Independent Women's Forum RSS feedhttp://www.iwf.orgThe RSS feed for the IWF. News, Commentary and Blog posts from the Independent Women's Foundation.(...)IWF RSShttp://iwf.org/images/email-logo.pnghttp://www.iwf.org33968North Korean sanctions exhausted so what's next? • After The Bellhttp://iwf.org/media/2804756/Hadley HeathFri, 15 Sep 2017 08:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumDoes Google Have a Wage Gap?<p> The answer to the question &quot;Does Google have a wage gap?&quot; is likely yes.</p> <p> Almost every company, government office, or nonprofit (except IWF of course!) has a wage gap between male and female employees. This is because, on average, men work longer hours and take more senior positions (likely because men less often take time out of the workforce to care for children). Even the Obama White House paid women less, and then-Press Secretary Jay Carney <a href="http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/article24766093.html">defended their pay scale</a> by criticizing the data used to measure it. He said the studies &quot;looked at the aggregate of everyone on staff, and that includes from the most junior levels to the most senior.&quot;</p> <p> This is also the trouble with the latest headline about alleged pay discrimination at Google: incomplete data. Employees put together a spreadsheet with pay information, and the spreadsheet suggests that women are paid less. The spreadsheet actually *does* attempt to correct for different levels of seniority, and a <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/08/technology/google-salaries-gender-disparity.html?mcubz=1&amp;_r=0">New York Times analysis</a> of the data shows women are paid less at five of six levels. But seniority isn&#39;t the only factor to consider: There&#39;s location, performace, role, tenure, and other factors that could influence how women and men are paid at Google (just as these factors influence how people are paid everywhere).&nbsp;</p> <p> Take a look at IWF&#39;s wage gap video for a refresher course on how to interpret aggregate wage gaps:</p> <p> <iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/FgOS7NeS1aw" width="560"></iframe></p> <p> We should not jump to conclusions because a wage gap appears. Google, like any employer, should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.</p> <p> Of course, this is not to say that gender-based wage discrimination never takes place. Sadly, it does. And it&#39;s illegal. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 both outlaw sex-based wage discrimination, and those who violate these laws should be prosecuted to the fullest extent.</p> <p> The Google employees&#39; spreadsheet deserves further scrutiny, but at first glance, it&#39;s not a complete picture of pay at Google. &nbsp;</p> <p> This incident actually supports a recent move by the Trump Administration to <a href="http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/451156/eeoc-rule-new-york-times-opinion-writer-slams-ivanka">rescind a pending rule from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission</a> that would have gathered data on groups of workers based on race and sex. This data might be interesting, but without context, it&#39;s not evidence of discrimination. However, we know from experience that there are those who seek to mislead women by jumping on every perceived inequality without pausing to ask important questions.</p> <p> In other words: Does Google have a wage gap? Likely yes. Does Google discriminate against women? That&#39;s a different question. But a raw wage gap alone certainly isn&#39;t enough evidence to say yes.&nbsp;</p> http://iwf.org/blog/2804746/Hadley HeathFri, 15 Sep 2017 08:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumSanders’s single-payer plan overpromises on health care — again<p> Americans are familiar with political promises on health care: lower costs, universal coverage, more fairness, more choice and so forth. Sadly, we are also used to these promises being broken, time and time again. But that doesn&rsquo;t stop politicians from making ever-greater promises to create an utopian healthcare system where all Americans get all the care they need without any significant costs or downsides.