National Debt Clock

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Nation Faces Shortage of 150,000 Doctors in 15 Years
The new federal health-care law has raised the stakes for hospitals and schools already scrambling to train more doctors.

Experts warn there won't be enough doctors to treat the millions of people newly insured under the law. At current graduation and training rates, the nation could face a shortage of as many as 150,000 doctors in the next 15 years, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

That shortfall is predicted despite a push by teaching hospitals and medical schools to boost the number of U.S. doctors, which now totals about 954,000.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Health Care Overhaul Spawns Mass Confusion for Public

Two weeks after President Barack Obama signed the big health care overhaul into law, Americans are struggling to understand how — and when — the sweeping measure will affect them.

Questions reflecting confusion have flooded insurance companies, doctors' offices, human resources departments and business groups.

"They're saying, 'Where do we get the free Obama care, and how do I sign up for that?' " said Carrie McLean, a licensed agent for The California-based company sells coverage from 185 health insurance carriers in 50 states.

McLean said the call center had been inundated by uninsured consumers who were hoping that the overhaul would translate into instant, affordable coverage. That widespread misconception may have originated in part from distorted rhetoric about the legislation bubbling up from the hyper-partisan debate about it in Washington and some media outlets, such as when opponents denounced it as socialism.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Obama Limits When U.S. Would Use Nuclear Arms

For the first time, the United States is explicitly committing not to use nuclear weapons against nonnuclear states that are in compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, even if they attacked the United States with biological or chemical weapons or launched a crippling cyberattack.

Regulatory Trends in the Bush Years

Despite the claims of critics-and some supporters-of the Bush Administration, net regulatory burdens have increased in the years since George W. Bush assumed the presidency. Since 2001, the federal government has imposed almost $30 billion in new regulatory costs on Americans. About $11 billion was imposed in fiscal year (FY) 2007 alone.

Critics of Bush Administration regulatory policy have argued that budget cuts are evidence that restric­tions are being loosened. Yet according to an analy­sis by George Mason University's Mercatus Center and Washington University's Weidenbaum Center, appropriations for federal regulatory agencies have increased during the Bush years from $27 billion in FY 2001 to $44.9 billion in FY 2007-a 44 percent increase in inflation-adjusted dollars.[12] The total staffing of regulatory agencies went up nearly as much, from 172,000 employees to over 244,000- a 41 percent increase.

During the first seven years of the Bush presi­dency, 98 such major rules were promulgated by federal agencies. Of those, 75 (more than 10 per year) increased regulatory burdens on Americans. This is significantly less than the rate during the Clinton Administration, which adopted major increases in regulation at a rate of some 19 times per year from 1997 to early 2001.[19]

Although the Bush Administration imposed fewer new burdens on Americans, the total regulatory bur­den continued to increase in absolute terms. Com­pared to the 74 rule changes that increased regulatory costs, only 23 rule changes reduced burdens. In other words, for every case in which regulators reduced a burden, they increased burdens over three times.