This article originally appeared in the January/February 1999 edition of Cato Policy Report.
- Peter VanDoren has been named editor of Regulation magazine, succeeding Edward L. Hudgins. Hudgins will assume an expanded role as director of regulatory studies, thus significantly increasing the Cato Institute's commitment to careful analysis of the costs and benefits of regulation.
- VanDoren has been assistant director of environmental studies at Cato since 1997. Before joining Cato, he taught political science at Yale, Princeton, and the University of North Carolina. He is the author of Politics, Markets, and Congressional Policy Choices (University of Michigan Press, 1991) and Chemicals, Cancer, and Choices, forthcoming from Cato. He is also the author of numerous articles in such journals as Political Science Quarterly, the Southern Economic Journal, the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, and Regulation. He holds a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. from Yale University.
- Cato books are proliferating around the world this season. The Future of Money in the Information Age, edited by James A. Dorn, was published in Italy by Feltrinelli. José Piñera's Labor Market Reform in Chile was published in Korean by the Korea Center for Free Enterprise. David Boaz's Libertarianism: A Primer was published in Japan by Yosensha. Libertarianism is also now available in audiocassette—8 cassettes, 12 hours, read by the noted libertarian author and professional reader Jeff Riggenbach. The audiocassette set is available from Cato for the discount price of $45.
- Greg Scandlen has joined the Cato Institute as a fellow in health policy. He has been working in health policy for 20 years, including 12 years in the Blue Cross/Blue Shield system, where he was the director of state legislative research. He later organized and was CEO of the Council for Affordable Health Insurance, an insurance association dedicated to medical savings accounts and other free-market reform. He has published several newsletters on health policy, including Health Benefits Letter and Patient Power Report, and consults on health policy with a variety of organizations.
- Michael Gough, director of science and risk studies, has retired. He will become an adjunct scholar of the Cato Institute and will continue to write on environmental, scientific, and risk issues, as well as consult in those areas. His most recent book is Silencing Science, written with Steven J. Milloy.
- "The suggestion that free people can be limited by the government in deciding how much of their own money they should spend on protecting their health and extending their lives is repugnant to the democratic principles upon which our country was founded," according to an amicus brief filed October 6 with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The brief, filed by the Cato Institute, Citizens Against Government Waste, the American Civil Liberties Union of the National Capital Area, and other policy groups, asks the appeals court to declare section 4507 of the 1997 Balanced Budget Act unconstitutional. That provision, upheld by a lower court, says that Medicare recipients can contract with doctors of their choice for any medical service, but only if the doctors agree not to participate in the Medicare program for two years. Because nearly all doctors receive a substantial portion of their income from Medicare, section 4507 effectively stops any private contracting between Medicare beneficiaries and doctors. By pressuring physicians not to serve senior citizens outside the Medicare framework, federal officials not only harm consumers but violate one of our most basic constitutional rights. "The right of personal autonomy involved in this case—the right of a competent individual, in consultation with a licensed physician, to obtain desired medical services at his or her own expense— is fundamental... The government's position is an affront to our nation's democratic principles."