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Category Archives: Legislation

No surprises act

ProPublica:  “In 2020, Congress passed the No Surprises Act to protect patients from exorbitant medical bills that had burdened Americans with tens of thousands of dollars in debt. The law was designed to decrease the charges for patients treated by an out-of-network doctor during medical emergencies. Such ER visits often left people vulnerable to so-called surprise bills, in which their insurer would only pay a portion of the expensive treatment. One of the biggest health care reforms since Obamacare, the No Surprises Act appears to have worked in one important sense. Patients have reported fewer crippling bills. Although little hard data exists, an insurance industry survey found that consumers avoided some 10 million surprise bills in the first nine months of 2023. A think tank report also suggests that people are paying less for the care they receive in the ER and other medical situations covered by the law, such as air ambulance trips. But a cumbersome government system to resolve payment disputes between doctors and insurers now threatens to undermine the law’s promise, according to interviews with industry players, recent data analyses and government documents. One potential outcome: higher insurance premiums for everyone…” [h/t Pete Weiss]

Illegal Immigrant Murderers in Texas, 2013–2022

CATO Institute: “Crime committed by illegal immigrants is an important and contentious public policy issue, but it is notoriously difficult to measure and compare their criminal conviction rates with those of other groups such as legal immigrants and native‐​born Americans. This policy analysis is the latest paper that attempts to resolve those data disputes by… Continue Reading

Inside the US government’s brilliantly boring websites

MIT Technology Review – You may not notice it, but your experience on any US government website is a carefully crafted experience. “The United States has an official web design system and a custom typeface. This public design system aims to make government websites not only good-looking but accessible and functional for all. Before the… Continue Reading

Project 2025, Election 2024, and America’s Future

TIME: “…Project 2025 led by the right-wing think tank the Heritage Foundation, Project 2025 is a presidential transition operation—basically a government-in-waiting if former President Donald Trump returns to office on Jan. 20, 2025. The $22 million effort does not say it is specifically intended for Trump, but that it wants a conservative as the next… Continue Reading

South Carolina poised to impose draconian censorship regime on school libraries

Popular Information: “On Tuesday, the South Carolina State Board of Education will impose a centralized and expansive censorship regime on every K-12 school library in the state. The new regulations could result in the banning of most classic works of literature from South Carolina schools — from The Canterbury Tales to Romeo and Juliet to… Continue Reading

What policy makers need to know about AI (and what goes wrong if they don’t)

Answer.AI: “Many policy makers in the US are being lobbied to introduce “AI safety” legislation by various well-funded groups. As a result, a number of pieces of legislation are now being drafted and voted on. For instance, SB 1047 is a bill currently working it’s way through the process in California, and introduces a number… Continue Reading

A Detailed Analysis of Article 50 of the EU’s Artificial Intelligence Act

Gils, Thomas, A Detailed Analysis of Article 50 of the EU’s Artificial Intelligence Act (June 14, 2024). Chapter to appear in an upcoming commentary on the EU AI Act (Q3-4 2024)., – “Article 50 of the EU’s AI Act contains transparency requirements for (i) interactive AI systems; (ii) synthetic content (including synthetic audio, image,… Continue Reading

There’s a Trump Presidential Library at the National Archives and It’s Hiring

No words for this via Washingtonian – “Now here’s a fun job listing: This position is part of the National Archives and Records Administration. Incumbent serves as the Deputy Director of the Donald J. Trump Presidential Library within the National Archives and Records Administration. Serves as a principal advisor to the Library Director. At the… Continue Reading

New Dataset of State Interest Group Policy Positions in the United States

“Research on the activities and influence of interest groups in state legislatures faces a data problem: we are missing a comprehensive, systematic dataset of interest groups’ policy preferences on state legislation. We address this gap by introducing the Dataset on Policy Choice and Organizational Representation in the United States (CHORUS). This dataset compiles over 13… Continue Reading

States are already collecting more abortion data. And HIPAA won’t always keep it private.

Nebraska Examiner: “Years before the Dobbs decision, providers like Dr. Kylie Cooper were already uncomfortable with some of the reporting requirements for abortion procedures in states where they practiced. Cooper was a maternal-fetal medicine specialist for several years in Idaho before she reluctantly left the state in 2023 because of the near-total abortion ban that… Continue Reading

IRS opening free online tax filing program to all states

“Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that Direct File will be a permanent, free tax filing option and invited all 50 states and the District of Columbia to join in Filing Season 2025. This announcement follows a successful Pilot Program that saw 140,000 taxpayers claim more than $90… Continue Reading

UK first country to outlaw easily guessable default passwords

TechSpot: “Why it matters: No matter how many hacks we see that are perpetrated via unchanged, weak default passwords on devices, manufacturers continue to use the likes of “password” and “admin” for login credentials. That’s no longer going to be the case in the UK, which has become the first country in the world to… Continue Reading