1997
Capitol Comment 161 - The Senate and House Kiddycare Schemes Are a Bad Deal for Kids
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 161 - The Senate and House Kiddycare Schemes Are a Bad Deal for Kids

Parents had better put the kids to bed early this week. Otherwise, youngsters might happen across C-SPAN in time to watch the United States Senate and House of Representatives cast their most damaging votes ever against children's health. Armed with faulty data on the status of children's health coverage, Congress is set to spend $16 billion or more over the next five years to create a new federal "Kiddycare" program. While claiming to provide health coverage for children, Kiddycare will actually waste billions of dollars, and provide no health benefit to children.

06/24/1997
Capitol Comment 160 - Can You Differentiate a Taxpayer From a Consumer at the Grocery Store?
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 160 - Can You Differentiate a Taxpayer From a Consumer at the Grocery Store?

The federal sugar program fixes the price of sugar bought in the United States at roughly double the world price, costing consumers 1.4 billion dollars a year.1 Yet, program supporters claim the program does not hurt Americans, pointing to the small budget cost to the taxpayer. The distinction between a taxpayer and a consumer is a curious one -- since the two cannot be distinguished at the checkout line. In fact, consumers are hit twice by the program. First, with higher taxes -- regardless of how "small" the burden is -- and second through higher prices for the food they purchase.

06/13/1997
Capitol Comment 159 - Why America Should Renew MFN for China
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 159 - Why America Should Renew MFN for China

Members of Congress will soon be asked to vote on the unconditional extension of China's most-favored-nation (MFN) trading status for one more year. Legitimate reasons for concern over various policies implemented by the Chinese government do exist. However, revoking China's MFN trading status is at best the least effective -- and at worst the most counter-productive -- manner in which to affect those policies. It would be devastating for both Americans and the Chinese if Congress imposes trade barriers between the citizens of these two countries.

06/12/1997

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