</p> <p> The latest such proposal is Sen. <a href="http://thehill.com/people/bernie-sanders">Bernie Sanders</a>&rsquo;s <a href="http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/350400-bernie-sanders-now-is-the-time-to-extend-medicare-to-everyone">&ldquo;Medicare for all&rdquo; plan</a>. It would create a single-payer health system where the federal government pays all health bills for all citizens, and it would be funded by trillions of dollars of tax increases. The <a href="https://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/alfresco/publication-pdfs/2000785-The-Sanders-Single-Payer-Health-Care-Plan.pdf">projected 10-year cost</a> of his plan is $32 trillion. (That&rsquo;s $32,000,000,000,000.)</p> <p> Although Congress just comprehensively reformed our national health policy in 2010 with the Affordable Care Act, the issue is once again ripe for discussion. America has arguably the best quality of health-care services available in the world, but many Americans across the political spectrum are rightly frustrated with our convoluted health-care payment structure today.</p> <p> Most Americans do not choose their own insurance plan but accept the one their employer offers, thereby also accepting the provider network associated with the insurance plan. This means we have very little consumer choice. Even then, we don&rsquo;t know what to expect to pay when we consume health services, because in addition to unaffordable (and ever-increasing) insurance premiums, we face additional out-of-pocket costs and unclear, confusing prices.</p> <p> But single payer is not the answer. History shows us that projections often underestimate the costs and overestimate the benefits of government healthcare programs.</p> <p> Take Medicare as an example: Medicare, which began in 1965, was initially expected to cost <a href="http://www.investors.com/medicare-medicaid-anniversary-reminds-us-of-programs-failures/?mc_cid=99d0060fea&amp;mc_eid=22cfe9edbc">$9 billion</a> annually by 1990. This initial cost projection was woefully inaccurate. The actual annual cost of the program in 1990 was $67 billion, and last year (2016), the U.S. spent <a href="http://www.kff.org/medicare/issue-brief/the-facts-on-medicare-spending-and-financing/">$588 billion</a> on Medicare alone.</p> <p> Sen. Sanders wisely bases his single-payer plan on Medicare because the program has <a href="http://www.benefitspro.com/2015/03/31/high-satisfaction-with-medicare?slreturn=1505275289">high satisfaction ratings</a> and has traditionally been able to sweep its budgetary problems under the rug. But a peek under the rug reveals a hole threatening to suck the entire federal budget into it. The program is expected to be <a href="https://www.americanactionforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/2017-07-13-Trustees-Report-Medicare-.pdf">bankrupt by 2029</a>.</p> <p> Medicare&rsquo;s ballooning budget is a concern, and not just for fiscal conservatives on the right. Democrats tacitly admitted Medicare needed budget controls when they passed the Affordable Care Act, which included the Independent Payment Advisory Board or IPAB.</p> <p> This unelected board will be tasked with reducing per-capita Medicare spending, which will inevitably mean lower reimbursements to health providers for certain services they provide to Medicare-insured seniors. &nbsp;This will result in backdoor rationing of health services as prices dip below what many providers will accept. The IPAB process has not yet been triggered, but Medicare&rsquo;s actuaries estimate that this will happen in 2021.</p> <p> The Affordable Care Act has also failed to live up to expectations: This summer, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services updated their per-capita cost projections for the Medicaid expansion to be <a href="https://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/charles-blahous/surpassing-expectations-projected-medicaid-expansion-costs-just-rose">50 percent higher</a> than previous projections. And as private insurance premiums continue to rise at <a href="https://aspe.hhs.gov/pdf-report/health-plan-choice-and-premiums-2017-health-insurance-marketplace">double-digit rates each year</a>, so do the costs of the ACA premium-assistance tax credits and subsidies for income-eligible consumers in the exchanges.</p> <p> The coverage projections for the ACA were also off. The Congressional Budget Office projected that 24 million Americans would enroll in the law&rsquo;s exchanges in 2017. How many people actually did? Only half of that: <a href="http://freebeacon.com/issues/12-2-million-signed-obamacare-2017-half-cbo-projected/">12.2 million</a>. The overall coverage figures only appear larger when Medicaid&rsquo;s exploding enrollment is considered.