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Help Veterans by Abolishing the Veterans Administration

With Christmas approaching, people are putting together their lists for Santa Claus. I’m not sure I’ll find any of these things under my tree, but here’s what I want. Get rid of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Shut down the Department of Agriculture. Eliminate the Department of Transportation. Abolish the Department of Education. […]

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The Deadly Impact of Government Regulations on Organ Transplants

Economists are sometimes considered to be a bit odd, and the same thing is sometimes said about libertarians. And since I’m a libertarian economist, I realize that makes me doubly suspect. So when I’ve written about the desirability of market-based organ transplants (see here, here, and here), I realize some people will instinctively object because […]

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The Ticking Time Bomb of Medicaid

The burden of government spending is already excessive. But the numbers will get worse with the passage of time if policy is left on autopilot. The main culprits are the so-called mandatory programs. Entitlements such as Social Security, Medicare, Food Stamps, and Obamacare that automatically dispense money to various constituencies are consuming an ever-larger chunk […]

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Another Grim Reminder that Obamacare Has Made Healthcare More Expensive

Way back in 2009, some folks on the left shared a chart showing that national expenditures on healthcare compared to life expectancy. This comparison was not favorable to the United States, which easily spent the most money but didn’t have concomitantly impressive life expectancy. At the very least, people looking at the chart were supposed […]

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The U.K.’s Government-Run Healthcare System Is Working Wonderfully…for Bureaucrats

Back in 2013, I got very upset when I learned that senior bureaucrats at the IRS awarded themselves big bonuses, notwithstanding the fact that the agency was deeply tarnished by scandal because of its efforts to help Obama’s reelection campaign. That’s when I decided to put forth my “First Theorem of Government,” which simply states […]

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The Ever-Growing Fiscal Burden of Obamacare

Based on what’s been happening, those of us who have been warning about the fiscal burden of Medicaid, Medicare, and Obamacare could rest on our laurels and say “we told you so.” But it’s a Pyrrhic victory because being right means bad news for the country. Earlier this year, The Hill reported some very sobering […]

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Odious and Corrupt Obamacare Bailouts

At the risk of understatement, Obamacare is a mess. It’s been bad for taxpayers, bad for consumers, and bad for healthcare. It’s even been bad for some of the special interest groups that backed the legislation. The big insurance companies supported the law, for instance, because they thought it would be good to have the […]

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The Healthcare Exclusion Is the Tax Code’s Most Harmful Loophole

What’s the worst loophole (properly defined) in the cluttered internal revenue code? I think the deduction for state and local taxes is very bad policy since it enables higher tax burdens in states such as California, New Jersey, and Illinois. The exemption for municipal bond interest is another misguided provision since it makes it easier […]

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One Strike, Two Strikes, Three Strikes (and Many More Strikes) for Obamacare

The ongoing cluster-you-know-what of Obamacare is a source of unhappy satisfaction. Part of me is glad the law is such a failure, but it’s tragic that millions of people are suffering adverse consequences. These are folks who did nothing wrong, but now are paying more, losing employment, suffering income losses, and/or being forced to find […]

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The Obama-Rubio “Healthcare Mandate” Controversy

My colleague Michael Cannon has been a tireless advocated for market-based health reform. His research has helped pave the way for good Medicare and Medicaid reform proposals on Capitol Hill and he is justifiably famous for his dogged opposition to Obamacare. With that glowing introduction, you may be surprised to learn that Michael has stirred […]

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Another Great Moment in the Annals of Government-Run Healthcare

I wrote last June about an unfortunate British guy who, after his leg was broken by thieves, was told by the government that his injury wasn’t serious enough for an ambulance. The poor chap eventually was driven home by some cops and then had to take an Uber to the hospital. While writing about this […]

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More Perverse (but Predictable) Economic Consequences of Obamacare

Even before it was enacted, it was obvious that Obamacare was going to have a negative economic impact. From a fiscal policy perspective, the law was bad news because all the new spending and higher taxes increased the fiscal burden of government. From a regulatory intervention perspective, the law was bad news because it exacerbated […]

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From England, Great Moments in Government-Run Dentistry

In 2009, Paul Krugman assured his readers that government-run healthcare was a good idea, writing that “In Britain, the government itself runs the hospitals and employs the doctors. We’ve all heard scare stories about how that works in practice; these stories are false.” I guess one could argue that the determination of “scare stories,” like […]

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The Best and Worst Developments of 2015

What were the most noteworthy events from 2015? Regarding bad news, there’s unfortunately a lot of competition. But if I’m forced to pick the very worst developments, here’s my list. Resuscitation of the Export-Import Bank – I did a premature victory dance last year when I celebrated the expiration of the Export-Import Bank’s authority.  I […]

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Evil, Knee-Jerk, Wingnut Libertarians and Conservatives Are Wrong to Say Obamacare Is a Total Job Killer

Time for a mea culpa. In the past, I’ve criticized Obamacare for a variety of reasons. I’ve argued that it’s a fiscal boondoggle. I’ve pointed out that it’s grossly inconsistent with the Constitution. I’ve complained that it’s undermined the rule of law. And it undermined growth by increasing marginal tax rates. Moreover, I’ve explained how […]

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Three Not-so-Great Moments in Government-Run Healthcare

Government intervention has messed up the healthcare sector, leading to needlessly high prices and massive inefficiency. Fixing the mess won’t be easy since it would involve addressing several contributing problems, including Medicare, Medicaid, the healthcare exclusion in the tax code, Obamacare, and the mess at the Veterans Administration. But at least we know the right […]

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Some Victims of Obamacare Deserve to Suffer

Shortly after Obamacare was enacted, I started writing about groups victimized by the law. But after highlighting how children, low-income workers, and retirees were disadvantaged by government-run healthcare, I soon realized that I wasn’t saying anything new or different. Heck, Obamacare has been such a disaster that lots of people have been writing lots of good articles […]

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Obamacare Is Still a Disaster

Like many Americans, I’m suffering from Obamacare fatigue. Before the law was implemented, I repeatedly explained that more spending and more intervention  in the health sector would worsen a system that already was suffering from too much government. And since the law went into effect, I’ve pointed out – over and over again – the […]

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The Congressional Budget Office’s Semi-Decent Dynamic Scoring of Obamacare Repeal

I’m a long-time advocate of “dynamic scoring,” which means I want the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation to inform policy makers about how fiscal policy changes can impact overall economic performance and therefore generate “feedback” effects. I also think the traditional approach, known as “static scoring,” creates a bias for bigger government […]

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Obamacare and the Odious Anti-Constitutionalism of Chief Justice John Roberts

I feel compelled to comment on the Supreme Court’s latest Obamacare decision, though I could sum up my reaction with one word: disgust. I’m disgusted that we had politicians who decided in 2009 and 2010 to further screw up the healthcare system with Obamacare. I’m disgusted the IRS then decided to arbitrarily change the law […]

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