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  • Issue Brief posted February 27, 2015 by Nina Owcharenko, Edmund F. Haislmaier King v. Burwell: An Opportunity for Congress and the States to Clear Away Obamacare’s Failed Policies

    On March 4, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in King v. Burwell—a case challenging the Obama Administration’s IRS ruling granting premium support subsidies to those enrolled in federal exchanges under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While a ruling against the Administration would preclude paying those subsidies to individuals who obtain coverage through the…

  • Backgrounder posted February 26, 2015 by Lisa Curtis, Olivia Enos Combating Human Trafficking in Asia Requires U.S. Leadership

    Despite increased U.S. foreign policy attention over the past decade, human trafficking remains widespread and deeply entrenched in many Asian countries. The precise number of people being trafficked is difficult to estimate, but new studies suggest nearly 36 million victims worldwide. Of those 36 million, nearly two-thirds are from Asia.[1] Total profits from worldwide…

  • Issue Brief posted February 26, 2015 by Anthony B. Kim, Charlotte Florance, Brett D. Schaefer Time to Renew and Enhance the African Growth and Opportunity Act

    The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is at a critical juncture for America’s economic engagement with Africa. The current AGOA is set to expire on September 30, 2015. Although both Congress and the Obama Administration have repeatedly expressed their intention for a “seamless” renewal, they need to act quickly and decisively to ensure that uncertainty does not…

  • First Principles Series Report posted February 25, 2015 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. Federalism and Freedom: Orestes Brownson’s Case for the Federal Constitution

    Over the past 100 years, conservatives and Progressives have battled over the meaning and relevance of the U.S. Constitution. Many of these disagreements have focused especially on the relationship between the federal government and the states. Progressives old and new have long dismissed states’ powers as annoying relics of a bygone era. Progressives assert that…

  • Issue Brief posted February 25, 2015 by Ana Quintana Six Issues the U.S. Should Not Concede to Cuba During Normalization Talks

    The U.S. and Cuba will hold the second round of normalization talks on February 27 in Washington, DC. This follows the U.S.’s attempt in late January to negotiate the terms of reestablishing diplomatic relations with the Castro regime. In those talks in Havana, Cuban officials made it clear that the regime will not change its political or economic system, despite the…

  • Issue Brief posted February 24, 2015 by Salim Furth, Ph.D. Who Is Working Less?

    Labor force participation in the past few years has been lower than at any time since the 1970s. Heritage Foundation research using Current Population Survey (CPS) data finds that labor force participation decreased more among low-income households than among high-income households. Our finding contradicts results found by Stanford University economist Robert Hall using a…

  • Issue Brief posted February 24, 2015 by Diane Katz Export-Import Bank Impervious to Reform

    Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, some Members of Congress believe that a few legislative tweaks will remedy all that is wrong with the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im).[1] In fact, the pending House bill to reauthorize Ex-Im through 2019 is largely a regurgitation of “reforms” previously mandated by Congress—without appreciable effect. The only meaningful way to…

  • News Releases on February 24, 2015 Heritage Foundation Releases First Annual “Index of U.S. Military Strength”

    Washington, DC, Feb. 24, 2015 – The U.S. military may be weaker than you think. All but one branch of America’s military and nuclear forces are currently operating at “marginal” strength levels. The exception is the Air Force, which is rated as “strong” in the “Index of U.S. Military Strength,” released today by The Heritage Foundation. A first-of-its-kind report, the…

  • Issue Brief posted February 23, 2015 by Alyene Senger Eight Groups Harmed by the ACA’s Flawed Policies

    The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on March 4 in the case of King v. Burwell—a challenge to an IRS rule under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) allowing the payment of premium subsidies to individuals enrolled in the federal exchange. Supporters of the ACA have made various claims about the harm that would supposedly occur were the court to find for the plaintiffs…

  • Issue Brief posted February 23, 2015 by Riley Walters The U.S. Needs to Secure Maritime Ports by Securing Network Ports

    Maritime connectedness continues to be a key asset for U.S. economic and strategic interests. Threats to port and vessel network systems have long been overshadowed by concerns about kinetic attacks and supply-chain security. All maritime stakeholders remain at risk of cyber intrusion as cyber attackers seek any and all means of accessing maritime networks. Therefore, key…

  • Issue Brief posted February 20, 2015 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D., James M. Roberts, Riddhi Dasgupta, PhD Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) Mechanisms: An Important Feature of High-Quality Trade Agreements

    One of the most important—albeit controversial—components of the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) trade agreement between the United States and the European Union (EU) is the provision creating an investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism. The French Senate has unanimously called for the removal of this provision both from the TTIP…

  • Issue Brief posted February 20, 2015 by Edmund F. Haislmaier Impact of King v. Burwell: The ACA’s Key Design Flaws

    On March 4, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in King v. Burwell, a challenge to an IRS ruling related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) granting premium support subsidies to those enrolled in federal exchanges. While claims that a ruling in favor of King would disrupt coverage to millions,[1] it is important to recognize that the ultimate source of any…

  • Issue Brief posted February 20, 2015 by Edmund F. Haislmaier King v. Burwell: Assessing the Claimed Effects of a Decision for the Plaintiffs

    Should the Supreme Court rule in King v. Burwell—a case challenging the Obama Administration’s implementation of the premium tax credit provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—that the statute restricts the payment of premium tax credits only to individuals obtaining coverage “through an Exchange established by [a] State,” its ruling would preclude the Treasury paying…

  • Issue Brief posted February 20, 2015 by Emily Goff What Congress and States Can Do to Reform Transportation Policy

    Ensuring that America’s transportation system gets back on track will require federal and state action to achieve reforms in a number of areas, including surface transportation policy. A high-quality, safe, and reliable transportation system is vital to the nation’s economic health; Americans depend on it daily. Yet the current approach to surface transportation is…

  • Backgrounder posted February 19, 2015 by Romina Boccia What Is Social Security Disability Insurance? An SSDI Primer

    Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is the federal social insurance program that provides monthly cash benefits to eligible disabled individuals and their families. In 2014, the Social Security Administration (SSA) provided these benefits to nearly 11 million disabled workers and their eligible spouses and children. Disabled workers receive an average of about…