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Economic Freedom

Obamacare Subsidies Projected to More Than Double Over Next Decade

by Ali Meyer • Washington Free Beacon

Subsidies for health insurance purchased through the marketplaces established under the Affordable Care Act are projected to more than double over the next decade, according to a report from the Congressional Budget Office.

The report, which evaluated spending for various means-tested programs or programs that offer benefits to those who earn income under a certain threshold, found that spending on Obamacare subsidies will total $42 billion in 2017 and are estimated to more than double to $97 billion by 2027.

In fiscal year 2016, payments for subsidies totaled $31 billion and, according to the budget office, payments will grow rapidly in 2017 and 2018 largely due to the growth in enrollment. Continue reading


It Doesn’t Matter How Many Americans Have Health Insurance

by Scott Lloyd • The Federalist

We remember the refrain from the run-up to Obamacare that 40 million Americans are without insurance, and we now have its echo in the Congressional Budget Office report that its repeal could lead to 18 million uninsured. Both of these figures are irrelevant.

If I have a broken leg, as a wounded person I want treatment that will heal it, and I don’t want it to ruin me financially. If I can get affordable care without health insurance, what difference is it to me that I have insurance? Similarly, if I have health insurance and the leg doesn’t get healed, or I am financially ruined, or both, what good is health insurance to me?

When discussing Obamacare replacements, we make a mistake when we focus too much on health insurance. Americans need health care. Universal health care could happen for every American in any number of ways that do not involve universal health insurance and all of the problems that it entails. Continue reading


Business Owner Says Obamacare Prevented New Hiring as Health Care Costs Increased 51 Percent

by Ali Meyer • Washington Free Beacon

A business owner told lawmakers on Tuesday that Obamacare has prevented new hiring because health care costs at his company increased by 51 percent.

Thomas Secor, president of Durable Corporation, a small manufacturing company that employs 37 individuals, testified at the House Small Business Committee hearing that the Affordable Care Act has made providing health care coverage for workers more difficult.

“Health care is certainly one of the most vexing problems facing small businesses. The enormous costs and ongoing uncertainty surrounding our health insurance system is a major cause for concern,” Secor said. “As a business operator, I am deeply troubled by the ongoing difficulties our health care system creates for my fellow small-business owners and their employees, and by the fact that the most recent national effort to reform the health care system has done very little to address the costs we, as small-business owners, face.” Continue reading


Insurance Commissioner: State Health Insurance Market Better Off Before Obamacare

by Ali Meyer • Washington Free Beacon

A Wisconsin insurance commissioner told lawmakers on Thursday that the state was better off before it implemented the Affordable Care Act and that the law did significant harm to the state’s health insurance market.

J.P. Wieske, deputy insurance commissioner for Wisconsin’s Office of the Commissioner of Insurance, said the state had a well-functioning market prior to the Affordable Care Act.

Wieske said that while Wisconsin was not the least expensive market in the country before Obamacare was implemented, it often ranked in the lowest third of states in terms of cost. In addition, Wisconsin offered consumer protections, guaranteed access for the most vulnerable, and had state authority to enforce the laws. The state also offered high-risk pools and subsidies for families with incomes up to $34,000 per year. Continue reading


What Real, Honest Tax Reform Will Look Like

How Congress, Trump rework the tax code without abandoning conservative principles

By George LandrithLifezette

Imagine going to your boss with your personal budget. The list would include things you want to spend money on, such as: your home, car, groceries, dining and entertainment projections, vacation plans, charitable giving goals, etc.

Now picture telling your boss he must fund your planned budget. You don’t bother to discuss your value to the company, but rather demand he fully fund your personal budget.

This is a difficult conversation to imagine because the real world doesn’t work that way. We don’t get paid based on what we want our personal budget to be, but rather the value we provide. Then based on what we receive, we budget accordingly. Yet, big government demands that it play by a different set of rules. Continue reading


Manufacturing CEO Says Obamacare Costs Negatively Impacted Jobs, Investment, Product Development

by Ali Meyer • Washington Free Beacon

A manufacturing CEO told lawmakers on Wednesday that costs imposed by the Affordable Care Act had negatively impacted his company’s ability to hire new workers, make capital investments, and develop new products.

Joe Eddy, president and CEO of Eagle Manufacturing Company, testified before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on behalf of the National Association of Manufacturers, a trade association that represents more than 12 million Americans.

