Posted by | January 25, 2012 09:25 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

President Obama last night said that he was prepared to act with or without Congress.  Of course he’s already been doing so (as all presidents do) and the actions he’s taken recently have been improving the country.  He’s acted to curb unreasonable increases in health insurance prices.

The rule, enacted under the authority of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, requires states to investigate the basis for rate increases at or above 10% in individual and small-group health care plans.  In states without effective or comprehensive rate review programs, HHS itself will administer the review, as it did for Trustmark plans in Alabama, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wyoming.  HHS considered Trustmark’s increases unreasonable in part because they would result in “medical loss ratios” of less than 80%, meaning that HHS believed that less than 80% of the new premiums would be spent on providing or improving the quality of health care.

And his Department of the Interior has banned uranium mining around the Grand Canyon.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Monday a final decision to impose a 20-year ban on new mining claims on 1 million acres surrounding the Grand Canyon, an area where uranium mining stakes have spiked 2,000% in the last seven years.

Presidential elections ignore issues like these but one of the reasons they are so important is because the president can do so much without Congress.  And I want one who is going to side with consumers and the environment against insurance and mining companies.

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Copyright 2012 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.