Policy Snapshots - January 25, 2017

By Mississippi Center for Public Policy
January 25, 2017


President Trump signs ACA executive order
Administration will need legislation or personnel change to effect reform

President Donald Trump will need legislation or to change personnel if it wants its new executive order on the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) to make a significant policy change. That's according to Mississippi Attorney Pepper Crutcher who writes at the "Affordable Care Act Review," an insightful resource for anyone wanting to keep up with the ACA requirements or reform.

Crutcher writes, "Perhaps President Trump hopes by this Order to induce current DOL, IRS and HHS staff to delay and relax already overdue ACA enforcement efforts.  But this Order does not command any waiver, delay, relaxation or other, particular, sub-regulatory guidance, which means, practically speaking, that the new President is asking the former President's appointees to cooperate to undo years of their work.  We expect few volunteers. If that's a good guess, then the new Administration will need legislation, or personnel change, or both, to effect significant policy change."

Source: Affordable Care Act Review


Save Our Schools
Watch the Video - Sign the Petition

Charter schools in Mississippi are changing lives and this video tells some of the stories. But a lawsuit threatens to close charter schools and force children back into schools that were not meeting their needs. The Save Our Schools coalition is made up of students, parents, teachers, and concerned citizens who want children in Jackson, Mississippi to have access to high quality public charter schools. Watch the video and visit the Save Our Schools website to sign the petition to keep charter schools open.

Charter School Families Tell Their Stories
Charter School Families Tell Their Stories

Source: SaveOurSchools.org

Mississippi earns "F" in forfeiture
National study says state lacks transparency


Mississippi received an "F" on 36 metrics and an "incomplete on one metric for forfeiture transparency and accountability. That grade comes from a recently released report by the Institute for Justice.

From the report: "Every year, local, state and federal law enforcement agencies across the United States seize and keep billions of dollars in cash, cars, homes and other property using a legal tool called forfeiture. With civil forfeiture, police and prosecutors can typically seize property on the mere suspicion it was involved in a crime. Most often, no charges or convictions are ever required to permanently deprive people of their property. Most of this forfeiture activity happens with little legislative or public oversight. So does most spending from forfeiture funds." Read the full report here.

Source: Institute for Justice

The "Mother, May I" Government
Federal bureaucracies "guidance" avoids oversight

Federal agencies use "guidance" to dictate policy that is not approved by Congress or even promulgated through the Administrative Procedure Act which requires review, input and advance public notice. Clyde Wayne Crews writes when bureaucrats make up the rules as they go along, it puts citizens and businesses in a "Mother, May I" society, unsure of what can or cannot be done. Read his perspective here.

Source: The Cato Institute


Obamacare promises largely unmet
Healthcare costs have increased; options have decreased

The promises and projections of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have been largely unmet. Christopher Holt and Juliana Darrow write at the American Action Forum, "We were promised that we could keep our insurance plan, but at least 4.7 million people lost their plans when the law went into effect. We were promised we could keep our doctors, but the proliferation of narrow network plans has made that another false promise. We were promised the typical family would see their insurance premiums reduced by as much as $2,500. The reality is that since 2014, average premiums for exchange benchmark plans have increased by 37.1 percent. We were told that the ACA would 'bend the cost curve and start actually reducing health care costs', but it hasn't happened either. In the year prior to Obamacare's passage, health care spending grew at 4 percent, but in 2015, the second year of full implementation, it increased by 5.8 percent."

Source: American Action Forum "Obamacare: Promises Versus Reality"


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