Pundit Wire

Author Archives: Jim Jaffe

America Works

2349875751_a4f7ed5a91_zThe dysfunctional government epidemic endlessly tracked by the media has yet to reach my outlier within-the-beltway neighborhood.

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What is Corruption?

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 7.42.23 PMI’m chronically ending up on the wrong side of debates about many types of corruption, I’ve come to wonder whether there’s any agreement on what non-illegal corruption looks like or whether I’ve simply been so corrupted for so long that I’m devoid of the moral sensitivity displayed by critics.

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Hard to Split Cloud, Silver Lining

Signing healthcare reformTeasing out the link between moderation in health spending and subpar economic growth is a daunting but important task that could have a big and unpredictable impact on the American economy in the years and decades ahead.

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Encore for Proprietary Medical Schools?

Medical Schools Conventional wisdom holds that America faces a growing physician shortage and that one way of responding is by creating new medical schools.  Starting a new school is an expensive proposition which may explain the modest number that has opened in the past decade.  But now the private sector may be coming to the rescue by creating proprietary – or profit-making – schools to train physicians.

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So What’s the Problem?

healthcare If the good news we’ve been hearing about American health costs in the past few months turns out to be the new norm – it’s too early to tell – then much of today’s political debate is wildly misguided. Consultants predict 2014 will see abnormally low inflation, again. Medicare spending per beneficiary is dropping more than previously anticipated. And new tools provided by Obamacare to constrain costs could accelerate these trends.

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Camp Tax Reform Strategy. Just Do It

camp There was a fairly recent time when the word most associated with the chairmanship of a major committee in the House of Representatives was powerful.  Retiring Representatives Dingell and Waxman enjoyed the aura that came with the gavel.

That was then.  Confirmation of how things have changed came this week when the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee unveil a tax reform plan that everyone agrees is both credible and going nowhere.

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Lobbying’s Hidden Persuaders

lobby There are two interesting additions to the annals of political influence which focus on quiet issue lobbying.

The quiet lobbying game works best when no one looks carefully at the sausage-making machinery. It offers a stark contrast to the money game where contributors present themselves as 800-lb gorillas who are willing to spend as much as it takes to make things happen their way.

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The Bang Of Your Medical Buck

doctor Is it wise policy to encourage Americans who already spend more than $8 billion annually on these tests to get more? And why does Obamacare, which generally favors evidence-based medicine, mandate this service despite new research suggesting mammograms don’t save lives.

Despite our discomfort with a public debate, our healthcare system is constantly asked what treatments are worth paying for.

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