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Category Archives: Legislation

Commentary – Bring Back Antitrust

David Dayen, American Prospect – Bring Back Antitrust – Despite low inflation and some bargain prices, economic concentration and novel abuses of market power are pervasive in today’s economy—harming consumers, workers, and innovators. We need a new antitrust for a new predatory era…In his 1978 book The Antitrust Paradox, Bork, a devotee of University of Chicago economic theories, contended the Sherman Act was merely a “consumer welfare” prescription, not a presumption against market power (which generally can’t exist in Chicago theory)Recent scholarship has shown Bork’s assumptions to be backward. John Kwoka, an economics professor at Northeastern University, collected retrospective data on 46 closely studied mergers, and found that 38 of them resulted in higher prices, with an overall average increase of 7.29 percent. In cases where the Justice Department imposed some sort of condition for accepting a merger, like divestiture of some product lines or bans on retaliation against rivals, the price increases were even higher, ranging from 7.68 percent to 16.01 percent. By this analysis, consumers don’t benefit at all from merger activity, as market power overwhelms whatever efficiency gains…”

ODNI Announces Transition to New Telephone Metadata Program

News release: “Beginning Sunday, November 29, the government is prohibited from collecting telephone metadata records in bulk under Section 215, including of both U.S. and non-U.S. persons. And, while under the prior program NSA collected metadata in bulk and sought court approval for individual queries, the USA FREEDOM Act requires that the government must nowContinue Reading

Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator Updated for 2016

“The Kaiser Family Foundation’s Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator is now updated to include local data on 2016 health plans that are being sold through the Affordable Care Act marketplaces. The estimates are based on zip code, household income, family size, and ages of family members. The calculator also helps consumers determine whether they could be eligible for Medicaid.”

The Statutes at Large Modernization Act

The Statutes at Large Modernization Act (H.R. 4006) Introduced by Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA) and Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA). Endorsed by: Sunlight Foundation, R Street Institute, Demand Progress, Liberty Coalition, Data Transparency Coalition,, and Niskanen Center. “What is the United States Statutes at Large? Compiled by the National Archives and Records Administration, one volume per sessionContinue Reading

OMB – Federal Information Security Modernization Act Audit FY 2015

“In FY 2015 OPM was the victim of a massive data breach that involved the theft of sensitive personal information of millions of individuals. For many years we have reported critical weaknesses in OPM’s ability to manage its information technology (IT) environment, and warned that the agency was as an increased risk of a dataContinue Reading

GAO Reports – Medicare Part B, Government Cybersecurity, Federal Real Property, Climate Change, Bulk Fuel Pricing

Medicare Part B: Expenditures for New Drugs Concentrated among a Few Drugs, and Most Were Costly for Beneficiaries, GAO-16-12: Published: Oct 23, 2015. Publicly Released: Nov 20, 2015. Critical Infrastructure Protection: Sector-Specific Agencies Need to Better Measure Cybersecurity Progress, GAO-16-79: Published: Nov 19, 2015. Publicly Released: Nov 19, 2015. Federal Real Property: Additional Authorities andContinue Reading

Kaiser Visualizing Health Policy infographic

“Based on a survey of primary care clinicians in early 2015, this Visualizing Health Policy infographic examines the experiences and attitudes of primary care practitioners (PCPs) after the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) major coverage provisions took effect in January 2014. Although most report no change in their ability to provide quality care, their opinions aboutContinue Reading

OPM IG Memo – Fiscal Year 2015 Top Challenges

Fiscal Year 2015 Top Management Challenges – “The Reports Consolidation Act of 2000 requires the Inspector General to identify and report annually the top management challenges facing the agency. In meeting this requirement, we have classified the challenges in to two key types of issues facing the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) – environmentalContinue Reading

Researching Current Federal Legislation and Regulations

CRS – Researching Current Federal Legislation and Regulations: A Guide to Resources for Congressional Staff, Jerry W. Mansfield, Lead Information Services Coordinator. November 9, 2015. “This report is designed to introduce congressional staff to selected governmental and nongovernmental sources that are useful in tracking and obtaining information on federal legislation and regulations. It includes governmentalContinue Reading

Speakers of the House: Elections, 1913-2015

CRS – Speakers of the House: Elections, 1913-2015. Richard S. Beth – Specialist on Congress and the Legislative Process, Valerie Heitshusen, Specialist on Congress and the Legislative Process. November 3, 2015. “Each new House elects a Speaker by roll call vote when it first convenes. Customarily, the conference of each major party nominates a candidateContinue Reading

Is Britain Fairer? The state of equality and human rights 2015

Is Britain Fairer? The state of equality and human rights 2015. Presented to Parliament pursuant to Section 12 of the Equality Act 2006 as amended by the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013. October 2015. “We have gathered data and evidence based around 10 domains: education; standard of living; productive and valued activities; health; life;Continue Reading

Legislative Actions to Repeal, Defund, or Delay the Affordable Care Act

Legislative Actions to Repeal, Defund, or Delay the Affordable Care Act. C. Stephen Redhead, Specialist in Health Policy. Janet Kinzer, Information Research Specialist. October 22, 2015. “Congress remains deeply divided over implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), the health reform law enacted in March 2010. Since the ACA’s enactment, lawmakers opposedContinue Reading