Out of the Storm News

Syndicate content
Free markets. Real solutions.
Updated: 5 days 9 hours ago

Testimony to Utah House Business and Labor Committee

February 23, 2015, 4:27 PM

Chair Peterson, ladies and gentlemen of the committee, my name is Ian Adams and I am the Western region director of the R Street Institute. Thank you for hearing my testimony today.

R Street is a non-profit, free-market think tank based in Washington, D.C., though I hail from Sacramento. We maintain the largest insurance-focused project of any non-industry think tank and also engage in research concerning disruptive technologies.

Though we are free marketers, we also believe there is a productive role for regulation to play in preventing consumer harm.

The controversy presented by the current interpretation of Utah’s anti-rebating statute is at the intersection of insurance and innovation. For this reason, I have examined the Utah situation in a recently released white paper entitled “Anti-rebating laws and the Utah experience.”

My research indicates that, from a free-market perspective, the current interpretation of Utah’s anti-rebating law requires legislative correction.

As you are aware, insurance is largely regulated by the states. Anti-rebating laws are widespread. 48 of 50 states have anti-rebating laws. Among the states, there is a high level of interpretive uniformity about what constitutes an “inducement.”

These laws were first introduced in the 19th century to achieve two overarching objectives:

  1. To maintain insurer solvency; and
  2. To prevent impermissible discrimination between customers.

To the extent that Utah’s anti-rebating law still seeks to further the policy objectives of the original anti-rebating laws, the interpretive judgment of the Department of Insurance concerning “inducements” accomplishes neither of those goals. Solvency concerns have been resolved by the introduction of risk-based capital standards and there is scant evidence in the states that do not maintain anti-rebating statutes that discriminatory treatment is an issue.

Even if there were evidence of impermissible discriminatory conduct, other legal proscriptions against discriminatory market conduct are already on the books and are much more effective.

By removing the nexus between the sale of an insurance product and an inducement, Utah’s interpretation of what constitutes an inducement has become an aberration unmoored from original intent. What’s worse, it does not remedy a clear consumer harm, which is the principal test of the need for regulatory intervention.

At a higher level of abstraction, for innovation to flourish, predictability and consistency are necessary. Thus, while no anti-rebating laws anticipated the innovation in question here, a permissive interpretation of the law is a preferable public policy outcome in the absence of a clear harm to consumers. For markets to flourish, innovation must be as permissionless as possible.

A near-term solution that affirms Utah’s status as a mainstream jurisdiction on this issue will allow consumers in Utah to benefit from a genuine and normatively desirable innovation.

Thank you for your time, I am happy to field any questions that the committee has.

 

Innovation and a Carbon Tax: Unexpected Views from the Right and Left

February 23, 2015, 3:11 PM
This event has passed 09/16/2014 @ 6:30 am - 8:00 pm

Australia has just repealed one, South Africa is just getting one going, and British Columbia has a popular one that nobody seems to know about.  In the United States, it is generating ever more divisiveness — or is it?

Discover the unexpected areas where the right and the left agree and disagree on a carbon tax.  Learn their thoughts on innovation and energy policy through a thought-provoking panel co-organized by the R Street Institute and Future 500.

Moderated by David Baker, Energy & Clean Tech reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, the panel will feature:

  • Andrew Moylan, R Street Institute
  • Jeremy Carl, Hoover Institution
  • Ted Nordhaus, Breakthrough Institute
  • Bill Shireman, Future 500

The event is free to public, although we kindly ask that you RSVP through this page.Catered fare and alcoholic refreshments will be provided.

For more information, please contact Brendon Steele at bsteele@future500.org.

+ Export to iCal + Export to Google Calendar Details

Start:
6:30 AM

End:
8:00 PM

Cost:
$0.00

Website:
http://www.eventbrite.com/e/innovation-and-a-carbon-tax-unexpected-views-from-the-right-and-left-tickets-12623726907

Loading Map.... R Street Institute
1050 17th St NW #1150 - Washignton
Events 38.9033684 -77.0388572 09/16/2014 - 6:30 am - 8:00 pm
R Street Institute
1050 17th St NW #1150
Washignton

R Street Institute

February 23, 2015, 3:11 PM
Loading Map.... R Street Institute
1050 17th St NW #1150 - Washignton
Events 38.9033684 -77.0388572

Address
1050 17th St NW #1150
Washignton
DC

20036
United States


Upcoming Events

  • No events in this location
  • The California Model: What We Can Learn from the Golden State’s Approach to Ridesharing

    February 23, 2015, 3:09 PM
    This event has passed 11/10/2014 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

    Join the R Street Institute and Engine for a candid discussion about ridesharing legislation featuring key stakeholders and policy analysts. The panel will coincide with the release of a new joint paper scoring the top 50 cities in America for transportation friendliness, looking at what worked, what didn’t, and what jurisdictions still considering how to deal with ridesharing can learn from California’s approach.

