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Monday
Mar122012

This Week From AAI

  

Birth-Control Agitprop, The Accommodation That Isn't, & Infinite Affirmative Action?

 

Want to Address the Arkansas Medicaid Crisis? Look to Florida

Arkansas Medicaid costs are reaching a tipping point, with a major funding shortfall projected in the very near future. Lawmakers seeking to reform the system should look to Florida, where a Medicaid reform pilot program has created impressive results in cost savings and improved health outcomes. Christie Herrera explains in AAI's latest policy paper.

  

The 60th Obamacare Vote

Mitt Romney recently argued that campaign rival Rick Santorum was responsible for ObamaCare because the former Pennsylvania Senator had, years before its passage, supported Arlen Specter, his homestate colleague and one of the 60 Senators who later voted for the bill. But after March 15, even Mr. Romney may agree that the blame for the 60th vote really belongs to the U.S. Justice Department. More from The Wall Street Journal.

 

 Megalomania

Nobody who wants the presidency too badly ought to be trusted with it. George Washington struck the right note in his first inaugural: "No event could have filled me with greater anxieties" than learning of his election. Unfortunately, writes Gene Healy, the modern presidential campaign calls forth characters with delusions of grandeur, a flair for dissembling, and a bottomless hunger for higher office. Read more from Gene Healy at Reason.

 

 Making Cold Medicine Prescription-Only Did Not Reduce Meth Use

In 2005, the state legislature of Oregon passed a new law requiring that pseudoephedrine be bought only by consumers with a prescription.  This, lawmakers argued, would reduce the production of methamphetamine (meth) in the state because pseudoephedrine is a necessary ingredient in that process. Read the full story from the National Center For Policy Analysis.

  

Antonin Scalia's ObamaCare Problem

When the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments later this month on whether the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's individual mandate, which requires all Americans to buy or secure health insurance, oversteps Congress' lawful authority to regulate interstate commerce, the Obama administration will be drawing heavily from the legal arguments of a surprising ally: conservative Justice Antonin Scalia. Damon Root explains at Reason.

  

Oil Sanctions & the Pretense of Knowledge

The sanctions imposed by the U.S. and the EU on Iranian crude oil exports were not supposed to cause a spike in oil prices. Yet as Reuters analyst John Kemp reported this week, "the policy has backfired." Why? As Sheldon Richman explains, it's because the matter that these "experts" were grappling with does not permit the kind of knowledge they would need to design a plan calibrated to produce the results they seek.More at Reason.

 

 Islam, Free Speech, & Democracy

The story that flew around the blogosphere last week was guaranteed to cause an uproar: A Muslim assaults an atheist for mocking Mohammed, and a Muslim judge dismisses the charges and berates the victim-and it all happens here in America. Suddenly, warnings about the threat of Sharia law on our shores got a strong boost. In reality, writes Cathy Young, there was no "Sharia court," and the judge is not a Muslim. But, however egregious the misreporting of the story and the vilification of the judge, the actual facts of the story are troubling. Get the full story at Reason.

 

Limbaugh and Our Phony Contraception Debate

At issue isn't inhalers for asthmatics or insulin for diabetics. Contraception isn't like other kinds of "health care." Yes, birth-control pills can be prescribed to address medical problems, though that's relatively rare and the Catholic Church has no quarrel with their use in this circumstance. And the university's insurance covers prescriptions in these cases. Still, Ms. Fluke is not mollified. Why? Because at the end of the day this is not about coverage of a medical condition. Cathy Ruse explains at The Wall Street Journal.

 

Tax Reform to Encourage Growth, Reduce the Deficit, and Promote Fairness

In testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Budget, Daniel J. Mitchell, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, said the internal revenue code is needlessly punitive and complex. Tax reform has the potential to reduce, or perhaps even eliminate, these problems.  But it also could make them worse. More from the National Center for Policy Analysis.

  

Birth-Control Agitprop

The Blunt amendment isn't going to send America back to the Dark Ages. Rather than transport us to President Franklin Pierce's America, never mind Charlemagne's Europe, the Blunt amendment would send America hurtling back to January 2012. In that Handmaid's Tale of an America, women were free to buy birth control from their local grocery store or Walmart pharmacy, and religious employers could opt not to subsidize the purchase. What a terrifying time that must have been for America's women. Jonah Goldberg opines at National Review Online.

 

Ira Stoll on Rush Limbaugh's "Slut" Comment

The press and President Obama have been all over Rush Limbaugh for the words he used to criticize a Georgetown Law student, Sandra Fluke, who spoke on February 23 at a meeting of the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. There's been less attention paid, writes Ira Stoll, to the details of Ms. Fluke's testimony, which, when you get into them, help explain why Mr. Limbaugh was worked up about the issue. The full story from National Review.

  

Infinite Affirmative Action?

 Later this year, the Supreme Court will review the constitutionality of the use of racial preferences in college admissions in the case of Fisher v. University of Texas. The battle lines will once again be drawn over the meaning of the equal-protection provisions of the Constitution. So it's noteworthy that Attorney General Eric Holder has just made it clear he's never bumped into a racial preference he didn't like, and that he sees no time limit on such policies. John Fund elaborates at National Review.

  

The 'Accommodation' That Isn't

Over the past several days, it's become clear that the White House's talks with religious leaders - over the "accommodation" to HHS's recent regulations on mandatory contraceptive benefits in insurance plans - are not going terribly well. James Capretta explains at National Review

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