</p> <p> Of course, there are problems in the way we pay for health insurance, and those lawmakers and advocates who suggest change are doing so with good intentions. We need more choices and lower costs (which will only come as a result of market competition). Single payer would only take us in the opposite direction, eliminating market competition and choice, and driving up costs until the inevitable result &mdash; restricted access through rationing. This is the case in other nations with single-payer, and it may soon be the case with Medicare if the IPAB process is triggered.</p> <p> Given the problems in Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act, Americans should hesitate before falling for yet another expansion of government in the business of paying for health-care services.</p> http://iwf.org/news/2804726/Hadley HeathWed, 13 Sep 2017 14:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumSingle Payer Would Mean Higher Costs, Lower Quality<p> This week Sen. Bernie Sanders is unveiling his &quot;Medicare for all&quot; healthcare bill, which would, as the name implies, allow all Americans to enroll in Medicare. Given the challenges facing ObamaCare, many on both the left and right are looking for better ways to ensure that all Americans have access to affordable health care.</p> <p> There&#39;s only one problem: Medicare-for-all wouldn&#39;t do that. Medicare for all is the latest euphemism for single-payer health care (which is the language the left has used since &quot;socialized medicine&quot; went out of vogue). This latest rebranding is misleading, but it&#39;s intentional: Majorities of seniors report being satsified with Medicare, and Medicare provides a higher level of healthcare access than its cousin for the poor, Medicaid. But advocates of &quot;Medicare for all&quot; -- including Sen. Sanders -- paint a false utopian picture instead of what would ultimately look more like &quot;Medicaid for all&quot; at best, or DMV-style health care at worst.&nbsp;</p> <p> Single-payer health systems all have a few factors in common: <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/single-payer-health-care-would-have-an-astonishingly-high-price-tag/2017/06/18/9c70dae6-52d2-11e7-be25-3a519335381c_story.html?utm_term=.487d434c57b1">high taxation</a> for funding, <a href="http://www.nationalreview.com/article/446689/canada-single-payer-health-care-system-failures-cautionary-tale">government rationing</a> of health services through <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/charlie-gards-case-highlights-balancing-act-facing-u-k-courts-1500975002">cost-benefit data</a>, long <a href="http://www.pacificresearch.org/wait-times-and-single-payer-health-care/">wait times</a> and <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/health-40886598">low quality</a> of services. While some advocates of single payer emphasize that private options could continue to operate alongside a government payer (despite the name &quot;single payer&quot;), that&#39;s not likely to help large swaths of Americans who won&#39;t be able to afford anything other than the public option. Yes, in some countries with single payer, a two-tiered system has emerged where privileged, wealthy people can escape the public system for better care.&nbsp;</p> <p> For more information, watch this video from The Steamboat Institute:</p> <p> <iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="301" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/JYZ8d2Zio1s" width="536"></iframe></p> <p> These realities don&#39;t stop some on the Left from intentionally misleading on the subject. In today&#39;s New York Times, columnist David Leonhardt <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/11/opinion/5-questions-about-single-payer-health-care.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fopinion-columnists">applauds single payer</a>&nbsp;(in commentary disguised as Q and A). In answering the question &quot;Does single payer work well in other countries?&quot; Leonhardt says:</p> <blockquote> Generally, yes, it works very well. Costs are lower across Europe, Canada and Australia, where government plays a bigger role in medical care than here, and citizens in many of those places live longer than Americans. This is the single best argument for single-payer.</blockquote> <p> Well, I&#39;m so glad this is the best argument for single payer because it&#39;s also a very easy one to debunk. In fact, this argument has been <a href="https://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA547ComparativeHealth.html">debunked</a> <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2011/11/23/the-myth-of-americans-poor-life-expectancy/#4367fe312b98">many</a> <a href="http://www.nationalreview.com/article/448099/americas-lagging-life-expectancy-dont-blame-health-care">times</a>.