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Policy Issues

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  • Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. GOP leaders expand child tax credit as Rubio threatens to oppose final tax bill. December 15 GOP Leaders Alter Tax Plan In Attempt to Secure Rubio’s Vote

    GOP leaders expand child tax credit as Rubio threatens to oppose final tax bill; The FCC votes to repeal net neutrality rules; U.S. industrial production rose 0.2% in November. 

  • Ajit Pai is the Chairman of the FCC. December 14 FCC Repeals Net Neutrality

    FCC to repeal net neutrality protections; GOP strikes deal on tax cuts; Federal reserve lifts interest rates; Retail sales jump over forecasts.

  • Why Taxing Carbon May Not Make the World More Green December 14 Why Taxing Carbon May Not Make the World More Green

    Although taxing carbon is an idea that enjoys significant support among policymakers and business leaders, new research indicates that carbon taxation can actually cause energy investments to gravitate away from the cleanest energy technologies. This counterintuitive finding reflects two key characteristics of energy markets: the worldwide increase in renewable energy sources whose output is intermittent and variable; and greater market liberalization, which has made the spot driving of electricity more volatile. The intermittency of renewable energy sources requires backup generation, typically from generators using fossil fuels. The dynamics of market liberalization amplify this negative effect of intermittency. Policymakers need to take steps to reduce intermittency by supporting storage technologies or setting monetary incentives to increase renewable generation capacity investment.

  • Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer called for a delay of the GOP tax bill.  December 13 Schumer Calls for Delay on Tax Bill After Election of Doug Jones (AL)

    Senate Minority Leader calls for GOP to delay tax bill after Alabama election; GOP reaches tentative agreement to increase corporate tax rate in bill from 20 percent; Trump signs $700 billion defense policy bill; U.S. Consumer Prices Rise by 0.4% in November.

  • (Image: Winnie Palmer Hospital in Orlando, FL (NOT AN ACO). Source: Wikimedia) December 13 Accountable Care Organizations: Past Performance and Future Trends

    Healthcare spending accounts for just under one-fifth of the US economy, amounting to an enormous $3.4 trillion in 2016 [1]. Politicians from both sides of the aisle have tried their hand at passing cost containment measures to slow its growth, which has consistently outpaced GDP growth rates. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) attempted to cut costs by reshaping the way providers are paid to manage care. As a result, it began to recognize and reward a new hybrid structuring of providers: Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). As ACOs become more popular under new payment schemes, it is essential to track their ability to reduce costs and improve quality. The Trump administration’s policy changes stand to shape not only providers’ care coordination, but also the trajectory of the healthcare industry.

  • Over two dozen university and college presidents are teaming up to foster legal protection for undocumented December 12 University Presidents Team Up to Protect “Dreamers”

    Over two dozen university and college presidents are teaming up to foster legal protection for undocumented “Dreamers”; US Small Business Optimism at Highest Level since 1983; Wholesale prices higher than expected in November.