Author Archives: Derek Monson

Research: Consumer-driven health plans help ‘bend the cost curve’

How do we reduce unnecessary or wasteful health care spending so that we can increase health care access and reduce the cost of health care? This is a policy question that has vexed policymakers for many years. But new research … Continue reading

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Research: Public health policies work – and probably help the economy too

Newly published research about the effects of anti-smoking policies have found such policies effectively incentivize the desired social behaviors, and it also suggests that they create more benefits than costs for society. While this study focused only on anti-smoking policies, … Continue reading

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King v. Burwell and Healthy Utah – Sutherland Soapbox, 3/3/15

This post is a transcript of a 4-minute weekly radio commentary aired on several Utah radio stations. The podcast can be found at the bottom of this post. Tomorrow [March 4], a case will be argued before the U.S. Supreme … Continue reading

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Support religious liberty: stand up to the ‘no compromise’ approach to nondiscrimination

Supporters of a “no compromise” approach to LGBT nondiscrimination argue that we already have sufficient protections for religious liberty. They cite the First Amendment and Utah’s majority-Mormon population to bolster their case. Unfortunately, their argument is undermined by the realities … Continue reading

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Senator Hillyard has it right on raising the rainy-day fund cap

Last week, Senator Lyle Hillyard posted to The Senate Site that he and Representative Dean Sanpei would be sponsoring legislation to raise the limits on the general and education rainy-day funds (or budget reserves) which are currently at 8 percent … Continue reading

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Medicaid: A disconnect between debate and reality, Sutherland Soapbox, 2/3/15

  This post is a transcript of a 4-minute weekly radio commentary aired on several Utah radio stations. The podcast can be found at the bottom of this post. I want to discuss a topic of significant political news reporting … Continue reading

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Why we cheer National School Choice Week

This week is National School Choice Week. School choice – the freedom of parents to move their child from a system of learning that is failing them to one that better meets their individual needs – has reaped many benefits … Continue reading

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Fundamental reform must precede increases in generally applicable taxes

Some Utah policymakers are proposing legislation this year that would increase generally applicable taxes on income and gasoline. Not surprisingly, these proposals have drawn the attention of the media and Utah pollsters, who have found that Utahns oppose raising income … Continue reading

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School Trek: The Next Generation

For those who care about improving public education for Utah families and children, National Affairs recently published an intriguing essay about Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) titled “The Next Step in School Choice.” This essay, referencing Milton and Rose Friedman, captures … Continue reading

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Medicaid expansion: The moral question — Sutherland Soapbox, 1/6/15

This post is a transcript of a 4-minute weekly radio commentary aired on several Utah radio stations. The podcast can be found at the bottom of this post. As things stand today, the 2015 Legislative Session is just three weeks … Continue reading

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Legislature has it right on budget approach

The Utah Legislature recently received updated budget projections that give policymakers hundreds of millions in new state taxpayer dollars to allocate. The governor’s office subsequently recommended a $14.3 billion budget, which reportedly encourages legislators to spend almost all of this … Continue reading

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Is religious expression a ‘fundamental human right’ or a ‘limited right’? – Sutherland Soapbox, 11/25/14

This post is a transcript of a 4-minute weekly radio commentary aired on several Utah radio stations. The podcast can be found at the bottom of this post. This week I want to talk about religious liberty, which is an … Continue reading

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Encouraging steps in Utah criminal justice reform

Sutherland Institute is encouraged by the direction of the policy recommendations presented to two legislative interim committees yesterday, and to the governor last week, by the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice. Overall, they represent a reasonable and, just … Continue reading

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To ease income inequality, smooth the path for innovators — Sutherland Soapbox, 11/4/14

This post is a transcript of a 4-minute weekly radio commentary aired on several Utah radio stations.   Today is Election Day, so I want to talk about an issue that is the driving electoral message of hundreds of political … Continue reading

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Sutherland commends Gov. Herbert for not calling Medicaid special session

Sutherland Institute commends Governor Herbert for his wise and prudent decision not to call a special session to consider his proposed Healthy Utah Medicaid expansion plan. The question of whether Utah should add a second, private-insurance tier to its Medicaid … Continue reading

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