Healthcare could be the single most important lynchpin policy issue that America has to grapple with today. There are two indisputable facts everyone can agree on when it comes to healthcare: first, everyone needs medical care at some point, and second, the cost of medical treatment is astronomically high. A couple days of uninsured hospital care could easily saddle someone with a lifetime of debt. It is impossible to bury your head in the sand deep enough to deny that our healthcare system is broken and needs reform. What many don’t realize however, is just how important healthcare policy is, and how desperately needed reform is. Let’s take a tour of six different policy arenas that are deeply entwined with healthcare. Here are the first three…
Medicaid expansion: what’s all the fuss? Isn't it compassionate to have the government provide health care for those in need? And besides – Washington is paying for it, so isn't it “free money” for states like SC? Unfortunately,reality says, “Not so fast!”
“Inflation everywhere is a monetary phenomenon,” said Milton Friedman, in his famous 1970 essay titled, The Counter-Revolution in Monetary Theory. What he meant is actually quite simple. Inflation (an overall increase in the price levels of an economy) only occurs when the amount of currency printed by the Federal Reserve exceeds the amount of goods being produced.
People often associate capitalism with “Wall Street greed” and corporate fat cats getting special favors from government. The truth is, anytime the government is involved in the business of anything beyond protecting individual and property rights, it leads to a distortion of the free market and in fact detracts from authentic capitalism. We call this cronyism.
Imagine trying to navigate the challenging waters of fourth, fifth and sixth grade science, social studies, and English unable to read. Unfortunately, this is the case for too many Palmetto State children, who are “socially promoted” based on seat time alone rather than proficiency. So how do we help ensure students have this fundamental tool
Many feel-good policies are ultimately disastrous. One of these, the concept of a government-mandated minimum wage, is particularly counterproductive. On the face of it, what could be so bad about guaranteeing the poorest workers in society receive wages high enough to ensure a minimum standard of living? (Especially since it only comes at the cost of “immoral corporate greed”?) The answer is: a lot.
In the history of civilization, income tax policies designed primarily to soak the rich have always failed. Why? Because of a basic concept of economics called elasticity. Imagine the price of gas goes up by $4 per gallon (to say, the European price). If you routinely buy 20 gallons of fuel a week for your “fun” car (maybe a BMW M3 or Chevy Corvette), would you, after this price hike, be likely to add an extra $80 a week to the coffers of the gas company? The answer is, of course, no. You observe the price of gas going up and cut your consumption.
Over the last few months the Forum has been heavily focused on education issues like Read to Succeed and pushing back on Common Core’s federal overreach. But we’ve still been keeping an eye on what may be the biggest threat to state autonomy: Medicaid expansion. As we shared in our Fast Fact sheet Top 10 Reasons Medicaid Expansion is Bad Medicine for South Carolina is Bad Medicine for South Carolina, expanding Medicaid to able-bodied adults would overwhelm an already broken program, harming the very people it was created to serve: poor children, the elderly and people with disabilities.
50 years of growing federal involvement in education has not led to better outcomes for students. A recent Daily Signal article lays out the disturbing trend: “According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress long-term-trend assessment, 17-year-old students today perform no better in reading and math than 17-year-olds did in the 1970s. According to the main NAEP assessment, often referred to as the nation’s “report card,” only 26 percent of 12th graders are proficient in math; just 38 percent of high school seniors are proficient in reading.”
The ability to read is a primary gateway to success in school and life-long learning. A child who does not master this fundamental skill faces daunting odds. Consider these sobering statistics from the Annie E. Casey Foundation: Children who are not reading proficiently in 3rd grade are 4 times more likely to not graduate high school. Below basic readers are almost 6 times more likely than proficient readers to not finish high school on time. Poor, Black, and Hispanic students who are struggling readers are about 8 times more likely than proficient readers to drop out of high school.