Understanding ‘wage theft’: Evasion and avoidance responses to minimum wage increases – AEI

March 14, 2019

A holistic assessment of the labor market effects of minimum wage regulation requires understanding employer compliance. The economics literature has paid little attention to this issue. We investigate how minimum wage increases and the strength of enforcement regimes affect the prevalence of subminimum wage payments. We find strong evidence that higher minimum wages lead to a greater prevalence of subminimum wage payments. We consistently estimate that increases in measured underpayment following minimum wage increases average between 10 and 25 percent of realized wage gains. We interpret this as evidence that minimum wage evasion and avoidance are an important reality in the low-wage labor market. Finally, we find that enforcement regimes play an important role in shaping both baseline compliance rates and the response of compliance to increases in minimum wages.

via Understanding ‘wage theft’: Evasion and avoidance responses to minimum wage increases – AEI


Exploring the Taxation of New York’s New Paid Family Medical Leave Benefit by Richard Barnes :: SSRN

January 2, 2019

This article examines the taxation of benefits received under New York’s new Paid Family Leave Act. The article argues that New York’s Paid Family Leave Act is unique when compared to similar provisions enacted in other states to date and that benefits paid under the tax are excluded from federal gross income by operation of Internal Revenue Code Sections 104 and 105. Additionally, the article contends that New York’s Department of Taxation and Finance’s Notice N-17-12 errs in concluding that amounts paid under the Act are includible in federal gross income. The article contends that insurance policies issued in compliance with the Act are “health insurance” and that income replacement benefits paid under the Act are paid for “sickness” as described in Code Sections 104 and 105.

via Exploring the Taxation of New York’s New Paid Family Medical Leave Benefit by Richard Barnes :: SSRN


Rewind the ACA court challenge tapes – AEI

July 11, 2019

But although the Democratic pro-ACA appellants cannot have been encouraged by the tone and scope of yesterday’s questioning, it remains a giant leap further ahead to envision a ruling that would overturn the entire ACA on nonseverable constitutional grounds. That’s just too much of a stretch, under standard severability analysis, to argue that the congressional findings of fact in 2010 actually intertwined the individual mandate with much more than a limited set of insurance-coverage-related ACA provisions (guaranteed issue, adjusted community rating, and perhaps minimum essential benefits at most). And even if the Fifth Circuit panel (or a later en banc review) decides to produce a scrambled mess, the Supreme Court and its chief umpire John Roberts (who has a tight strike zone for ACA legal challenges) remain poised to clean up Humpty Dumpty.

via Rewind the ACA court challenge tapes – AEI


Bill Gates Posts Data Of Causes Of Death In The US, Is Amazed By The Disconnect Between News And Reality | Bored Panda

July 10, 2019

The data that Bill Gates tweeted comes from a project, titled Death: Reality vs. Reported, by students of the University of California San Diego. The researchers attempted to answer these questions: how do people die, how do people think they die, and is there a difference. To get some answers, they set out to investigate if there’s a disconnect between what one sees in the news and what happens in reality.

For their project, the students look at four sources: The Center for Disease Control’s WONDER database for public health data (1999-2016), Google Trends search volume (2004-2016), The Guardian’s article database, and The New York Times’ article database. “For all of the above data, we looked at the top 10 largest causes of mortality, as well as terrorism, overdoses, and homicides, three other causes of death which we believe receive a lot of media attention,” they wrote. For each, the relative share of deaths, share of Google searches, and share of media coverage, were calculated.

via Bill Gates Posts Data Of Causes Of Death In The US, Is Amazed By The Disconnect Between News And Reality | Bored Panda


The Boomers Are to Blame for Aging America – The Atlantic

June 24, 2019

Below, I show a reasonable projection of the share of national income that will have to be spent paying for these obligations in the future if there is no substantial restructuring of liabilities. It’s based on consensus forecasts from groups such as the Congressional Budget Office and the Office of Management and Budget for economic growth and for programs such as Social Security and Medicare where such forecasts are available—but in some cases, such as state debts and pensions, no such forecast was available, and so I developed a simple one.

Editor’s note: the graph rises from roughly 3% of GDP in 1950 to nearly 20% of GDP by 2040.

Source: The Boomers Are to Blame for Aging America – The Atlantic


For want of a form, a baby’s life could be lost – STAT

June 24, 2019

When a provider doesn’t submit an MPRA for a Medicaid-covered pregnant patient in Baltimore, her child is five times more likely to die before birth or in the first year of life than babies whose providers submit the form, according to an analysis by the Baltimore City Health Department.

Source: For want of a form, a baby’s life could be lost – STAT


MRI costs: why this surgeon is challenging NC’s certificate of need law – Vox

June 24, 2019

The legal argument against certificate of need is quite simple: The North Carolina Constitution bans monopolies, and the CON law effectively creates and preserves a monopoly by making it difficult or outright impossible for competitors to open a business.“

The effect of the MRI-CON requirement is to prevent [Singh] from acquiring a fixed MRI scanner to provide safe, quality, affordable MRI scans to patients who need them, solely because incumbent providers got there first,” the lawsuit on Singh’s behalf alleges. “Therefore, the MRI-CON requirement, both on its face and as applied, grants certain health care providers a monopoly in violation… of the North Carolina Constitution.”

Singh’s lawyers also argue the law violates their client’s equal protection rights and his right to earn a living as guaranteed by the state Constitution.

Source: MRI costs: why this surgeon is challenging NC’s certificate of need law – Vox


Tool Informs Medicaid’s Business Case for Investing in Prevention – RWJF

June 24, 2019

This is why Nemours Children’s Health System developed the Prevention Business Case Financial Simulation Tool and accompanying user guide. While exploring strategies for Medicaid investment in preventative health services, Nemours discovered that there was a lack of tools and resources available to state Medicaid agencies and MCOs to make a business case for investing in prevention. To help these organizations fill this need, Nemours developed the Financial Simulation tool using existing research literature and partnering with the Maryland Department of Health to test and validate the tool with Maryland Medicaid data. The Financial Simulation tool provides key “return on investment” (ROI) information to any state interested in exploring and implementing childhood obesity prevention interventions.The tool allows states’ Medicaid agencies and MCOs to estimate the cost of investing in various childhood obesity treatment and prevention services; health care cost savings resulting from intervention; expected short and medium-term health benefits; and a timeline of savings in order to provide evidence of the business case for Medicaid obesity prevention interventions.

Source: Tool Informs Medicaid’s Business Case for Investing in Prevention – RWJF


The Future of the Affordable Care Act – National Constitution Center

April 5, 2019

Last week, the Department of Justice surprised many by reversing its position on the Affordable Care Act—stating that it agrees with U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor that the ACA is unconstitutional, and won’t defend the law. Judge O’Connor’s December 2018 decision in Texas v. United States held that because the tax penalty that enforced the individual mandate had been reduced to $0 in Congress’s 2017 tax reforms, the rest of the ACA could not stand. The House of Representatives, along with several states, has intervened in the case to defend the ACA. Joining host Jeffrey Rosen to break down the case and the legal and constitutional arguments on both sides are ACA experts Abbe Gluck of Yale University and Tom Miller of the American Enterprise Institute.

via The Future of the Affordable Care Act – National Constitution Center