The facts are in. As The Heritage Foundation predicted, Obamacare is turning out to be a disaster. Heritage expert Robert Moffit has more in a new article in the National Interest .

  • Deductibles increased. Average deductibles on employer-based health plans run about $1,000, while average Obamacare deductibles are about $2,000.
  • Premiums increased. The president promised to lower all premiums by $2,500 annually. The opposite happened. Premiums increased by 100 percent for 27-year-olds in some states. They increased by 50 percent for 50-year-olds in others. For employees who get their health insurance through small businesses, 11 million saw premium increases, while just six million saw premium decreases.
  • Competition was reduced. The number of insurers offering coverage on the individual markets in all fifty states declined by 29 percent. Over half of counties in America have only one or two insurance providers.
  • And we still don’t know how many are covered. The Congressional Budget Office reported 6 million had signed up for Exchange plans. The administration said 8 million, then backtracked.

And what about the so-called crucial 18- to 34-year-old demographic, which would determine the health of the program? Well, the administration said 35 percent of enrollees were in that range, which sounds pretty close to their goal of 40 percent. “But thanks to excellent reporting by Politico,” Moffit notes, “we learned that [this] number included children enrolled in the exchanges. Nice try.”

Should Obamacare repeal remain a priority for the new Congress? Tell us in the comments.

In an effort to crack down on global corruption, some are advocating an international anti-corruption court. This is a bad idea.

“Among other problems, it would not address widespread and deeply entrenched petty corruption, would prove ineffective in cases of true impunity, and arguably would trivialize genocide and war crimes by equating them with theft and abuse of power,” Heritage Foundation experts Brett D. Schaefer, Steven Groves, and James M. Roberts explain in a new report.

Transparency International defines corruption as “the abuse of entrusted power for private gain.” The map above makes clear that corruption is a serious issue world-wide. But an international solution would threaten American sovereignty and do little to solve the underlying problem.

Heritage’s experts recommend the U.S. should: Continue Reading »

Photo: Newscom

Lawmakers and the public are turning to The Heritage Foundation for leadership and answers about Ebola. A new report by Heritage expert David Addington explains the facts about Ebola, what we know about its spread, and what the government can do to contain it.

The basics about Ebola

Ebola symptoms are (1) fever greater than 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit, (2) severe headache, (3) muscle pain, (4) weakness, (5) diarrhea, (6) vomiting, (7) abdominal pain, and (8) unexplained bleeding.

Symptoms will begin anywhere from two to 21 days after exposure, though eight to 10 is typical.

Ebola is passed through contact with infected bodily fluids, and items that have been in contact with bodily fluids, such as needles and syringes. It does not spread through air, water, or, generally, food.  People who have recovered from Ebola are no longer contagious. The mortality rate is around 50 percent.

What can you do?

In order to help prevent the spread of Ebola, practice careful hygiene. Carry an alcohol based hand-sanitizer and wash frequently with soap and water. Do not come into contact with the clothes, bedding, needles, medical equipment, or the live body or remains of an individual with Ebola.

What can our leaders do?

America has a long tradition of providing humanitarian assistance to countries in need, Addington notes, especially when a crisis may pose a direct threat to our homeland, like the Ebola virus does. That’s why American assistance to African countries suffering from Ebola is appropriate.

Domestically, “state, local, territorial, tribal and private sector medical personnel constitute the first responders to a serious communicable disease outbreak when it occurs in the United States.” If this response is insufficient to contain an outbreak, he adds, “the federal government can exercise broad legal authorities to address the situations.”

Lawmakers should also ensure timely and accurate information:

Those at the highest levels of responsibility in the U.S. Congress and executive branch should keep themselves fully informed on the health and economic consequences of the Ebola outbreak so they can help ensure (1) effective and efficient use of the substantial U.S. taxpayer funds involved, (2) that the professionals with the requisite training at all levels of government work together effectively, and (3) that the public is kept accurately informed in a timely manner. Both at home and abroad, and at all levels of government, the dissemination of accurate, understandable information about the Ebola situation, and about government and private responses to it, is crucial.

Read the rest of Addington’s report.

Please share this with your friends and family so that we can all stay safe.

The Heritage Foundation’s Genevieve Wood takes on liberals about gender inequality in USA Today:

From education to earnings, American women today enjoy unprecedented levels of opportunity. Yet too many candidates seem oblivious to the dramatic gains women have made. They’re stuck in a time warp, channeling the problems and political causes of the ’60s.  Outdated policy prescriptions intended to help women, can actually work to hurt us.

Read more from Wood on gender inequality.

Do you think liberal policies towards women are stuck in the past?

Over the summer, President Obama called companies who are trying to minimize their taxes “unpatriotic.” A Heritage Foundation economist had a clever retort in the Morning Consult:

David Burton, a senior fellow in economic policy at the Washington-based Heritage Foundation, said another way to look at the “unpatriotic” argument is to question the patriotism “of those who keep the U.S. tax rates so high” since they’re maintaining the highest corporate tax rate among industrialized countries.

Heritage’s Curtis Dubay points out that the best way to end these “inversions” is to reduce the business tax rate and move to a territorial tax system that doesn’t penalize American firms with overseas operations.

What do you think the corporate tax rate should be?

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