Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Heritage Insider: Abortion is declining, school choice is expanding, plans for replacing ObamaCare have been written, the federal budget can be balanced, why do health care and education get more expensive while toys get cheaper?

The Heritage Insider: Abortion is declining, school choice is expanding, plans for replacing ObamaCare have been written, the federal budget can be balanced, why do health care and education get more expensive while toys get cheaper?

Abortion is declining. School choice is expanding. Plans for replacing ObamaCare have been written. How to balance the federal budget in 10 years. Why do health care and education get more expensive while toys get cheaper?


The growth of two conservative movements: The annual March for Life was held on Friday, about which Sarah Torre writes: “Over the past five years alone, state policymakers have passed more than 300 commonsense policies protecting women from a dangerous abortion industry and restoring respect for the dignity of both mother and child in law. Because of that persistent, tireless witness for life, 74 percent of Americans now say they would support significant restrictions on abortion, limiting it to at most the first three months of pregnancy. Just a few weeks ago, the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute announced that the nation’s abortion rate continues to plummet to its lowest point since 1973.” [InsiderOnline]
Meanwhile, this past week was National School Choice Week, about which Ben DeGrow of the Mackinac Center writes: “The evidence that school choice works continues to mount. Last May, the advocacy group EdChoice updated the tally ofgold-standard research on private school choice. The vast majority of 100 published studies shows that choice programs benefit their participants, public schools, state treasuries and society at large. […] School choice remains popular with Michigan voters, and even more so nationally. The Mackinac Center released survey results in August showing strong majorities of Michigan voters in favor of nearly all forms of choice and rejecting the argument that choice hurts public schools. Half the Detroiters polled say the city’s students need more educational options. More recently, a poll sponsored by the American Federation for Children finds a consistently strong and diverse majority of American voters back school choice. In both the state and national measures of public opinion, the idea of tax-credit scholarships registered the strongest positive numbers. […] Roughly 3 million students in 43 states and the District of Columbia are enrolled in public charter schools. The number of school choice program participants, meanwhile, has grown dramatically in recent years, and now includes nearly 400,000 students in 25 states who benefit from an educational voucher, tax-credit scholarship or education saving account.” [InsiderOnline]

An obstacle to choice. Public school attendance has gone up 5 percent since 1970 while public school employment has gone up 95 percent. As Rebecca Friedrichs explains in a new PragerU video, higher school employment means the teachers unions can collect more mandatory fees which they in turn use to lobby for more spending on public schools and against school choice programs. [InsiderOnline]

Yes, Republicans have plans to replace ObamaCare after they repeal it.Katherine Restrepo of the John Locke Institute reviews plans put forward by Speaker Paul Ryan and Rep. Tom Price (who is also President Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Health and Human Services). Both plans make use of tax credits for individuals to purchase health insurance, relax the restrictions on health savings accounts, and create high-risk pools to help those with pre-existing conditions obtain coverage. She concludes: “At the end of the day, Republicans want patients to have more say over their health care decision making. An effective transformation of our health care system should focus not just on coverage, but also more cost-effective access to health care services. Both of these goals can be achieved when patients are the true customers of health care.” [InsiderOnline]

Balancing the federal budget isn’t actually that hard. As Dan Mitchell points out, the federal government can balance its books in 10 years by simply holding the annual rate of growth of government spending to 2.63 percent instead of the projected 5.2 percent.