Obesity remains a serious health problem and it is no secret that many people want to lose weight. Behavioral economists typically argue that “nudges” help individuals with various decisionmaking flaws to live longer, healthier, and better lives. In an article in the new issue of Regulation, Michael L. Marlow discusses how nudging by government differs from nudging by markets, and explains why market nudging is the more promising avenue for helping citizens to lose weight.
In Bootleggers & Baptists: How Economic Forces and Moral Persuasion Interact to Shape Regulatory Politics, economists Bruce Yandle and Adam Smith explain how money and morality are often combined in politics to produce arbitrary regulations benefiting cronies, while constraining productive economic activities by the general public.
Featuring Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH), Member, Senate Budget Committee, Jagadeesh Gokhale, Cato Institute, and John Holahan, Urban Institute.
Medicaid lacks even a fictional trust fund and an annual trustees’ report so the massive program’s fiscal outlook receives less attention than other entitlements. Yet a new Cato Institute study suggests that Medicaid’s fiscal outlook is every bit as dire as those of Social Security and Medicare. Cato senior fellow Jagadeesh Gokhale estimates that the discounted present value of just federal Medicaid spending over the next 100 years equals $21 trillion. If the federal government continues to match state Medicaid outlays at the current rate, by the year 2106 Medicaid alone will consume 13 percent of GDP — eight times its current share. Gokhale argues that limiting the growth of Medicaid spending is essential to restoring the federal government’s financial health. Please join us for a discussion of Medicaid’s fiscal outlook and Gokhale’s projections by Senator Gregg and John Holahan, leading authorities on Medicaid and the federal budget.