What to Do About Health-Care Markets? Policies to Make Health-Care Markets Work

What to Do About Health-Care Markets? Policies to Make Health-Care Markets Work. Brookings Institution. Martin Gaynor. March 10, 2020

The Problem

Health-care markets have become much more consolidated over time. That consolidation has generally resulted in higher prices without gains in quality or other improvements. There are many health-care markets where competition can be effective, but the right policies are needed to support that competition. In other markets, robust competition would be more difficult to achieve, necessitating a different policy approach.

The Proposal

Gaynor proposes three types of policy reforms that would increase competition in health care and improve market functioning.
• Reduce or eliminate policies that encourage consolidation or that impede entry and competition.
• Strengthen antitrust enforcement so that federal and state antitrust enforcement agencies can act effectively to prevent and remove harms to competition.
• Create an agency responsible for monitoring and overseeing health-care markets, and give that agency the authority to flexibly intervene when markets are not working. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 40 pages].

Digital Trade and U.S. Trade Policy

Digital Trade and U.S. Trade Policy. Congressional Research Service.  Rachel F. Fefer, Wayne M. Morrison, Shayerah Ilias Akhtar. May 21, 2019

As the global internet develops and evolves, digital trade has become more prominent on the global trade and economic policy agenda. The economic impact of the internet was estimated to be $4.2 trillion in 2016, making it the equivalent of the fifth-largest national economy. The digital economy accounted for 6.9% of current‐dollar gross U.S. domestic product (GDP) in 2017. Digital trade has been growing faster than traditional trade in goods and services.  Congress has an important role to play in shaping global digital trade policy, from oversight of agencies charged with regulating cross-border data flows to shaping and considering legislation implementing new trade rules and disciplines through trade negotiations. Congress also works with the executive branch to identify the right balance between digital trade and other policy objectives, including privacy and national security.

[PDF format, 45 pages].

Incentives, Green Preferences, and Private Provision of Impure Public Goods

Incentives, Green Preferences, and Private Provision of Impure Public Goods. Resources for the Future. Casey J. Wichman. February 11, 2016.

According to the report, when consumers value both the overall level of environmental quality and their own contributions to that end, policymakers can encourage the optimal provision of public goods by incorporating pro-environmental preferences into regulatory design. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 36 pages, 359.9 KB].

Energy Policy Agenda for the Next Administration and Congress

Energy Policy Agenda for the Next Administration and Congress. Heritage Foundation. Nicolas Loris. September 10, 2015.

Free markets will produce the energy America needs to power its economy. Government policies that allow markets to operate freely will expand opportunity for all and show favoritism to none. There is no role for government central planning, government subsidies for the favored few, or government overregulation that stifles economic activity. The next Administration and Congress should open access to natural resource development, encourage fossil fuel exports, cut tariffs on energy technology, eliminate subsidies, devolve commercial activities to the private sector, and eliminate costly, job-killing regulations that have little benefit, according to the author. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 10 pages, 222.3 KB].

The Politics of Priority Setting in Health: A Political Economy Perspective

The Politics of Priority Setting in Health: A Political Economy Perspective. Center for Global Development. Katharina Hauck and Peter C. Smith. September 3, 2015.

Many health improving interventions in low-income countries are extremely good value for money. So why has it often proven difficult to obtain political backing for highly cost-effective interventions such as vaccinations, treatments against diarrhoeal disease in children, and preventive policies such as improved access to clean water, or policies curtailing tobacco consumption? [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 33 pages, 30.5 KB].

Reducing Child Poverty in the US: Costs and Impacts of Policies Proposed by the Children’s Defense Fund

Reducing Child Poverty in the US: Costs and Impacts of Policies Proposed by the Children’s Defense Fund. Urban Institute. Linda Giannarelli et al. January 30, 2015.

The report estimates how much child poverty could be reduced by a comprehensive set of policies, increasing the minimum wage, providing transitional jobs, expanding subsidized housing and child care, increasing food assistance, increasing federal income tax credits, and changing how child support is counted in determining benefits. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 168 pages, 2.11 MB].

Public’s Policy Priorities Reflect Changing Conditions at Home and Abroad

Public’s Policy Priorities Reflect Changing Conditions at Home and Abroad. Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. January 15, 2015.

As views of the economy improve and terrorist threats persist, the public’s policy priorities have changed: For the first time in five years, as many Americans cite defending the U.S. against terrorism (76%) as a top policy priority as say that about strengthening the nation’s economy (75%). [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 25 pages, 623.58 KB].

Natural Gas: Federal Approval Process for Liquefied Natural Gas Exports

Natural Gas: Federal Approval Process for Liquefied Natural Gas Exports. U.S. Government Accountability Office. Released October, 1, 2014.

Since 2010, of 35 applications it has received that require a public interest review, the Department of Energy (DOE) has approved 3 applications to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) and 6 applications are conditionally approved with final approval contingent on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) issuance of a satisfactory environmental review of the export facility. DOE considers a range of factors to determine whether each application is in the public interest. After the first application was conditionally approved in 2011, DOE commissioned a study to help it determine whether additional LNG exports were in the public interest. Since the 16-month study was published in December 2012, DOE issued 7 conditional approvals (one of which became final) and 1 other final approval (see fig. below). In August 2014, DOE suspended its practice of issuing conditional approvals; instead, DOE will review applications after FERC completes its environmental review.

http://gao.gov/assets/670/666176.pdf Highlights [PDF format, 1 page, 139.77 KB].

http://gao.gov/assets/670/666177.pdf Full Text [PDF format, 31 pages, 929.16 KB].

Policies to Support Immigrant Entrepreneurship

Policies to Support Immigrant Entrepreneurship. Migration Policy Institute. Maria Vincenza Desiderio. August 2014.

Although immigrants are more likely to start businesses than their native-born peers, immigrant businesses have significantly lower survival rates. The report examines the obstacles facing immigrant entrepreneurs and offers policy recommendations for local and national governments looking to more fully reap the benefits of immigrant entrepreneurship. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[HTML format with a link to the PDF file].

Deliberative Polling as a Catalyst for Action on Climate Change

Deliberative Polling as a Catalyst for Action on Climate Change. Center for Global Development. Lawrence MacDonald. August 21, 2014.

Opinion polls on global warming haven’t been much help in pressing for action to reduce climate change risk, in part because polls consistently show that many respondents are uninformed of, doubt, or outright reject climate science. Politicians take these results as reason to avoid tackling a complex problem, and public debate revolves around whether to take action rather than what action to take. Deliberative Polling addresses this pair of problems, lack of knowledge and thoughtfulness on one hand and lack of representativeness on the other, in a manner that is especially well suited to ascertaining public preferences about complex issues such as climate change. The essay explains how Deliberative Polling works and offers examples of how it has led to unexpected policy successes. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 5 pages, 112.86 KB].