Business & Economics

California’s Broadband Bridge to Nowhere

The California Broadband Task Force, convened by Governor Schwarzenegger, concluded last month that high-speed Internet access should be a public investment, much like roads and power lines. The CBTF proposes “state-issued broadband bonds” to bring ultra-fast connections to the state’s most desolate reaches. Without public subsidies, however, California already ranks …


Thrills, Chills and Hospital Bills: Maybe They’re Not So Crazy After All

The other day, I examined the pointlessness of a class-action lawsuit ordering Scripps Health hospitals in San Diego to give post facto discounts to uninsured patients who had been charged “too much”, even though most of them had not paid their bills anyway! Today, we learn the overall payment to …


Losing by ‘Saving’

To help close New York’s $4.4 billion budget deficit, Gov. Spitzer has put prescription drugs on the chopping block. His budget proposal for the next fiscal year would axe drug spending by $172 million from the $1.9 billion otherwise expected. The governor describes this as a way “to control the …

Business & Economics

Defying Depression Stereotypes

Readers will recall that, in September, the Contrarian reviewed The Forgotten Man, by Amity Shlaes, a history of the Depression that charts the massive growth in government dating from the New Deal. For that reason alone we considered Amity’s book a valuable work, and quite suitable for “women’s studies,” as …


Another CON Bites the Dust?

In some late-breaking news, Florida Governor Charlie Crist has proposed repealing the state’s certificate-of-need (CON) law for acute-care hospitals to “increase competition and efficiency in the healthcare marketplace,” according to a plan included in the governor’s fiscal 2009 budget. The proposal suggests licensing as an alternative to Florida’s CON law, …


Parents still not free to choose in California

The Eureka Reporter (CA), Feb 3, 2008 Tuesday was Milton Friedman Day. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger may at last be taking a first step toward putting into action the ideas of the late Nobel laureate and “Father of Modern School Reform.” One in three California public school students is now …


Thrills, Chills, & Hospital Bills: Why Are They So Crazy?

There is little credibility to (most) hospitals’ claims that uninsured patients drive them to the brink of insolvency by crowding emergency rooms and then not paying their bills, as explained in my analysis of the California Health Care Deforminator, Model ABX1 1. Indeed, it looks like the hospitals bring these …


Big Brother Wants Your Thermostat

The California Energy Commission recently considered a proposal to take control of home thermostats, a move that drew national attention and public protests. The CEC has now backed off,-but the story remains instructive for California consumers and policy makers alike. Under the original proposal, part of a 236-page revision to …


California Health Care Deforminator: Model ABX1 1

Californians entered 2007 hopeful that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders would collaborate to find real solutions to overcome the “root causes” of rapidly increasing health costs, the growing number of uninsured, and the rise in small businesses increasingly unable to provide health benefits. Instead, they got a proposed tax …

Business & Economics

Impact – January 2008

PRI Ideas in Action – January 2008 Policy Update and Monthly Impact Report PRI continues to impact public policy in California, the nation, and abroad. Click below to view PRI’s recent contributions.

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