</p> <p> Life expectancy is not a good metric for the quality of health care available. Even within the U.S., life expectancies <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/08/health/life-expectancy-by-county-study/index.html">vary greatly</a> between counties. And sadly for liberals (and for everyone), life expectancy has actually gone down in the U.S. on average since ObamaCare became law. But can we think of <a href="http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/healthcare-system-not-to-blame-for-dip-in-life-expectancy/article/2609211">a few reasons</a> people in other countries might live longer than the average American? Violence? Car fatalities? Drug addiction? Lifestyle choices? There&#39;s little that American health providers can do to make more Americans drive safely or exercise more. This is outside of their scope. Sure, doctors can tell you to eat healthy (they do!) but they can&#39;t enforce it. And God forbid the government ever have that kind of power. Broccoli mandate, anyone?</p> <p> Cubans have <a href="http://ais.paho.org/chi/brochures/2012/BI_2012_ENG.pdf">longer</a> life expectancies than Americans. But check out&nbsp;<a href="http://www.therealcuba.com/?page_id=77">these photos</a> from real-life Cuban healthcare facilities. Which would you choose -- to go to the doctor there, or in the U.S.?</p> <p> Better metrics exist for measuring the quality of care available to Americans. For example, we might compare life expectancies <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2011/11/23/the-myth-of-americans-poor-life-expectancy/#4367fe312b98">after the diagnosis of cancer,</a> or another major illness, or life expectancy for <a href="http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199511023331824#t=article">older people</a>, and what do you know? We find that the U.S. wins every time. It&#39;s only due to the absence of a one-size-fits-none government-run health system that the U.S. can continue to treat each patient as a valuable individual. Don&#39;t be fooled by calls for Medicare for all, or single payer. Our health insurance markets desperately need more competition, not less.&nbsp;</p> http://iwf.org/blog/2804706/Hadley HeathMon, 11 Sep 2017 16:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumRemembering September 11 and IWF's Barbara Olson<p> September 11 -- Patriot Day -- is a somber reminder of the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania. It&#39;s also a reminder of the greatness of our nation, as demonstrated by the ways so many first responders, firemen, police, and other volunteers came together to save lives, clear away rubble, and rebuild. It reminds us of all that we have in common, as Americans, in the fight against terror. It reminds us of the many lives that members of our military have sacrificed in this fight.&nbsp;</p> <p> For us at IWF, today is also a reminder of a personal loss: IWF founder Barbara Olson was killed in the attack on the Pentagon.&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 12px;"><a href="http://www.iwf.org/news/2432450/Remembering-IWF-Founder-Barbara-Olson">As R. Gaull Silberman</a> said, &quot;Barbara was the embodiment of why we started IWF: to give voice to independent, articulate, knowledgeable women who were secure in their femininity and who had the courage to challenge conventional wisdom and bring common sense to bear on issues of importance to women and to men. We sought to change the terms of the debate, and nobody was better at it than Barbara.&quot;&nbsp;</span></p> <p> Barbara was just 45 years old. Her life -- filled with work as a lawyer, as an official in the Reagan Justice department and author, and as political commentator and policy advocate -- was far too short. But we like to believe that her legacy lives on today through our work at Independent Women&#39;s Forum. Rest in Peace, Barbara Olson, and all those other lives tragically lost in the September 11, 2001 attacks.&nbsp;</p> http://iwf.org/blog/2804701/Hadley HeathMon, 11 Sep 2017 10:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumDeVos: Title IX Sexual Misconduct Policy Needs Review<p> Education Sec. Betsy DeVos today announced changes to the Department&#39;s Title IX policy on sexual misconduct. These changes are overdue.