10:05 PM, May 13, 2015 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Assuming a Republican wins the presidency in 2016, his top domestic priority will be—and should be—to repeal and replace Obamacare. The health care overhaul is the cornerstone of President Obama’s project to transform America into a top-down administrative state. The effects of repealing Obamacare, and replacing it with a conservative reform that moves us away from government control even by comparison with the pre-Obamacare status quo, would be hugely consequential. The reverberations from its defeat would be felt across the American political landscape. Such a profound rejection and reversal of the progressive worldview and agenda would strengthen the resolve of conservatives, shake the confidence of liberals, and usher in further conservative victories. Needless to say, a failure to repeal and replace Obamacare despite a GOP presidential victory would have the opposite effect.
It's therefore heartening that House Budget Committee chair Tom Price has just introduced the strongest Obamacare alternative offered in Congress to date. Price, a medical doctor, has long been a leader in the Obamacare debate. His new proposal is based on the alternative to Obamacare advanced by the 2017 Project, headed by Jeffrey Anderson, which I chair.
Price’s legislation would offer simple, refundable, age-based tax credits to Americans who buy health insurance on their own. This would effectively fix the longstanding inequity in the tax code that has kept the individual market from competing with employer-based heath insurance. Since the World War II era, most Americans who buy insurance on their own have had to do so without a tax break, even as their neighbors with employer-based insurance get tax breaks. This unfairness affects millions of middle-class Americans. Obamacare didn’t solve it. Price’s bill would.
Like the 2017 Project’s alternative, Price’s legislation would more or less equalize the tax treatment of health insurance by offering tax credits to help people buy insurance of their choice, in the amounts of $1,200 for those under the age of 35, $2,100 for those between 35 and 50, and $3,000 for those 50 and over — plus $900 per child. It would encourage the use of health savings accounts by offering a one-time tax credit of $1,000 for opening or having an HSA. It would cap the employer-based tax break at $20,000 for a family plan and $8,000 for an individual plan. (Those with, say, a $24,000 family plan would still get the full tax break on the first $20,000.) And it would do so without changing the tax treatment of the typical American’s employer-based insurance.
Price’s legislation would encourage people to shop for value by letting anyone who buys insurance for less than the value of the tax credit deposit the savings into an HSA. It would provide commonsense protections for those with preexisting conditions. And it would repeal Obamacare — and every one of its coercive mandates.
The result would be a revitalized individual market in which prices would start to be revealed, people would start to control their own health care dollars, choices would increase, quality would rise, and costs would drop.
Price’s alternative would cut federal spending by something on the order of $1 trillion over a decade by comparison with Obamacare, and its outlays would likely be fully paid for even compared to the pre-Obamacare status quo. It would cut taxes by something on the order of $1 trillion over a decade compared to Obamacare, and it would likely provide a tax cut even compared to the pre-Obamacare status quo. Most importantly, it would undo Obamacare’s consolidation and centralization of power.
The bill isn’t perfect. Rather than providing direct tax credits to individuals and families — and thereby giving millions of middle-class Americans a tax cut — it would instead mostly channel the subsidies through insurance companies. But this could easily be fixed.
The five hidden ways you’re paying to subsidize renewable power. Apr 27, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 31 • By BRIAN H. POTTS
Do you want to know how to beat the stock market? In 46 of America’s 50 largest cities, installing a fully financed, typical-sized, residential solar power system will do just that, according to a Department of Energy-backed study released earlier this year. In other words, by investing in solar panels, most homeowners will save more in electric costs over the next 25 years (the approximate life of the system) than they would earn from investing the same money in the stock market over that same time period.
10:05 AM, Mar 5, 2015 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Ben Sasse of Nebraska, who rode his opposition to Obamacare to a seat in the Senate, has introduced legislation that should help Republicans avoid turning a potential victory at the Supreme Court into a defeat for the cause of repeal. Sasse’s bill, introduced yesterday evening, is designed to keep Republican governors and state legislators from setting up state-based exchanges in the wak
Hosted by Michael Graham.1:00 PM, Nov 14, 2014 • By TWS PODCAST
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with senior writer Steve Hayes on Jonathan Gruber's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week.
Halbig, but King bigger Nov 24, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 11 • By ADAM J. WHITE
In their final push to enact Obamacare, Nancy Pelosi urged her fellow Democrats to “pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” They probably should have found out first. Now they need the Supreme Court to “find” once again in their favor.
7:01 AM, Jul 28, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
The New York Times has described M.I.T. economist Jonathan Gruber as “a card-carrying Democrat” whose “position as an adviser to the influential Congressional Budget Office also left him perfectly positioned to advise the White House on health reform.” Moreover, the Times writes, “After Mr. Gruber helped the administration put together the basic principles of the [Obamacare] proposal, the White House lent him to Capitol Hill to help Congressional staff members draft the specifics of the legislation.” Now it turns out that, as the Competitive Enterprise Institute has unearthed, Gruber told audiences as far back as early 2012 that Obamacare’s taxpayer-funded subsidies couldn’t flow through federally established exchanges, but only through state-established ones. More recently, Gruber has been singing a different tune, as legal challenges on that aspect of the law have proceeded.
3:17 PM, Jan 26, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The boss reported this morning on CBS that Republicans will unveil an alternative to Obamacare tomorrow in the Senate:
Said host Bob Schieffer, "Bill, you actually have some news, I understand, because you've learned that the Republicans are going to, what, present an alternative to Obamacare?"
5:23 PM, Nov 20, 2013 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
As Congress moves ahead with the farm bill -- legislation that has historically been full of (figurative) pork -- there's one really obvious measure that needs to be eliminated. A new program that will require that catfish be monitored by the Department of Agriculture. Catfish, like all fish consumed by Americans, is already monitored by the Food and Drug Administration. Supposedly, this extra layer of regulation is a matter of food safety.
Plus, the law's privacy problems haven't disappeared.2:42 PM, Sep 12, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
As the October 1 implementation of parts of Obamacare nears, House Republicans continue to pass legislation aimed at highlighting the health care law's flaws and weaknesses. On Thursday, the House passed a bill to reform an Obamacare verification process that would better stop fraudulent claims to health insurance subsidies. Politico reports:
Big Ag’s big subsidies.Jul 29, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 43 • By ANDREW MOYLAN
With this month’s passage of a farm bill that doles out tens of billions of dollars in subsidies to agribusiness interests, the Republican-controlled House has signaled that the class of 2010 dream of a genuinely “small government” majority is well and truly dead.
9:01 AM, May 30, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The oldest and most durable of all Washington handouts is the agricultural subsidy. Without it, of course, farm families would be forced off the land, food prices would rise, and all manner of woe would be the nation's lot.
8:48 AM, Apr 2, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Senator Charles Schumer has discovered a new cash crop that requires taxpayer support. As Pete Kasperowicz writes in the Hill: