Author Archive

On healthcare reform, Congress needs to learn how a legislature actually works (Bicknell op-ed)

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Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

Watchdog.org executive editor John Bicknell critiques the Republicans on their impatience to replace Obamacare and misunderstanding of the legislative process in a Washington Examiner op-ed:

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was the modern administrative state. It took the New Deal, the Fair Deal, the New Frontier, the Great Society, Obamacare, and a vast array of deals, bills and laws most people have never heard of. Progressives fought their fights, banked their gains, then came back for more.

The conservative goal of repealing the 2010 healthcare law and replacing it with market-based reforms is noble. But nobility should not be confused with immediacy. The imperfect House bill includes provisions conservatives have tried and failed to pass for decades, including Medicaid reforms that would all but end a federal entitlement. That’s not small potatoes.

Click here for the full piece in the Washington Examiner.

The Republican healthcare bill is dead. Now the blame game starts (Glass op-ed)

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Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

Franklin Center Director of Policy and Outreach Kevin Glass weighs in on the downfall of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and the causes for its collapse in a Washington Examiner Op-Ed:

That Republican leadership would neglect to get all its ducks in a row on Obamacare repeal, after having seven years to come up with something they could support, was a governing gaffe of epic proportions. Republican leadership let the AHCA debacle go on for too long before shelving it. But it was better than suffering the indignity of losing a floor vote, which would have been a defeat that Obamacare repeal may not have been able to recover from. This blow, however, is going to be substantial.

There’s blame to go around everywhere here: Ryan and the rest of GOP leadership for pressing so far forward with such a flawed bill; Trump for playing both sides, risking his own capital while appearing so disinterested; a Republican caucus that refused to get on the same page for so long. AHCA was just a massive unforced error: Democrats didn’t lift a finger, and the Republican plan to repeal Obamacare went down in flames.

Click here for the full piece in the Washington Examiner.

Pennsylvania’s liquor reforms haven’t addressed the real problem (Neily Op-Ed)

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Friday, March 24th, 2017

Franklin Center President Nicole Neily examines the effectiveness of Act 39 on Pennsylvania liquor reforms in a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Op-Ed:

Reform was seriously overdue; Pennsylvania’s government-run liquor monopoly has long been one of the most stringent in the United States, because the state government owns and operates liquor stores (also known as a “control state”). Until Act 39, the state had a near-complete monopoly on all sales of wine and spirits in the state. But as the new rules have been implemented, it’s become increasingly clear that the bill merely tinkered around the edges, to the detriment of consumers.

One of the biggest reforms of Act 39 was allowing limited sales of alcohol outside of the state-owned stores. This was a step in the right direction: In recent years, many states have deregulated their liquor monopolies, introducing market competition. But the move was more symbolic than effective; studies have shown that control states both inhibit choice and raise prices — meaning customers still have a hard time getting smaller and craft brands of their favorite libations.

Click here for the full piece in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.