&nbsp;</p> <p> While Title IX was enacted in 1972 with good intentions, it has become a vehicle for abuse. The statute&#39;s language simply states that no one in the U.S. can be denied educational opportunities on the basis of sex. Sadly, under the Obama Administration, bureaucrats issued &quot;Dear Colleague&quot; letters to universities and colleges in the U.S. with guidelines for how to handle sexual misconduct cases on campus. These guidelines changed the standard of proof from &quot;clear and convincing&quot; to a &quot;preponderance of evidence&quot; standard, tilting these cases (handled by college tribunals) and putting accused students at a disadvantage. Describing this phenomenon, Sec. DeVos said today,&nbsp;&quot;Lady Justice is not blind on campuses today.&quot;&nbsp;</p> <p> But, in welcome remarks, Sec. DeVos also said today, &quot;The era of rule by letter is over.&quot; The Department of Education is going to open Title IX sexual misconduct policy up to a transparent public notice and comment period. This is an effort to ensure that the rights of the accused are balanced with the other priorities that colleges and universities face in combatting sexual assault on campus.&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 12px;">Sec. DeVos mentioned several ideas for how to change the policy, including allowing Title IX investigations and adjudications to be handled regionally in participation with local law enforcement and state attonerys general.&nbsp;</span></p> <p> <span style="font-size: 12px;">Sec. DeVos has been an outspoken and active Education Secretary. Her nomination and extremely close confirmation vote (with the 51st vote cast by Vice President Mike Pence), along with her strong support of issues like school choice, have made her a target for those on the left who disagree with her leadership. That&#39;s understandable. But Title IX reform should not be a partisan issue. Many legal experts, including some of <a href="http://reason.com/blog/2014/10/15/harvard-law-profs-blast-new-sex-harassme">Harvard&#39;s Law School faculty,</a> have criticized the current Title IX policy, which has led to <a href="http://www.iwf.org/blog/2804519/Title-IX-Kicks-USC-Kicker-Out-Despite-Girlfriend's-Defense">ridiculous</a> and <a href="https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/05/02/title-ix-cases-resulted-suicide-suicide-attempt-two-colleges-prompt-fresh-debate">devastating results</a>.&nbsp;</span></p> <p> We all want to combat sexual misconduct on campus. No one wants students to feel intimidated or unable to report violations to the appropriate authorities, and perpetrators should face the harshest punishments possible. But the status quo harms wrongly accused students and survivors alike, and it&#39;s time for a serious review.&nbsp;</p> <p> To watch all of Sec. DeVos&#39;s comments from today, click the video below:</p> <p> <iframe allowfullscreen="true" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="315" scrolling="no" src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FED.gov%2Fvideos%2F10155696216019320%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" width="560"></iframe></p> http://iwf.org/blog/2804684/Hadley HeathThu, 7 Sep 2017 11:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWhy rebuilding after Harvey should be done at local level • Bulls & Bearshttp://iwf.org/media/2804671/Hadley HeathSat, 2 Sep 2017 11:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumHow will Harvey affect the economy? • Bulls & Bearshttp://iwf.org/media/2804670/Hadley HeathSat, 2 Sep 2017 11:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWhy is the media politicizing Harvey? • After The Bellhttp://iwf.org/media/2804662/Hadley HeathFri, 1 Sep 2017 08:09:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumTax reform is Trump's chance to right his legacy's ship<p> You could say America has had a summer of discontent. No one is happy: Obamacare limps on. Extremist groups have grown violent. Thousands languish in addiction to opioid drugs. A hurricane ravages Texas and now Louisiana.</p> <p> Americans could use some good news. In his Springfield, Mo., speech Wednesday, President Trump re-upped his promise to pursue comprehensive tax reform, which, if he can get it done, would be very good news for workers, businesses, and families.</p> <p> Although Trump has signed&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/29/politics/president-trump-legislation/index.html" target="_blank">53 pieces of legislation</a>&nbsp;and appointed a Supreme Court justice, he has yet to deliver on any of his big-ticket legislative items: healthcare, taxes, infrastructure, or a southern border wall. But it&#39;s early in his presidency yet.