Monday, October 27, 2014

From the Heartland Institute

Human Events: Activists Push to Censor Texas Textbooks, H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D., The Heartland Institute
For weeks now, controversy has raged over proposed new school textbooks in Texas. Environmental lobbyists are pressuring the Texas Board of Education to keep scientific facts about global warming out of the books. The activists donĂ¢€™t want students to know there is a debate taking place about the underlying science and economics of climate change....

Here’s another disconnect between the promise of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) and the reality. Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) have been touted by the Obama administration as a solution for rising health care costs. But patients and providers don’t like ACOs, and data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services show they aren’t effective at controlling costs....

Climate Change Weekly, H. Sterling Burnett, The Heartland Institute
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recently unveiled a plan for how the U.S. military will address the effects of climate change. This is a potentially dangerous distraction when the administration ought to be focused on Ebola, Russia, and ISIS. Also in this issue: Oregon State University scientists have discovered carbonate rocks are a previously unrecognized methane sink; new research published on climate models explains how they consistently overestimate the growth rate of carbon dioxide; and a new paper published in the journal Ocean Science measures the rise of sea levels.....

Wireless Taxes Growing Out of Control, Matthew Glans, The Heartland Institute
Wireless tax rates have reached all-time highs. A new report released on October 10 by the Tax Foundation noted the national average combined federal, state, and local taxes and fees on cell phone bills  is now 17 percent. With wireless taxes growing out of control, legislators should take another look at the Wireless Tax Fairness Act....
 
Special-interest groups have published a study attempting to scare the people of Wisconsin and other parts of the Upper Midwest about mining sand used for hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to as “frac sand.” The study also purports to have evidence of acid mine drainage, which frac sand mining does not create.....

School Choice Weekly, Joy Pullmann, The Heartland Institute
This week’s edition takes a closer look at what the best-quality research has to say about government-run preschool programs. “[T]he Cato Institute issued a highly useful review of the major and highest-quality research on government preschool, which continues to show such programs, at best, don’t benefit kids beyond first grade,” writes Heartland Research Fellow Joy Pullmann. This issue also features news about Common Core; why reading tests don’t actually measure reading; Rick Hess’ thoughts on what the outcome of the U.S. Senate elections will mean for national education policy; and more.....

 Self-Referral Problem Can Be Solved by Self-Pay , Sean Parnell, The Heartland Institute
On October 22, The Wall Street Journal reports a chain of cancer clinics that may be over-utilizing a particular test for patients that offers generous reimbursement from Medicare. Under a third-party payment regime, when their doctor recommends a $1,000 test patients have no incentive to ask if there’s a less expensive substitute. Such waste and abuse cannot be avoided so long as we leave in place a system that relies heavily on third-party payment.....

Consumer Power Report, Benjamin Domenech, The Heartland Institute
“When it comes to making the case for Obamacare’s persistence,” writes Senior Fellow Benjamin Domenech, “few Republicans have been as insistent as Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who is in a bit of hot water after talking it up recently to the Associated Press.” This week’s edition also covers insurers reaction to the Supreme Court’s Halbig decision, other Obamacare lawsuits that may reach the Court, and the rise in Obamacare insurance premiums....

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