NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Daily Policy Digest

California Money Couldn't Buy Georgia’s Special Election

The special election for Georgia's Sixth District to fill the seat vacated by Secretary Price was heated. Jon Ossoff was the Democrat who ran for the seat with considerable outside support. Ossoff had nearly nine times as many donors from California (four times as many from the San Francisco Bay area) as donors from his district. He lost, nonetheless. He raised nearly six times the funds as his victorious opponent, Karen Handel, writes Senior Fellow Devon Herrick...

Legislating Drug Price Transparency

Some states are proposing laws requiring pharmaceutical companies to be more transparent about how drugs are priced, but such laws could run afoul of state and federal laws protecting trade secrets, writes NCPA Senior Fellow Thomas Hemphill...

Last Week in Health Care

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has begun examining the role that pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) play in rising drug prices, starting with a hearing this week on the drug delivery system. Drug manufacturers have blamed PBMs for rising prices and Senators from both sides of the aisle have called for more transparency in drug price negotiations. (Morning Consult)...

The Silly Appeal of Expanding Medicare for All

Proposals to expand Medicaid to all are little more than feel-good gestures that purport to cover everybody without actually providing universal access to care. On paper Medicaid is a very generous health plan, with no deductibles and little (if any) copays. The reality is far different, however, writes Senior Fellow Devon Herrick...

Maryland's Drug Price Gouging Law: The Potential Consequences

On May 26, Maryland became the first state to pass a law which applies specifically to "price gouging" practices by generic pharmaceutical manufacturers of essential drugs. This law passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, 137-2-2 in the Maryland House of Delegates, and 38-7-2 in the Maryland Senate, had more than enough votes to override the Governor's veto. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R), in a letter to the speaker of the Maryland House, explained that he withheld his signature because the bill vaguely defines what constitutes "price gouging" and may not withstand a legal challenge on constitutional grounds. Moreover, the Governor said, "I am not convinced that the legislation is truly a solution to ensuring Marylanders have access to essential prescription drugs, and may even have unintended consequences of harming citizens by restricting their access to these drugs," writes NCPA Senior Fellow Thomas Hemphill...

The Opioid Crisis and the Law of Unintended Consequences

The opioid crisis isn't just due to a letter to a medical journal back in 1980; it is also due to risk aversion at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and trial lawyers. More than 100 million people took pain relievers Vioxx and Bextra before they were removed from the market due to rare side-effects. How many of the people in chronic pain who became addicted to opioids could have safely taken Vioxx or Bextra? We will never know. The ones who suffer the consequences are the patients, and they should be allowed to decide whether drugs are worth the risk, rather than having the decision made for them by a risk-averse FDA and other people's lawyers, writes NCPA Senior Fellow Devon Herrick...

Texas Legislature moves on cyber issues after latest global attack

The United States avoided the brunt of the WannaCry ransomware that wreaked havoc internationally. Ironically, the attack came just as two pieces of legislation, House Bill 8 and House Bill 9, update state law to account for the use of malware and upgrade public-sector cyber capabilities. These necessary and timely bills, introduced by state Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, R-Southlake, have also illuminated how far behind the state remains in becoming digitally resilient, writes NCPA Senior Fellow David Grantham...

Drain the Health Care Swamp that's Awash in Other Peoples' Money

Health care is not a right nor is it a privilege; it is a costly service. Health care consumes nearly 20 percent of our economy. The answer to reining-in runaway medical costs is to put consumers in charge of the funds, writes NCPA Senior Fellow Devon Herrick...

Effects of a Border-adjusted Corporate Tax

U.S. firms pay the world's highest corporate tax rate -- a federal tax of 39.1 percent combined with an average 4.1 percent state tax on profits from domestic sales, or foreign sales (when and if the profits are repatriated). In contrast, the lower tax rate embedded in the prices of those goods produced in other countries and shipped to the United States often gives them a competitive advantage, whether due to other countries' lower value added taxes (VAT) or much lower corporate tax rates, writes NCPA Senior Fellow Richard B. McKenzie...

Wages and the Cost of Employment

Wages could be stagnant due to rising compensation costs. Compensation costs not only include a worker’s wages, but also the cost of providing benefits to the worker, such as health insurance, workers’ comp, unemployment insurance and paid vacation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, compensation costs for civilian workers increased 0.8 percent the first quarter of 2017 and 2.2 percent over the past 12 months, writes Senior Fellow Pamela Villarreal...


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