</p> <p> Of all of these topics, tax reform may be the one with the most widespread public support. Trump outlined popular pieces of his tax plan again in Springfield: Eliminating most federal income tax deductions and loopholes (for the rich) has the support of 63 percent of Americans,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gallup.com/opinion/polling-matters/213239/taxes-may-certain-tax-reform-not.aspx" target="_blank">according to Gallup</a>. About 47 percent of people support the idea of reducing the number of tax brackets, with only 12 percent disagreeing. And Americans support eliminating the death tax 54 percent to 19 percent.</p> <p> Tax policy isn&#39;t a very sexy topic; most people grow bored with the details pretty quickly. But the reality is that tax policy touches our lives in myriad ways, not just in the wages directly withheld from our paychecks or the forms we fill out each year. Tax policy, perhaps more so than any other area, influences our economic growth, our labor market, and our wages.</p> <p> One example of this is the corporate tax rate. Trump put it simply: &quot;Lower taxes on American businesses mean higher wages for American workers.&quot; Some people might not take the president&#39;s word for it, but he&#39;s right. It&#39;s difficult to compute the exact amount, but as an estimate, both the&nbsp;<a href="http://pdf.iwf.org/Corporate_Tax_Reform_Could_Help_American_Workers_PF17.pdf" target="_blank">Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation</a>&nbsp;assume that workers indirectly pay 25 percent of all corporate tax dollars. Other economists put that percentage even higher. This means workers stand to benefit from lowering corporate taxes, which would boost wages.</p> <p> Despite the fact that many Republicans and Democrats (including former President Barack Obama) have supported cutting corporate taxes, Americans remain divided: 38 percent support reducing the rate and 43 percent oppose. This represents an opportunity for Trump to connect the dots, to explain how corporate taxes don&#39;t just affect white-collar executives or shareholders, but also workers.</p> <p> In his Springfield speech, Trump touted corporate tax reform as a way to keep America competitive with other countries. Indeed, the U.S. has the highest statutory corporate tax rate in the world, and some of the highest effective rates.</p> <p> Trump closed his speech by asking what could be more bipartisan than letting American workers keep more of their hard-earned money. Of course, more jobs, higher wages, lower taxes, and a simpler, easier filing process should be benefits of tax reform that Americans across the political spectrum can embrace.</p> <p> But it&#39;s easy to see how Democrats will position themselves against tax reform. They will try to turn this into a class-warfare, us-versus-them issue.</p> <p> Rather than recognizing real benefits for American middle-income workers and families, Democrats will paint tax reform as a favor to the wealthy. The highest earners will almost necessarily see a tax reduction; after all, it is the highest earners&nbsp;<a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2015/04/13/top-1-pay-nearly-half-of-federal-income-taxes.html" target="_blank">who today pay the lion&#39;s share of federal income taxes</a>. And many of those filers are small businesses&nbsp;<a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/22/good-news-for-gop-small-businesses-are-hungry-for-tax-reform.html" target="_blank">who file via the individual code</a>.</p> <p> Rather than talking about American businesses, as Trump does, Democrats will consistently use the demonized word &quot;corporations.&quot; They will continue, as they consistently do, to paint the economy as a zero-sum game where employers and employees are pitted against each other. This ignores that growth benefits everyone.</p> <p> After a tough summer, let&#39;s hope that Americans are ready to focus on uniting behind good tax reform ideas rather than deepening our divisions. Trump and Congress seem ready to lead and eager to get tax reform done. Americans should welcome these long-awaited reforms, and look forward to the economic effects: more jobs, higher wages, and lower and simpler taxes across the board.</p> <p> <em>Hadley Heath Manning (<a href="https://twitter.com/hadleyheath" target="_blank">@HadleyHeath</a>) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner&#39;s Beltway Confidential blog. She is a senior policy analyst and director of policy at the Independent Women&#39;s Forum, and a Tony Blankley Fellow at the Steamboat Institute.