    Featuring:
    Ian Adams, California Director – R Street Institute
    Andrew Moylan, Executive Director and Senior Fellow – R Street Institute
    Evan Engstrom, Policy Director – Engine
    Michael Gunning, Vice President – Personal Insurance Federation of California
    David Mack, Director of Public Affairs – Lyft
    Luis Quinonez, Chief of Staff – California Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla

    RSVP Here

    + Export to iCal + Export to Google Calendar Details

    Start:
    6:00 PM

    End:
    9:00 PM

    Cost:
    $0.00

    Website:
    http://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-california-model-what-we-can-learn-from-the-golden-states-approach-to-ridesharing-tickets-13923592841

    Loading Map.... Hattery
    414 Brannan St. - San Francisco
    Events 37.7798936 -122.394879 11/10/2014 - 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
    Hattery
    414 Brannan St.
    San Francisco

    Hattery

    February 23, 2015, 3:09 PM
    Loading Map.... Hattery
    414 Brannan St. - San Francisco
    Events 37.7798936 -122.394879

    Address
    414 Brannan St.
    San Francisco
    CA

    94107
    United States


    Upcoming Events

  • No events in this location
  • Panel: Conservative Thought and Sustainability

    February 23, 2015, 3:04 PM
    This event has passed 11/13/2014 @ 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

    R Street’s Lori Sanders will be speaking on the panel “Conservative Thought and Sustainability” at the ASBC Annual Business Summit on November 13, 2014. Details below:

    Join us at the 3rd Annual Business Summit in Washington, D.C. for an up-close and  candid opportunity to exchange ideas with senior Administration officials,  regulators and members of Congress and gain valuable insight into where policy is evolving in 2015. With a new Congress coming to D.C., the 2014 Summit enables sustainable businesses and organizations to influence the policies that will make the American economy more vibrant and just.

    Open to ASBC Members and Invited Guests

    Cost: Organizational Members = $225 / Business Members = $395 / Non-Members = $600

    Agenda: http://asbcouncil.org/sites/default/files/agenda2014a.pdf

    RSVP: http://asbcouncil.org/join-asbcs-2014-white-house-summit#.VDa13SldVwY

    + Export to iCal + Export to Google Calendar Details

    Start:
    2:30 PM

    End:
    3:30 PM

    Cost:
    $225.00 - $600.00

    Website:
    http://asbcouncil.org/join-asbcs-2014-white-house-summit#.VDa13SldVwY

    Loading Map.... K&L Gates LLP
    1601 K Street NW - Washington
    Events 38.90293399999999 -77.03707299999996 11/13/2014 - 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
    K&L Gates LLP
    1601 K Street NW
    Washington

    K&L Gates LLP

    February 23, 2015, 3:04 PM
    Loading Map.... K&L Gates LLP
    1601 K Street NW - Washington
    Events 38.90293399999999 -77.03707299999996

    Address
    1601 K Street NW
    Washington
    DC

    20006
    United States


    Upcoming Events

  • No events in this location
  • Ridesharing in the District: How the Nation’s Capital Is Regulating Drivers-for-Hire

    February 23, 2015, 3:01 PM
    This event has passed 11/19/2014 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

    Join the R Street Institute and the Washington Examiner for an in-depth discussion of the state of transportation in America’s 50 largest cities. Centered on R Street’s recently released “Transportation Regulation Scorecard: 2014,” the panel will examine how cities foster or stymie a healthy transportation economy and will make recommendations for how cities can improve their rankings.

    The panel will take a particularly close look at the District of Columbia, the top scoring city in America, and the District’s new ridesharing legislation which helped vault it to the top of the list.

    + Export to iCal + Export to Google Calendar Details

    Start:
    6:30 PM

    End:
    8:00 PM

    Cost:
    $0.00

    Website:
    https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ridesharing-in-the-district-how-the-nations-capital-is-regulating-drivers-for-hire-tickets-14227784687

    Loading Map.... The Loft
    600 F Street NW - Washington
    Events 38.8970246 -77.02018069999997 11/19/2014 - 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
    The Loft
    600 F Street NW
    Washington

    The Loft

    February 23, 2015, 3:01 PM
    Loading Map.... The Loft
    600 F Street NW - Washington
    Events 38.8970246 -77.02018069999997