“Manufacturers appreciate your attention to the burdens of the Affordable Care Act that are impacting the competitiveness and growth of manufacturers around the nation,” Eddy said. Continue reading


Letter to House Judiciary Committee on Reforming and Modernizing the Copyright Office

By George LandrithFrontiers of Freedom

Dear Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Conyers:

We believe that it is time for the Copyright Office to be modernized. On behalf of our organization and the millions of Americans we represent, we encourage Congress to give the Copyright Office the autonomy it needs to best serve the digital economy and Congress by:
1) removing the Copyright Office from within the organizational structure of the Library of Congress, and empowering the President to nominate and the Senate to confirm the Register of Copyrights; and 2) allowing the Copyright Office to modernize its IT systems as it sees best by granting the Office authority over its own budget, personnel, and technology.

The intellectual property represented by copyrights has always been important — important enough that our Founders specifically addressed it in the Constitution in Article 1, Section 8 saying that Congress shall have the power “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” Continue reading


Frontiers of Freedom President George Landrith Makes Statement on Postal Reform

By George LandrithFrontiers of Freedom

On February 2, 2017, Frontiers of Freedom President, George Landrith made the following statement on Postal Reform:

“With a nationwide decline in the service performance standards of the U.S. Postal service, members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee have introduced a bill that is ill-equipped to handle the real problem at hand. For two consecutive years USPS has failed to meet delivery goals for nearly every First-Class mail product and yet the bill fails to properly establish greatly needed mail performance requirements. This bill also ignores the rate-setting process with its regulator by calling for a price increase that further jeopardizes the Postal Service’s fundamental charge to provide quality service at reasonable cost. Instead of pulling the Postal Service out of the gutter where it currently lies, this bill regrettably keeps the structural problems that plague the federal agency and limits their ability to put customers first.”


CBO: Government Spending Projected to Drive Up Debt to Record-High Levels

by Ali Meyer • Washington Free Beacon

The Congressional Budget Office issued its latest budget and economic outlook: Government spending is projected to outpace federal tax revenues over the next decade, driving up the debt to record-high levels.

The federal government collected $17 billion more in revenues in 2016 than in 2015, and most of that money came from individual income taxes. Overall, the budget office predicts that revenues will rise by 4 percent on average over the next decade, rising to 18.4 percent of gross domestic product by 2027.

Despite the increasing amount of taxes that the federal government is collecting from the American people, the amount the government spends is even greater. Continue reading


Average Obamacare Deductible Will Jump 20% in 2017

by Ali Meyer • Washington Free Beacon

The average deductible for a silver plan through the Affordable Care Act, one of the law’s most popular health insurance plans, is projected to jump 20 percent to $3,703, according to a report from Avalere Health.

Rep. Tom Price (R., Ga.), the nominee to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, said at his confirmation hearing that while many individuals have coverage through Obamacare, some of them are not getting the care they need because they cannot afford their deductible.

“I get calls almost weekly from my former fellow physicians who tell me that their patients are making decisions about not getting the care that they need because they can’t afford the deductible,” Price said. Continue reading


Obama Leaves Office Having Added $9.3 Trillion to Debt

by Ali Meyer • Washington Free Beacon

Former President Obama left office having added $9.3 trillion to the national debt, according to numbers from the Treasury Department.

When Obama took office on Jan. 20, 2009, the outstanding public debt totaled $10,626,877,048,913. On Jan. 20, 2017, when Obama left office, outstanding public debt totaled $19,944,429,217,106, an increase of roughly $9.3 trillion.

Comparatively, former President George W. Bush contributed far less to the debt. When Bush took office in January 2001, the debt was roughly $5.7 trillion. That figure had swollen to $10.6 trillion by the time he left office, an increase of about $4.9 trillion. Continue reading


From debt to jobs, Obama failed to deliver

by Justin Haskins • Philly Inquirer

Shortly after being sworn into office in January 2009, President Obama, along with Democrats in Congress, spent trillions of dollars on government bailouts, stimulus packages, and various social welfare programs – all passed with the promise they would reverse one of the most significant economic crashes the country has experienced.

After nearly eight years in office, though, Obama has failed to deliver on many of his campaign promises and has left America worse-off than it was when he entered the White House.

During the Obama administration, there hasn’t been a single year in which the nation’s gross domestic product grew at 3 percent or higher, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service. That’s a first for a modern president. Continue reading


For Me, Obamacare Means Paying All Your Own Bills And Never Getting The Doctor You Need

By M.G. Oprea • The Federalist

It’s that time of year. No, not New Years. It’s Obamacare enrollment time—that is, if you’re unfortunate enough to not have employer-sponsored health insurance.