</em></p> <div> &nbsp;</div> http://iwf.org/news/2804648/Hadley HeathThu, 31 Aug 2017 13:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumRacism isn't about Right and Left, it's about right and wrong • Cost Of Freedomhttp://iwf.org/media/2804579/Hadley HeathSat, 19 Aug 2017 09:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumMedicaid Expansion, Opioid Expansion<p> Of course, no one wants to see Americans perish at the hands of drug overdose. But the sad reality is that an opioid epidemic is sweeping the nation, killing more than 60,000 people each year. President Trump recently declared a national health emergency, meaning he&#39;s empowering state and national agencies to work together and form a more robust response.</p> <p> As I wrote recently, the opioid epidemic is complex. There&#39;s no one factor that has caused it, but instead a host of cultural and economic factors contribute. This includes <a href="http://www.steamboattoday.com/news/hadley-heath-manning-government-policies-helped-create-the-opioid-epidemic/">government policies</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p> The Wall Street Journal editorial board <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/medicaids-opioid-fix-1502838645?mg=prod/accounts-wsj">highlighted another way</a> the government might have unintentially played a part in the expansion of opioid abuse: the Medicaid expansion:</p> <blockquote> <p> A recent study by Express Scripts Holding found that about a quarter of Medicaid patients were prescribed an opioid in 2015. Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson presents intriguing evidence that the Medicaid expansion under ObamaCare may be contributing to the rise in opioid abuse. According to a federal Health and Human Services analysis requested by the Senator, overdose deaths per million residents rose twice as fast in the 29 Medicaid expansion states&mdash;those that increased eligibility to 138% from 100% of the poverty line&mdash;than in the 21 non-expansion states between 2013 and 2015.</p> <p> There were also marked disparities between neighboring states based on whether they opted into ObamaCare&rsquo;s Medicaid expansion. Deaths increased twice as much in New Hampshire (108%) and Maryland (44%)&mdash;expansion states&mdash;than in Maine (55%) and Virginia (22%). Drug fatalities shot up by 41% in Ohio while climbing 3% in non-expansion Wisconsin.</p> </blockquote> <p> The intention behind the Medicaid expansion was, undoubtedly, to help low-income people. But there have been unintended consequences. Emergency rooms have remained crowded (in some cases <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2014/01/02/259128081/medicaid-expansion-boosted-emergency-room-visits-in-oregon">becoming more so</a>), and there&#39;s been <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2017/06/30/reality-check-the-obamacare-medicaid-expansion-is-not-saving-lives-part-i/#503705ac100a">no evidence of improved health outcomes</a>. This is because the Medicaid expansion didn&#39;t address the program&#39;s underlying flaws, but simply expanded it. <a href="http://www.nationalreview.com/article/448979/medicaid-reforms-senate-health-care-bill-medicaid-reforms-important-step">True reform is needed</a> to better help Medicaid patients get the care they need as individual patients, not as faceless &quot;millions&quot; counted on political scorecards.&nbsp;</p> http://iwf.org/blog/2804568/Hadley HeathThu, 17 Aug 2017 11:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumSen. Warren's voting record doesn't represent the political middle • Kennedy http://iwf.org/media/2804556/Hadley HeathMon, 14 Aug 2017 13:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumPolitical division has reached a level that is untenable • After The Bell http://iwf.org/media/2804548/Hadley HeathFri, 11 Aug 2017 14:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum‘Gender Pay Gap’ Looks Different With All Factors Accounted For<p> A long-running liberal mantra is that women are paid significantly less than men for doing the same work, but a closer look at the data proves that position false.</p> <p> The Institute for Women&rsquo;s Policy Research&nbsp;<a href="https://iwpr.org/publications/five-ways-to-win-an-argument-about-the-gender-wage-gap/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">claims&nbsp;</a>the current gap is 20 percent between men&rsquo;s and women&rsquo;s pay. In other words, a woman earns 80 cents for every dollar a man earns.