March 5, 2016
This week, the Supreme Court heard arguments on whether Texas can impose on abortion clinics the same safety standards it imposes on ambulatory surgical centers. Elizabeth Slattery and Hans von Spakovsky write that the justices aren’t sure Texas is trying to do anything other than prevent another Kermit Gosnell. Also, fuel-economy standards are making new cars more expensive write Salim Furth and David Kreutzer. ObamaCare, states have discovered, contains a tax on the states themselves—something the Constitution forbids, explain Mario Loyola and John Davidson. Overly generous pensions caused Illinois’s pension crisis writes Ted Dabrowski. You can register now for Resource Bank 2016. And we added over 40 studies, articles, speeches, videos, and events to the The Insider this week. Visit to see what the conservative movement has been thinking, writing, saying, and doing to win battles for liberty.
The government added at least $3,800 to the cost of your new car. Before 2009, vehicle prices were falling. Since then, when the government started enforcing new fuel economy standards, prices have been climbing. Economists calculate that continuing to force fuel efficiency higher via the standards will cause the average auto price to rise by another $3,400 by 2025, write Salim Furth and David Kreutzer. [The Heritage Foundation]
How do we win victories for liberty? Once a year think tank leaders, policy experts, influencers, donors, and activists in the conservative movement gather to share the lessons they’ve learned in the battles for freedom. They come to The Heritage Foundation’s Resource Bank Meeting. Resource Bank 2016 will be held April 20 to 22 at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel. You can register now.
Still finding out what’s in ObamaCare: The Affordable Care Act created a new tax on health insurance providers—including Medicaid managed care providers. A number of states, write Mario Loyola and John Davidson, have now recognized that the provision amounts to a tax on the states. As the Supreme Court has held in previous cases, that’s a constitutional no-no. States are actually paying the tax, because they are required by federal law to take into account all the costs of Medicaid managed care organizations—including the new taxes—when determining the rates states pay the Medicaid managed care organizations. Last week, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Indiana joined Texas, Louisiana, and Kansas in a lawsuit challenging the tax on federalism grounds. [National Review]
The politicians bought votes with money they didn’t have. Illinois has a budget impasse, and the Illinois Policy Institute is on the case with a series of articles showing where the problem comes from: Public employee pension benefits were expanded steadily for decades and now those liabilities can’t be met despite ever rising tax revenue. As Ted Dabrowski writes, Illinois spends about a fifth of its budget on pensions; the states on average spend only 4.1 percent of their budgets meeting pension obligations. And Illinois now spends more money paying teachers who no longer teach than it spends on instruction in the classroom. [Illinois Policy Institute]
How do the states compare on taxes? What states have the latest Tax Freedom day? Which have the highest per capita tax burden? How do they rank in business taxes? The 2016 edition of “Facts & Figures: How Does Your State Compare?” is now out with answers to all those questions and more. [Tax Foundation]
Can states require abortion clinics to meet the same safety standards that ambulatory surgical centers must meet? The Supreme Court heard arguments this week in Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt—the first major abortion case in nearly a decade. A Texas abortion clinic, Whole Women’s Health, challenged a Texas law that imposes health and safety standards on abortion clinics and requires clinic doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic. The clinic argued that the standards constitute an “undue burden” on women seeking an abortion. Elizabeth Slattery and Hans von Spakovsky write that the questioning from the justices suggests that they aren’t sure the rules do anything other than protect the health and safety of women seeking an abortion. [The Daily Signal]
CPAC on C-SPAN: Can’t make it to CPAC this year? C-SPAN is posting videos from the event. Check them out.
Have a tip for The Insider? Send us an e-mail at [email protected] with “For Insider” in the subject line.
Looking for an expert? Visit PolicyExperts.org.
The Heritage Foundation | 214 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002 | 202.546.4400