There’s been a lot of media coverage lately about rising premiums. But the headache isn’t just financial, although that’s certainly part of it. With more insurance providers fleeing the individual market and coverage becoming worse and worse, getting the care you need can feel almost impossible.

To illustrate, I’d like to share my own experience buying insurance on the Obamacare exchange and trying to get treated for a chronic health problem. Continue reading


Coalition Letter Opposing Suspect “Midnight Litigation” in Waning Days of Administration

Dear Vice President-Elect Pence:

It has come to our attention that a number of Departments and independent agencies are working furiously behind closed doors to bring significant, legally tenuous litigation against American business interests before January 20, 2017.  Doing so will saddle the Trump Administration with having to litigate cases based on job crushing liberal legal theories.  Such “midnight litigation,” particularly litigation that does not concern imminent threats to health or safety, must receive the strictest of scrutiny from the transition, and we urge the new Administration in the strongest possible terms not to treat such litigation with deference.

We have long been concerned about “midnight regulation” – regulations promulgated in the waning days of a lame duck administration.  Because of this concern, Congress enacted the Congressional Review Act, which provides Congress procedural tools to disapprove expeditiously these last ditch midnight regulations.  Congress, however, has no authority over litigation brought by the Executive Branch, and it will be incumbent upon the Trump Administration to decide whether to continue to pursue such cases.

President-elect Trump promised to “make American great again” and successfully argued that a rigged system has stymied growth, competitiveness and opportunity.  This is due in no small measure to the Obama Administration’s war on business, which was again made apparent only days ago with the President’s executive action to ban offshore oil drilling in areas of the Artic and Atlantic Oceans.  The mountains of regulations promulgated by the current Administration are a key reason economic growth has been dismally low.  Litigation is another form of executive action that can have similar devastating impacts on American jobs and competitiveness and should be reviewed in the same manner that the Transition is reviewing regulations.

Should the Obama Administration bring non-routine, last minute, legally unorthodox midnight litigation, your Administration should not hesitate to withdraw immediately from that litigation.  In such circumstances, the new Administration should not be constrained by notions of deference and should not support suspect legal theories that could have devastating economic effects for decades to come.

We appreciate the difficult work ahead of you and wish you the best as you continue to prepare to undo the damage of the last eight years.

Sincerely,

George Landrith
President
Frontiers of Freedom

Horace Cooper
Senior Fellow
Heartland Institute

Grover Norquist
President
Americans for Tax Reform

The Honorable J. Kenneth Blackwell
Chairman
Constitutional Congress, Inc.

Richard A. Viguerie
Chairman
ConservativeHQ.com

Morton Blackwell
Chairman
The Weyrich Lunch

Phil Kerpen
President
American Commitment

Jim Martin
President
60 Plus

Lew Uhler
President
National Tax Limitation Committee

Judson Phillips
Founder
Tea Party Patriots

David Williams
President
Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Seton Motely
President
Less Government

C. Preston Noell III
President
Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.

Scott Vanatter
President
The Last Best Hope on Earth Institute

Dee Hodges
President
Maryland Taxpayers Association

Brent Gardner
Chief Government Affairs Officer
Americans for Prosperity

Willes K. Lee
President
National Federation of Republican Assemblies

Mark Thomas
Founder
Freedom & Prosperity Caucus

John Cooper
President
Defending America Foundation

Susan Taylor
President
Strengthening America for All

William A. Estrada, Esq.,
Director of Federal Relations
Home School Legal Defense Association

Mat Staver, Esq.
Founder & Chairman
Liberty Counsel

Lorenzo Montanari
Executive Director
Property Rights Alliance

Katie McAuliffe
Executive Director
Digital Liberty

Nicholas Willis
President
Americans for Liberty & Security

Michael J. Bowen
CEO
Coalition for a Strong America

Clyde Wayne Crews
Vice President for Policy
Competitive Enterprise Institute

Charles Sauer
President
Market Institute

Norm Singleton
President
Campaign for Liberty

 


Record-High Health Care Spending Hits $3.2 Trillion in 2015

by Ali Meyer • Washington Free Beacon

Health care spending in the United States grew 5.8 percent in 2015, hitting a record high of $3.2 trillion, according to the latest estimates from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Last year, health care spending in the United States totaled $3 trillion—or $9,523 a person. This year, per-person expenditures went up to $9,990.

“The faster growth in 2014 and 2015 occurred as the Affordable Care Act expanded health insurance coverage for individuals through Marketplace health insurance plans and the Medicaid program,” the report said.

The federal government is the biggest driver of health care spending and in 2015, 29 percent of the nation’s health care bill was due to the feds. Continue reading