    Address
    600 F Street NW
    Washington
    DC


    United States


    Upcoming Events

  • No events in this location
  • Westfields Marriott

    February 23, 2015, 2:57 PM
    Loading Map.... Westfields Marriott
    14750 Conference Center Dr - Chantilly
    Events 38.873846 -77.45612799999998

    Address
    14750 Conference Center Dr
    Chantilly
    VA

    20151
    United States


    Upcoming Events

  • No events in this location
  • Fighting Poverty: Solutions from the Center-Right

    February 23, 2015, 2:55 PM
    This event has passed 12/06/2014 @ 9:45 am - 12:00 pm

    R Street senior fellow Lori Sanders will be a featured speaker at a panel on poverty policy at the Republican Party of Virginia’s 31st annual conference:

    Save the Date! The 31st Annual RPV Advance is set for December 5th-6th at the Westfields Marriott!

    We’ve got a great line-up of speakers and conservative newsmakers, workshops to help you sharpen your message, and of course hospitality suites where the newsmakers, future leaders, and current elected officials meet the grassroots one-on-one!

    + Export to iCal + Export to Google Calendar Details

    Start:
    9:45 AM

    End:
    12:00 PM

    Cost:
    $64.00

    Website:
    http://rpv.org/2014advance/

    Loading Map.... Westfields Marriott
    14750 Conference Center Dr - Chantilly
    Events 38.873846 -77.45612799999998 12/06/2014 - 9:45 am - 12:00 pm
    Westfields Marriott
    14750 Conference Center Dr
    Chantilly

    A Public Forum Leading on Climate

    February 23, 2015, 2:46 PM
    This event has passed 12/07/2014 @ 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

    R Street senior fellow Ian Adams will be a featured speaker at an upcoming panel discussion of climate policy:

    Climate change is hurting Oregonians. Pollution affects our health, economy, and infrastructure.

    Nearly every developed country wants the United States to hold polluters accountable for climate change. But Congress won’t act before a state can prove the model of effective policy.

    November’s election made this much clear: that state is Oregon.

    But if we send the bill for droughts and wildfires to the out-of-state corporations that cause them, what should we do with the estimated $2 billion in revenue every year? Cut taxes? Repair infrastructure? Invest in schools and clean energy? Should we send the money back to Oregonians as a $2,000 annual kicker? Or save for a rainy day?

    Join us on Sunday, December 7th at KOBI-TV Studio C in Medford for The Two Billion Dollar Question, an opportunity to celebrate the things we love about our home and get involved with the surest way to protect it: a fee on carbon pollution.

    Enjoy great food and music, meet the experts, and join the Two-Billion-Dollar-Debate.

    Now is the time for Oregonian exceptionalism. Don’t miss out on this exciting event!

     

    + Export to iCal + Export to Google Calendar Details

    Start:
    12:00 PM

    End:
    3:00 PM

    Cost:
    $0.00

    Website:
    http://www.oregonclimate.org/action_day#rsvp-form-link

    Map Unavailable 12/07/2014 - 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm


    #LegalHack CopyNight Returns: February 10 Edition!

    February 23, 2015, 2:43 PM
    This event has passed 02/10/2015 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

    RSVP and details at: http://www.meetup.com/DCLegalHackers/events/219834425/

    + Export to iCal + Export to Google Calendar Details

    Start:
    6:00 PM

    End:
    8:00 PM

    Cost:
    $0.00

    Website:
    http://www.meetup.com/DCLegalHackers/events/219834425/

    Loading Map.... R Street
    1015 ½ 7th Street NW - Washington
    Events 38.9072386 -77.02192179999997 02/10/2015 - 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    R Street
    1015 ½ 7th Street NW
    Washington

    R Street

    February 23, 2015, 2:43 PM
    Loading Map.... R Street
    1015 ½ 7th Street NW - Washington
    Events 38.9072386 -77.02192179999997

    Address
    1015 ½ 7th Street NW
    Washington
    DC

    20001
    United States


    Upcoming Events

  • No events in this location
  • Copyright Policy Lunch

    February 23, 2015, 2:40 PM
    This event has passed 02/11/2015 @ 12:15 pm - 1:30 pm

    Join Public Knowledge and the R Street Institute for an informational briefing on the hill explaining the basics of copyright law, and the policy challenges that arise in an age of monkey selfies, Taylor Swift, and Buzzfeed.

    Featuring opening remarks from Reps. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Blake Farenthold (R-TX).

    Details and RSVP: http://copyrightpolicy.splashthat.com/

    + Export to iCal + Export to Google Calendar Details

    Start:
    12:15 PM

    End:
    1:30 PM

    Cost:
    $0.00

    Website:

    Map Unavailable 02/11/2015 - 12:15 pm - 1:30 pm


    R Street / CDT Happy Hour at SXSW

    February 23, 2015, 2:13 PM
    03/14/2015 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

    Sorry, this event is by invitation only.