</p> <p> The organization argues this is clear evidence of discrimination against women in the workplace. <span style="font-size:16px;"><strong><span style="color:#c93b2e;">However,&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/google-it-men-and-women-are-different-and-thats-okay/article/2631075" rel="noopener" target="_blank"><span style="color:#c93b2e;">Hadley Heath Manning</span></a><span style="color:#c93b2e;">, policy director with the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum, says the 20 percent comparison is not &ldquo;apples-to-apples.&rdquo;</span></strong></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="color:#c93b2e;"><strong>&ldquo;The raw wage gap, measured by the Department of Labor, is about 20 cents on the dollar,&rdquo; Manning told Western Journalism. &ldquo;But this is just a comparison of averages. It doesn&rsquo;t take into account many factors that affect earnings, like profession, education, experience and hours. This means that the raw wage gap doesn&rsquo;t really measure &lsquo;equal pay for equal work&rsquo; because it&rsquo;s not an apples-to-apples comparison.&rdquo;</strong></span></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="color:#c93b2e;"><strong>She added, &ldquo;Sadly, the raw wage gap is often presented without context, suggesting there is widespread discrimination against women. But this isn&rsquo;t so. This sends the wrong message to women and girls. Even the Department of Labor has said that the raw wage gap is largely the result of the individual choices women and men make, and shouldn&rsquo;t be used to justify further legislative action.&rdquo;</strong></span></span></p> <p> Economist Steven Horwitz, with the Foundation for Economic Freedom,&nbsp;<a href="https://fee.org/articles/truth-and-myth-on-the-gender-pay-gap/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">agrees</a>&nbsp;with Manning&rsquo;s assessment.</p> <p> &ldquo;That 80 percent is an aggregate, he writes. &ldquo;Thus, the claim that women get paid 80 percent of what men do for the same work is a myth.&rdquo;</p> <p> That said, he explains, there still is a 3-to-5 percent difference between the sexes when all other factors are held constant, which may be due to in part to discrimination or gender socialization.</p> <p> However, even that picture is changing among millennial women.</p> <p> &ldquo;Since 2000, one-third more women than men have graduated from college, and more women are earning graduate degrees too,&rdquo;&nbsp;<a href="https://www.fastcompany.com/3060489/millennial-women-will-close-the-gender-pay-gap-and-marketers-are-taking-note" rel="noopener" target="_blank">reports&nbsp;</a>Fast Company, using data from a Pew Research&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/12/11/on-pay-gap-millennial-women-near-parity-for-now/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">study</a>. &ldquo;Even once-male bastions such as law school are seeing the change.&rdquo;</p> <p> &ldquo;Millennial women are so outpacing men in higher education that it&rsquo;s inevitable they will become their generation&rsquo;s top earners,&rdquo; the article goes on to say. &ldquo;With greater education comes greater wealth. At this rate, young women&rsquo;s wages will overtake men&rsquo;s by 2020.&rdquo;</p> <p> A gap still exists among women seeking to be the boss in their workplaces, even among millennials, with 70 percent of men and 61 percent of women saying they want to be in charge.</p> <div itemprop="text"> <p> Another major factor explaining why women tend to earn less than men over the course of their careers is the family choices they make.</p> <p> According to Pew, 39 percent of women of all ages reported taking a significant amount of time off work to care for a child or family member. Only 24 percent of men gave the same response.</p> <p> Another interesting statistic shows that while women tend to view the job market broadly as favoring men, large majorities of both men (73 percent) and women (75 percent) report that at their particular workplaces each gender earns the same pay for the same job.</p> <p> &ldquo;We should use better metrics,&rdquo; Manning contends when discussing wage differences between men and woman. &ldquo;When we do correct for a variety of variables, like profession, education, experience and hours, the wage gap virtually disappears. This means women can and should expect equal pay for equal work. In fact, anything less is already illegal.&rdquo;</p> </div> <p> &nbsp;</p> http://iwf.org/media/2804536/Hadley HeathFri, 11 Aug 2017 09:08:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum