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  • Issue Brief posted May 28, 2015 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. Declines in National Reporting Reveal Failure of U.N.’s Programme of Action on Small Arms

    In 2001, the United Nations created the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (PoA). The PoA is not a treaty. Rather, it is a political mechanism for encouraging voluntary cooperation. On June 1–5, 2015, the Second Meeting of Governmental Experts (MGE2) under the PoA will be held in New…

  • News Releases on May 28, 2015 Heritage Foundation Honors John Von Kannon with Luce Award

    Washington, D.C., May 28, 2015—John Von Kannon, vice president and senior counselor of The Heritage Foundation, today was named recipient of the think tank’s highest honor: the Clare Boothe Luce Award. Past recipients of the award include conservative icons Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and William F. Buckley Jr. “This award recognizes outstanding leadership and…

  • Backgrounder posted May 28, 2015 by Alyene Senger, Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D. Medicare Advantage Under the ACA: Replace Payment Cuts with Market-Based Reforms

    Medicare Advantage (MA) offers seniors the option of private health plans as an alternative to traditional Medicare. The private plans in Medicare Advantage provide more comprehensive coverage and are typically more generous that traditional Medicare. Today, more than 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in an MA plan. The Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA),…

  • Issue Brief posted May 27, 2015 by John Gray House Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill Freezes Pay for Members of Congress but Avoids Further Spending Cuts

    Next week, the House of Representatives is expected to consider the legislative branch appropriations bill, the third of 12 appropriations bills providing discretionary funding for the federal government. The legislative branch appropriations bill provides general funding for the overall operation of Congress, including the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP); the Government…

  • Issue Brief posted May 21, 2015 by Nicolas Loris Seven Objectives for Effective and Productive Energy Legislation in 2015

    Members of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives are calling for a comprehensive energy bill in 2015. If past is prologue, however, such wide-ranging energy bills do much more economic harm than good. For instance, the last two major energy bills signed into law by President George W. Bush, while including some seemingly pro-market titles, contained…

  • Backgrounder posted May 21, 2015 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Charles "Cully" Stimson, Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D., John Malcolm, Paul Rosenzweig Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act and Metadata Collection: Responsible Options for the Way Forward

    Updated May 29, 2015 The Real and Growing Threat of Terrorism Any debate about America’s counterterrorism capabilities must be conducted in the context of the actual terrorist threat the U.S. faces. Since 9/11, The Heritage Foundation has tracked Islamist terrorist plots and attacks, which now, after the recent shooting in Garland, Texas, total 68.[1] This figure,…

  • News Releases on May 20, 2015 Heritage Mourns Loss of Jack Templeton

    WASHINGTON, May 20, 2015—Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint and Heritage Founder Edwin J. Feulner today issued the following statement on the death of philanthropist John M. Templeton, M.D.: We learned last night of the death of Jack Templeton, a truly great man. He excelled in his chosen professional field—pediatric surgery—then capped that outstanding career by…

  • Legal Memorandum posted May 20, 2015 by Alden Abbott You Don’t Need the FCC: How the FTC Can Successfully Police Broadband-Related Internet Abuses

    On February 26, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to impose 1930s-era “common carrier” regulations on Internet providers by enacting an “Open Internet Order.” As a Heritage Foundation analysis points out,[1] this decision threatens to generate hundreds of new rules that will raise the costs of Internet firms, deter innovation, and reduce competition among…

  • First Principles Series Report posted May 19, 2015 by Thomas G. West Poverty and Welfare in the American Founding

    Did Americans before the 20th century lack compassion for the poor? Did they treat the poor with indifference or even cruelty? That is the impression given by most high school and college textbooks. Few students ever learn that government-funded welfare, not to mention generous private charity, has existed throughout American history. James MacGregor Burns’s Government…

  • Issue Brief posted May 18, 2015 by David Inserra 68th Terrorist Plot Calls for Major Counterterrorism Reforms

    On the evening of May 3, two men armed with rifles attacked the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest in Garland, Texas. While both shooters were killed before they could get inside the exhibit, this attack is the 68th Islamist terrorist plot or attack against the U.S. since 9/11. This incident has raised significant questions about the way terrorists are being recruited in…

  • Issue Brief posted May 18, 2015 by Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D. The Alternative to Physician-Assisted Suicide: Respect Human Dignity and Offer True Compassion

    Allowing physician-assisted suicide (PAS) would be a grave mistake for four reasons, as explained in a Heritage Foundation Backgrounder, “Always Care, Never Kill.”[1] First, it would endanger the weak and vulnerable. Second, it would corrupt the practice of medicine and the doctor–patient relationship. Third, it would compromise the family and intergenerational…

  • Backgrounder posted May 18, 2015 by John Grimsley, John S. O'Shea, M.D. The New Disease Classification (ICD-10): Doctors and Patients Will Pay

    On October 1, 2015, a new standardized system of classifying disease will be imposed on practicing physicians and others in the health care sector. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is a system of diagnostic codes established for defining and reporting disease, identifying global health trends and collecting global…

  • Issue Brief posted May 14, 2015 by James Phillips Preparing for the Approaching Syrian Endgame

    Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorship has been rocked by a string of military defeats and by internal tensions within the minority Alawite-dominated regime that is battling for its life against a rising tide of predominantly Sunni rebel groups. Casualties, defections, and loss of territory have severely undermined the Syrian Army and Syria’s security services, forcing the Assad…

  • Issue Brief posted May 13, 2015 by Grace Melton At U.N., Radicals Regret Lack of “Progress” and Seek to Feminize Post-2015 Development Agenda

    Against the backdrop of ongoing negotiations over the United Nations’ new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), delegates and activists from around the world met at the U.N. headquarters in New York last month for the annual Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), which this year commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women that was held in…

  • Backgrounder posted May 11, 2015 by John L. Ligon, Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. The Federal Housing Administration: What Record of Success?

    More than 80 years ago, Congress passed a series of laws that significantly expanded the federal government’s presence in the housing finance system. These federal programs have grown and contributed to an explosion of mortgage debt over the past few decades. Homeownership rates, however, have barely changed since the late 1960s. The long-term increase in mortgage debt…