Health Savings Accounts: An Opportunity for Consumer Control

New from the Business & Media Institute

Health Savings Accounts: Opportunity for Consumer Control
The media are back on the fear and loathing trail, and this time its about health savings accounts. But unlike Social Security accounts, they cant stop these from going into effect theyre already available. The media are supporting many arguments against HSAs and leaving out key facts.

Commentary: Bravo for the Maestro
As the Federal Reserve transitions from Chairman Alan Greenspan to Ben Bernanke, the pundits have been buzzing. What was Greenspans greatest achievement? Guest columnist Dr. Don Boudreaux, head of the economics department at George Mason University, takes a look back at the Feds handling of the money supply, from that scary "i"-word to the politics behind it.

Oil Profits Controversy Resurfaces
In two stories this week, the Business & Media Institutes Ken Shepherd tracks the rejuvenated media focus on oil profits that has followed the latest earnings reports. The windfall profits tax is back on the radar as journalists like NBCs Brian Williams gawk at jaw-dropping profits tonight, record profits in fact for any American company ever.

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly
The Good, the Bad & the Ugly tracks the best and worst media coverage of business and economics. Readers are invited to submit suggestions or news tips to staff writer Ken Shepherd.
This week:  Politicians crying over Wal-Mart taxes; Mind the labeling gap on left-leaning think tanks; Consumer advocate vs. Big Oil.

Also from BMI:

Dont miss our latest Media Myth: Hit Job
Networks Emphasize Layoffs in a Year of 2 Million New Jobs

CNN Plugs Study Showing Partisan Divide Causes Confusion about Economy

Income Reports Authors Tilted Left, but Media Didnt Note It

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Research, News & Commentary

Health Care

Commentary: AEI visiting scholar and Columbia Business School Dean R. Glenn Hubbard writes that many of the problems in our health-care system stem not from what happens in the doctor's office or hospital, but what happens in our tax code.

Commentary: Arguing that President Bush needs to boldly seize health care reform as an issue, The Manhattan Institutes Dr. David Gratzer writes in the Feb. 6 Weekly Standard encouraging a new vision for American health care, which needs to devolve decision-making back to the individual.

Eminent Domain

News: The Washington Times reports that Branch Banking and Trust (BB&T), a Winston-Salem, N.C.-based bank, has announced it will not grant loans to developers who obtained commercial property from governments through the power of eminent domain. BB&T is reportedly the first major financial institution to announce such a policy since the 2005 Kelo v. New London ruling by the Supreme Court greatly expanded the power of states and local governments to seize private property.


News: A tax-cutting and budget-restraining mayor?! St. Cloud, Minn., has one. Mark Giga of the Taxpayers League of Minnesota writes for the Heartland Institute about Mayor Dave Kleis.

News: The Heartland Institutes John Skorburg reports yet another sign of economic growth: a National Conference of State Legislatures report showing most states expect to exceed their projections for tax revenue.

Analysis: Tax cuts increase the share of tax revenue the rich pay the government, former Treasury official Bruce Bartlett writes in the February 2006 edition of the Heartland Institutes Budget and Tax News. Bartlett, a Business & Media Institute adviser, found this to be true not only in the United States but in other countries that have seen marked reductions in tax rates, like Britain and Australia.


Commentary: CEI senior fellow Christopher Horner in the January 30 National Post argues that the 1997 treaty is dying under the weight of its onerous and unattainable regulations. Kyotos ultimate truth is that after eight years, nine negotiations and scores of triumphalist press releases, the rest of the world remains wildly uninterested in joining its rationing scheme.