The Affordable Care Act (ACA) guarantees access to care regardless of preexisting conditions. Yet Christopher Briggs has struggled for years to find an ACA plan that covers his seven‐year‐old daughter’s leukemia treatment. In 2017, NPR reported, “Under ACA, Self‐Employed Father Can’t Buy Coverage for His Child with Cancer.” Why?
The law’s preexisting‐conditions provisions include government price controls that impose both a price floor that increases health insurance premiums for healthy consumers and a price ceiling that reduces premiums for the sick. Economists warn that the latter type of price control can reduce quality.
To prevent the ACA’s preexisting‐conditions provisions from reducing the quality of coverage available to the sick, the law’s authors created insurer subsidies whose purpose is to counteract those effects. But are those subsidies working?
On July 28, Briggs will tell his story to Harvard Medical School professor Timothy Layton, PhD, Associate Professor of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School and Cato Institute director of health policy studies Michael F. Cannon, who will comment in this web‐only event.
The United States is largely unique among historical great powers in its approach to the world. For the most part, American policymakers chose to avoid a traditional colonial empire. Instead, they built a globe‐spanning system of alliances described by many as a “liberal international order.” That order focused on institutions and alliances rather than imperial control, making it freer and more participatory than many in history. But it was not without its dark side; underlying the liberal order was a frequently illiberal set of policy choices: conflict, regime change, and bargains with dictators.
Why did America choose to create this system rather than a more traditional empire? What drove policymakers? And how did America’s domestic politics—notably attempts to protect the republic, democracy, and civil liberties—shape its foreign policy choices in the 20th century?
Two new books offer some answers. Richard Maass’s The Picky Eagle: How Democracy and Xenophobia Limited America’s Territorial Expansion explores the choices of American policymakers in the 19th century and the role that xenophobia played in territorial expansion. Patrick Porter’s The False Promise of Liberal Order: Nostalgia, Delusion, and the Rise of Trump explores the myth of the liberal international order and the decisions of policymakers as they built America’s hegemonic system in the 20th century.
Join us online on July 30 at 1 p.m. as we discuss these two fascinating books and debate what the American system’s past can tell us about its future.
Over the past several decades, America’s criminal justice system has moved dangerously close to a “point and convict” process of adjudication as trials have been all but replaced by plea bargaining. As a result, 95 percent of all criminal convictions today are obtained not through constitutionally prescribed public jury trials but through an often astonishingly coercive process of inducing defendants to forego their right to a trial and simply condemn themselves instead.
Directed and produced by Emmy‐nominated Wynette Yao, The Vanishing Trial follows four individuals forced to make the excruciating choice of either pleading guilty to a crime they did not commit in exchange for a shorter sentence or going to trial and risking decades behind bars. Throughout the film, we hear from leading experts about how this so‐called trial penalty has effectively abrogated one of our most hallowed constitutional rights and helped fuel mass incarceration.
This online event will feature a panel discussion followed by a question‐and‐answer session with the audience. Participants are encouraged to watch The Vanishing Trial before the panel discussion and will receive a link and password upon registering for the event so they can watch the 40‐minute film online.