Week in Review: Rationing health care by stealth

What is a child's life worth? If they're suffering from terminal illness, how much should be spent on their medication? Would you entrust a so-called “expert panel” to make that decision? Shouldn’t that choice be left up to that child’s own doctor?

For children suffering from Duchenne muscular dystrophy — a devastating terminal disease for which there is no cure — that question is not hypothetical. That’s why patient advocates are mobilizing to warn Americans about a new, dangerous approach to setting a dollar amount on the value of a patient’s life. Read more from Goldwater director of healthcare policy Naomi Lopez Bauman.

Goldwater in Court: Taking on a
$15 million taxpayer giveaway

An Arizona county decided to spend $15 million of taxpayer money to subsidize a private luxury tourism company that’s supposed to take passengers on rides to the stratosphere in specially modified weather balloons. The Goldwater Institute was in court this week as part of its lawsuit challenging the county’s actions and protecting taxpayers. Listen to the oral argument and read more about the case here.

Getting robbed in Illinois

Illinois’s government finances are in notoriously bad shape. The state has well over $200 billion in unfunded pension liabilities, some $73 billion in unfunded state retiree health insurance benefits, and billions in unpaid bills, and it hasn’t had a balanced budget since 2001. Meanwhile, an increasing tax and regulatory burden is driving people and businesses elsewhere, making it even harder for the state to dig itself out of the hole it’s in.

Despite all of that, Illinois’s political leaders recently authorized increases in costly “pension spiking,” under which school district employees receive sharply increased salaries in their last working years, and may cash in unused sick days just before retiring, to give themselves bigger pension payouts. Goldwater Institute Senior Attorney Jacob Huebert explains more about how Illinois taxpayers are getting robbed and what can be done about it here.

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