More Virginians to Lose Current Coverage Under Obamacare
In this Heartlander article, Kathryn Watson of Watchdog.org discusses how a quarter of a million people in Virginia are likely to lose their health insurance plans by the end of the year as a result of the Affordable Care Act. These losses are in addition to the thousands of Virginians who have already been notified over the past year their plans are no longer compliant with Obamacare. Read more.
Energy & Environment
Merchants of Smear
For about two decades, we’ve been told the science behind human-caused global warming is settled, and that we should ignore skeptic scientists because they’ve been paid by industry to manufacture doubt about the issue. Russell Cook, contributing editor for Environment & Climate News, finds the opposite to be the case in this new Heartland Institute Policy Brief. Read more.
Replacing Common Core with Proven Standards of Excellence
A new Policy Brief from The Heartland Institute summarizes the failures of Common Core State Standards, including low standards, lack of research, and threats to privacy. It also examines the standards and tests offered by the organization American College Testing (ACT) as an alternative to Common Core.
Budget & Tax
Research: Ex-Im Bank Hurts Economy, Shifts Burden onto Businesses
In this article, Daniel J. Ikenson, director of the Cato Institute’s Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy, discusses the future of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, which was set to expire on September 30 but received an extension of nine months. Ikenson argues that the bank should be closed and that it only benefits a select few. “Policymakers should be wary of claims of Ex-Im’s costless benefits. They should know that the Bank’s policies reward a few companies while hurting many more. Appreciating the hidden costs is essential to any informed judgments about the future of the Export-Import Bank.” Read more.
Research & Commentary: Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act and the Grandfather Clause
Congress is currently considering the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (PITFA), a piece of legislation that would permanently extend the Internet access tax moratorium and end the existing “grandfather clause” that allows seven states (Hawaii, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin) to tax Internet access. In this Research & Commentary, Senior Policy Analyst Matthew Glans discusses how Congressional leaders are now looking to move the vote on extending the moratorium on state and local taxation of Internet access and on discriminatory taxes on emails and other data to the lame duck session and push to attach to it the unpopular, disruptive Marketplace Fairness Act. Read more.
From Our Free-Market Friends
Parent Power Index
The Center for Education Reform released their updated version of its “Parent Power Index,” a state-by-state analysis and scorecard based on a number of policies related to choice, charters, transparency, and teacher quality. The “Parent Power Index” gives parents and policymakers an interactive tool to discover whether their state affords them “power” in school choice – and if not, methods to get more. “The Index does not score whether a state’s education laws are good or bad, but rather, for example, if those policies allow a maximum number of parents to actually make choices. The ‘elements of power’ provide a framework for evaluating and scoring state policies and practices that either ensure or limit Parent Power in the U.S.” Read more.