Skyrocketing Health Care Costs

What to know: Nearly 20 percent of Americans say they can’t afford needed health care, as prices continue to rise.

The TPPF take: Health care costs are rising because of systemic problems.

“Roughly 3 in 10 Americans have delayed or forgone seeking medical treatment due to costs,” says TPPF Senior Fellow John O’Shea, MD. “Underlying the various drivers of healthcare costs is the common theme of a dysfunctional marketplace hampered by anti-competitive behavior and excessive regulation.”

For more on health care costs, click here.

Gaining Steam

What to know: One Austin-based media outlet reports that: Efforts to bar local governments from hiring outside lobbyists or joining associations that lobby the state government are gaining steam…

The TPPF take: Bills to stop local governments from hiring lobbyists with tax money are beginning to move. One reason why: Texas lawmakers recognize that virtually everyone opposes the practice.

“Almost no one in Texas believes that tax dollars should fund lobbyists. Poll after poll after poll confirms as much,” says TPPF’s James Quintero. “This session, Texas lawmakers have an opportunity to pass consequential legislation that is both right and popular. They must not miss the moment.”

To read James’ testimony on hiring lobbyists with tax dollars, click here.

Real Reform

What to know: Criminal justice reform could save Arizonans more than $1 billion, one consultant says.

The TPPF take: Being right on crime doesn’t mean being soft on crime. It means seeking better results.

“When you think of conservatives, you think of fiscal conservatives,” says TPPF’s Kurt Altman. “In Arizona alone, we spend $1.2 billion a year on corrections. So conservatives started to take a look and asking, what are we getting for all this money we’re spending? We weren’t getting a lot. So we started to look for better ways.”

To hear an interview with Kurt, click here.