Capitol Comments

There are not many questions of public policy that economists widely agree upon. The benefits of free trade, negative impacts of rent controls, and the infeasibility of returning to a gold standard, are a few.  Add to that list the use of tax-exempt municipal bonds to subsidize the construction of professional sports complexes, a practice that 85% of surveyed economists disagree with.

On August 16, the insurance giant Aetna announced that it will be withdrawing from insurance exchanges in 11 states beginning in 2017.  This move comes on the heels of the decision by Humana and United Healthcare to substantially reduce the number of states in which they offer coverage.

A new study conducted by the economic research group Power Consulting suggests that the overall costs of operating the Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River in Northern Arizona may outweigh the benefits of increased electricity production.

 A new study published in the journal Health Affairs shows a significant reduction in prescription painkiller use as well as other prescribed drugs in states where medical marijuana has been legalized. 

On June 15, the House Committee on Natural Resources passed two pieces of legislation that would, if signed into law, transfer control of large swaths of federally managed public lands from the Department of the Interior to individual states.