Daily Policy Digest
|The Commercial Drone Era Emerges (Slowly)
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) just released its final administrative rules on "routine" commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Effective August 29, 2016, this federal regulatory edict opens the door to the process of integrating UAS systems -- or "drones" -- into the nation’s commercial airspace. Aviation industry sources tout the move as capable of generating over $82 billion and creating more than 100,000 new jobs for the U.S. economy over the next decade. Though a step in the right direction, this regulatory change falls somewhat short, writes NCPA Senior Fellow Thomas Hemphill...
|The "Doc Fix" Is In
In March 2015, an overwhelming bipartisan majority in Congress voted for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). The so-called "doc fix," a component of MACRA, was an attempt to fix the very flawed method Medicare uses to pay doctors and other health professionals. Unfortunately, MACRA is fiscally irresponsible and increases the federal government's control over how clinicians practice medicine, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham.
|Case Study: "Three Friends" and the Texas Wind Industry
In recent years, Texas has become the nation's leader in wind energy. In 2014, wind farms in the Lone Star State had the capacity to produce more than 12,000 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 3.3 million homes. But given the unpredictable nature of wind, they produce, on average, only 33.9 percent of their maximum capacity, writes NCPA Research Associate John McDonald. However, some wind advocates think the nation-wide demand for electric power can be met by transporting electricity produced from renewable sources in remote areas to far-away population centers. Given the results of a recent attempt to connect the three U.S. electrical grids, the demand for renewable energy may be less than they think.
|Why the "Jack of All Trades" Model for Military Aviation Fails
Requiring one aircraft to conduct many different mission types will prove both costly and ineffective in conflict. Diversity in expertise is a key component in other military specialties. It should be the same with airpower, writes NCPA Contributing Fellow Chris Wiley...
|The Obama Economy and the Shrinking Middle Class
The Obama economy has not served the middle class well, writes Mark J. Perry and NCPA Senior Fellow Thomas Hemphill...
|A Bipartisan "Yes" On A Health Care Tax Credit
Ready for some good news on health reform? Both the presumptive Democratic candidate for President and the Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives agree people should be able to spend more money directly on medical care without insurance companies meddling, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R Graham.
|Should Dissent Be Allowed in Health Care?
Published treatment guidelines should be accompanied by dissenting expert opinions, much like the U.S. Supreme Court does. We are entering a period when access to care will be centrally determined by political appointees who project an inappropriate degree of certainty when they issue their guidelines. They could at least allow dissenting experts the right be heard, writes NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham.
|The Deep Causes of Today's Struggling U.S. Economy
The American economy is growing. But compared to other recessions in the post-World War II era it has not bounced back to its long-run trend, writes Ryan H. Murphy,research assistant professor at the O'Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom,SMU Cox School of Business.
|A Practical Approach to Occupational Licensing Reform
Occupational regulation is the traditional bailiwick of state governments, with the federal and local governments in a secondary role, writes NCPA Senior Fellow Thomas Hemphill.
|More Evidence Against Health Insurance
If you have a high-deductible health plan, you should always ask providers for a cash price, rather than wait for health insurance to process your claim. You will save a lot of money. So, what is the purpose of health insurance, asks NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham.