Julia Smucker

With a view to reviving nonpartisan examination of what is both right and wrong with the ACA, I offer here my own critical reflection on one aspect of it that I myself have come to rethink – not from the perspective of a policy wonk or an insurance expert, of which I am neither, but that of a language service provider who has had occasion to witness a sampling of particular situations in which the positive and negative effects of the ACA are manifest. More…

The Subsidiarity Case for Meals on Wheels
Jack Quirk

[O]ne feature of the Meals on Wheels program that hasn’t received a lot of attention is how much in keeping it is with the Catholic social teaching principle of subsidiarity. The word comes from the Latin subsidium, meaning help, support, or relief. It has a military connotation, referring to reinforcement, or reserve troops. Applied to economic, political, and social questions, it means that the State is to step in where needed, and not otherwise. More…

Less is Not More
Jack Quirk

The Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) cost estimate of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the proposed Republican replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is out. The estimate was a joint effort of the CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT). Unsurprisingly, the “CBO and JCT estimate that enacting the legislation would reduce federal deficits by $337 billion over the 2017-2026 period.” Of course, the “largest savings would come from reductions in outlays for Medicaid and from the elimination of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) subsidies for nongroup health insurance.” In other words, the savings will come from expenditures targeted toward getting health coverage for those who would otherwise be unable to afford it. More…

And Now for Something Really Competitive
Louis Rose

I was watching Donald Trump’s speech to Congress the other day (February 28th), and there was one thing that he said in particular that caught my attention. It was this:

“Right now, American companies are taxed at one of the highest rates anywhere in the world.

“My economic team is developing historic tax reform that will reduce the tax rate on our companies so they can compete and thrive anywhere and with anyone.” More…

Why No Union
Jack Quirk

“Among the basic rights of the human person is to be numbered the right of freely founding unions for working people. These should be able truly to represent them and to contribute to the organizing of economic life in the right way. Included is the right of freely taking part in the activity of these unions without risk of reprisal. Through this orderly participation joined to progressive economic and social formation, all will grow day by day in the awareness of their own function and responsibility, and thus they will be brought to feel that they are comrades in the whole task of economic development and in the attainment of the universal common good according to their capacities and aptitudes.”

Thus says Guadium et spes (section 68), one of the four constitutions that resulted from the Second Vatican Council. But lately, workers in the United States have been rejecting the opportunity to avail themselves of this basic right. More…

A Christian View on the Alt-Right
Amir Azarvan

I confess that there are certain things worth admiring about the loose association of far right-wing provocateurs popularly known as the “alt-right.”  They’re right to expose the intolerance of many on the left, especially in academia, where conservative students and faculty face ongoing challenges to their right to free speech and academic freedom. They’re correct in arguing that you can’t successfully refute an argument by throwing a tantrum and calling your opponent a bigot. More…

Subsidiary Healthcare
Jack Quirk

The dog has finally caught up with the car, and now must decide what to do with it. Throughout the Obama administration it was the number one policy goal of congressional Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act. During that time, the passage of bills to repeal the act was a risk-free proposition, there being no likelihood that the president would let such a bill pass without a veto, which Republicans did not have the numbers to override. And many such bills were passed. More…

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