Sunday, July 19, 2015

FW Newsletter: Last Week's news today


Hillary's War on the "Sharing Economy" 
-by Remso Martinez

During her recent speech at the New School in Manhattan, Hillary Clinton declared war to be waged between her potential presidential administration and what she labeled the "sharing economy" (or "contractor economy"), which include app based technology services such as Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb, which Clinton has accused of " undercut wages."

An all-out political assault on these services is a strange move for the Democrat; according to Breitbart writer Joel Pollak, this decision in her platform may in fact "surprise millennial consumers, whose loyalty to the Democratic Party has largely been blind, and who have presumed that the party of government shared their love for technology." Read more here...

The Looming Reality of ObamaCare's Doctor Shortage 
- by Jason Pye

A new analysis finds that the health insurance plans offered on ObamaCare exchanges offer a choice of 34 percent fewer health care providers, on average, than plans offered on the private market. The report specifies that:

Specifically, the analysis finds that exchange plan networks include 42 percent fewer oncology and cardiology specialists; 32 percent fewer mental health and primary care providers; and 24 percent fewer hospitals. Importantly, care provided by out-of-network providers does not count toward the out-of-pocket limits put in place by the ACA. Read more here...


ObamaCare and the Supreme Court Episode IV: A New Hope
- by Michael Greibrok

The Supreme Court has now largely upheld ObamaCare, with a carve-out from the contraceptive mandate for closely held companies, the first three times the law has been challenged in the Court. Because of this, it is difficult to have much faith that the Court will ever overturn the law based on constitutional concerns. However, there is still another case working its way through the DC Circuit, Sissel v. HHS, challenging ObamaCare based on the Origination Clause.

The Origination Clause has become an issue because of Chief Justice Robert’s opinion in NFIB v. Sebelius. In that case, the first ObamaCare case before the Supreme Court, the majority of justices voted that Congress exceeded its authority under the Commerce Clause in passing the Affordable Care Act. Hooray! Read more here... 

Senator Mike Lee on the Need for Federal Sentencing Reform 

Boehner Endorses Sentencing Reform; Bill Clinton Apologizes for His Role in Mass Incarceration 
- via Reason by Jacob Sullum

"John Boehner's support for justice reform shows that momentum is growing in Congress," says FreedomWorks CEO Adam Brandon. "Not only that, but it's one of the few issues that transcends party lines and we can actually get something done. For too long, lawmakers have enacted big-government mandates that leave us with a skyrocketing prison population, high costs, and broken families. The status quo is unsustainable." Read more here...

Justice Reform: Something Bipartisan is Happening in Congress that Could Save Taxpayers Money and Keep Communities Safe 
- by Sarah Gompper

On July 14th and 15th the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a heavily attended hearings on justice reform. A common sentiment throughout the two-day event was gratitude for the truly bipartisan nature of the effort to restructure our justice system. Hopeful people are coming together from across party lines, as is rarely seen in Congress, to restore liberty and save billions in taxpayer dollars.

Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) opened the hearing by expressing concern at lacking employment opportunities for rehabilitated people, mandatory sentencing and mandatory minimum laws which incarcerate average citizens, the abuse of solitary confinement, and high rates of recidivism, or the number of people who return to prison after being released (up to 60% in some states). Read more here...

The SAFE Justice Act would bring groundbreaking reforms enacted by conservative states to the federal government
- by Jason Pye 

Thursday was a huge day for anyone following the debate and movement on justice reform, the interest in which has grown substantially in recent days. Out of nowhere, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) gave his support for, perhaps, the most comprehensive justice reform bill proposed in the current Congress.

Sponsored by Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and Bobby Scott (D-Va.), the Safe, Accountable, Fair, and Effective (SAFE) Justice Act, H.R. 2944, is based on many successful “state-tested” reforms, such as those enacted in Texas and Georgia. The bill is all encompassing, addressing front-end sentencing and back-end reentry. It also tackles over-criminalization and over-federalization in federal law. Read more here...

FreedomWorks at FreedomFest 

Unfunded State Pensions: The Next Economic Crisis
- by Michael Greibrok 

The House is getting set to pass the 21st Century Cures Act (H.R. 6). The bill has good intentions. It is trying to do great things by reforming the patent process to streamline the research and production of drugs - getting them to patients faster, which will save lives. Unfortunately, the bill also creates a new spending program with some dubious offsets that make the overall bill difficult for conservatives to support.

While streamlining FDA regulations is a great thing, throwing more federal money at research is not. The bill seeks to move $8.75 billion over five years towards funding research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Aside from the question of whether the federal government ought to be responsible for funding medical research in the first place, the spending is designated as mandatory spending. Mandatory spending doesn’t have to be appropriated each year by Congress – it just goes out the door on autopilot. And although the new “Cures Innovation Fund” that is created to spend the money is supposed to be temporary (5 years), “temporary” federal programs are rarely allowed to expire. Read more here...

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Iris Somberg 
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