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Reason Foundation

Reason Alert: Net Neutrality, Medicaid's Failures

Plus government spending and outlandish Bell city worker pensions

August 13, 2010

Google and Verizon Put the Squeeze on the FCC
In a column for AOL News, Reason magazine's Peter Suderman examines the net neutrality debate and says "the question we should be asking isn't why the FCC looks so weak, it's why the agency is involved at all.  Verizon and Google managed to independently agree on a policy that encourages innovation and prohibits discrimination. Even the original Comcast net neutrality case was solved privately: After an outpouring of consumer concern, Comcast and BitTorrent worked out a mutual agreement in which Comcast agreed to change its practices -- months before the FCC's censure.  The history of the Internet is a history of consumer welfare improving as innovative tech companies negotiate to expand services. So yes, the Google-Verizon proposal is an attempt to take advantage of a moment of FCC weakness. But it's also an attempt to do what's in the interests of both the industry and the consumers it serves -- by moving past the FCC's regulatory roadblocks and getting down to business."


Medicaid Fails Taxpayers and Patients
"Numerous studies show that, on an array of specific maladies, Medicaid's health outcomes are dismal-and in some cases worse or no better than the outcomes for individuals who lack health insurance entirely. A University of Pennsylvania study, for example, reported that colon cancer patients in Medicaid have a 2.8 percent mortality rate, compared with 2.2 percent for the uninsured. A study of Florida's Medicaid patients found they were more likely to have late-stages of prostate cancer, breast cancer, and melanoma at diagnosis than the uninsured. Part of the problem is that Medicaid's reimbursements are so low that many doctors refuse to take patients enrolled in the program. Those low payments have paved the way for massive amounts of fraud and abuse in the system. Yet simply paying more-and more and more and more-is not an option. Indeed, over the past few decades, we've vastly expanded the amount of resources the program uses. Between 1970 and 2000, the program grew from $29 billion to $250 billion in 2010-adjusted dollars. And since its inception, Medicaid spending has almost always grown at a faster rate than its counterpart, Medicare." - Reason magazine's Peter Suderman examines why Medicaid "is racked by uncontrollably rising costs" and often produces "demonstrably worse health outcomes than having no insurance at all."

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