April 10, 2019

AFF Community

Weekly Writers Round-Up: Medicare for All, Inequality in Gun Rights, and the Future of NATO

By: Josh Evans

Each week, we’ll be featuring the work of the alumni and current participants of AFF’s Writing Fellows Program. A few highlights from the past week are below. For more information on how the program can help launch your career in writing, see here.

Medicare for All Means Innovation for None by J.J. Rich (Fall 2018) in Real Clear Policy
Leading Democratic presidential primary contenders have now almost unanimously endorsed some sort of Medicare for All proposal. Public support to expand the universal health services currently granted to older Americans via Medicare to the entire country is now in the majority, and the move would replicate publicly-funded universal healthcare in other developed nations.

Many progressive and moderate Democrats alike have supported Medicare for All, touting superior access and lower healthcare costs of single-payer, socialized systems. But healthcare coverage alone does not mean better health outcomes, and a brief review of Medicare’s real-world results reveals a chief problem of socialized healthcare — its destruction of innovation…

Universal Background Checks Will Worsen the Inequalities of Gun Ownership by Savannah Lindquist (Spring 2019) in The Philadelphia Inquirer
As a bipartisan bill to institute universal background checks awaits its fate in the U.S. Senate, the debate over firearms is forefront in the minds of many. If signed into law, it would require a background check on all gun transfers. Rep. Lou Correa (D., Calif.) explained that universal background checks would “absolutely” make purchasing a firearm more expensive and “the bureaucratic issues involved are going to slow down the process.” Supporters frame these costs as helpful in preventing gun use and therefore, gun deaths. Opponents argue that background checks have zero effect on deaths. One issue no one’s talking about enough is how the cost of background checks disproportionately impact low-income people…

NATO Is 70 and Past Retirement Age by Gil Barndollar (Summer 2018) in The National Interest
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization turned seventy last week, and Washington has been celebrating the birth of the alliance. Yet for all the talk of “the most successful military alliance the world has ever seen,” NATO is more than just a little past its prime. The militaries of European member states are not only underfunded and increasingly irrelevant; the alliance itself is an irredeemable impediment to the actual national security of both America and Europe. At seventy, it is time for NATO to retire…

The US Biofuel Mandate Does More Harm Than Good by Josh T. Smith (Summer 2015) in Real Clear Energy
On March 12, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a new rule to allow the year-round sale of E15 fuel, a gasoline mixed with biofuel produced from corn. The ethanol industry trumpeted these changes as a boon to the environment, arguing that gasoline with ethanol added will clean up emissions from transportation fuel

Yet despite decades-old industry promises that ethanol cleans up emissions, research shows these claims don’t hold true. Ethanol’s use can be beneficial in a variety of areas, but the federal mandate far overextends those uses. Instead of protecting the environment, the current ethanol mandate is causing a considerable amount of environmental blowback…