    + Export to iCal + Export to Google Calendar Details

    Start:
    5:00 PM

    End:
    7:00 PM

    Cost:
    $0.00

    Website:

    Loading Map.... R Street / CDT Happy Hour
    238 W 2nd St , - Austin
    Events 30.2648172 -97.74593920000001 03/14/2015 - 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
    R Street / CDT Happy Hour
    238 W 2nd St ,
    Austin

    R Street Panels at SXSW

    February 23, 2015, 2:11 PM
    03/13/2015 - 03/17/2015 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

    Join the R Street Institute in Austin, Texas for three policy-focused panels during SXSW Interactive.

    1. How Big Data Can Transform Poverty Policy (Feat. Kevin Corinth, Michele Jolin, Rep. John Delaney, Lori Sanders) – Sunday, March 15 at 9:30 AM
    2. When Should Privacy Trump Free Speech? (Feat. Zach Graves, Mike Godwin, Emma Llansó, Jillian York) – Sunday, March 15 at 5:00 PM
    3. Your Laws, Your Data: Making Government More Open (Feat. Molly Schwartz, Daniel Schuman, Molly Bohmer, Rebecca Williams) – Friday, March 13 at 12:30 PM

     

    + Export to iCal + Export to Google Calendar Details

    Start:
    8:00 AM

    End:
    5:00 PM

    Cost:
    $1,295.00

    Website:
    http://sxsw.com/interactive/conference/2015-sessions

    Map Unavailable 03/13/2015 - 03/17/2015 - 8:00 am - 5:00 pm


    Affordable Care Act’s tax traps may catch the middle class

    February 23, 2015, 2:03 PM

    Whoever decided that having the Internal Revenue Service enforce the penalties for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was a good idea may have made a political mistake primed to explode.

    Set aside for a moment the debate over the law itself. Whether you like it or not, PPACA is the law of the land. More importantly, that pesky individual mandate has grown some teeth.

    The individual mandate is a critical component to PPACA. The provision requires that all Americans have qualifying health insurance. The mandate forces people who might not utilize as much healthcare, particularly young healthy people, to buy insurance to offset the higher costs to insurers associated with those who need more expensive healthcare. By guaranteeing a broader customer base, insurers should theoretically be able to offset their losses associated with PPACA’s requirements that they offer more comprehensive insurance policies.

    The problem with the individual mandate is that it requires Americans to actively purchase a product. When Americans start filing their taxes this year, they will face the sting of the ACA’s penalty provisions for the first time, on as many as three different fronts.

    First, those who have already received healthcare subsidies through a government exchange must reconcile their actual income with their estimated income used to calculate the subsidy. Those who have earned more than they anticipated may be required to repay part of the subsidy they received.

    Americans who failed to purchase qualifying insurance in 2014, must pay the  greater of either $95 per person for the year ($47.50 per child under 18) or 1 percent of the taxpayer’s household income. That may not sound like such a harsh penalty, but it highlights a third potential PPACA tax trap.

    Many taxpayers will likely discover the PPACA penalty while filing their 2014 tax returns. Those returns are not due until April 15, 2015. The problem is that the open enrollment period for the federal exchanges ended on Feb. 15. As such, only a few exceptions permit individuals to purchase insurance until the next enrollment period. In other words, many taxpayers may not realize their need to purchase insurance until it is too late. To make matter worse, there is a good chance they will be subject to the 2015 PPACA penalty when they file their taxes in 2016.

    The 2015 penalty is $325 per person ($162.50 per child under 18) or 2 percent of household income in 2015. If the 2014 penalty was not enough to cause political problems, the 2015 PPACA penalty will be.

    The PPACA’s architects seemingly overlooked one critical reality: the level of civic participation in government. Only a small fraction of American citizens actually vote. Voting is free. Forcing Americans to spend money on something, even something that might benefit them, will likely prove much more difficult.

    Unfortunately for President Obama and PPACA’s supporters, middle-class Americans are most likely to be ensnared by the PPACA’s tax traps. Medicaid will cover the poorest Americans, while more affluent Americans will continue the private or employer-based insurance many of them already carried.

    If PPACA’s penalties are as painful and widespread as they could be, President Obama will be forced to negotiate with a Congress perfectly willing to let him suffer the political consequences of the law he enacted over their objections. Americans are never excited about tax season, but PPACA’s tax traps may just push them over the edge.

    Categories

    February 23, 2015, 1:57 PM

    CONTENTS

    Locations

    February 23, 2015, 1:57 PM

    CONTENTS