04072014 fellows

Six former Heritage Foundation interns have been recognized as key leaders in strengthening the conservative movement.

The Young Conservative Coalition recently announced its 2014 Young Conservative Leaders Fellows. Six former Heritage interns are among the 13 selected this year: Derek Bekebrede, Matthew Gallagher, Emily Goff, Paige Haynes, Alyssa Silkwood, and Chad Yelinski.

Over the next six months, the fellows will learn about the history of the modern conservative movement, including the “fusionism” pioneered by William F. Buckley, Jr. and Frank Meyer.  The fellows will also interact with conservative leaders and scholars in Washington, DC to better understand the philosophies and ideas that underlie today’s movement.

Thanks to their internship experience at Heritage, the ideas of fusionism and conservative philosophy will not be new territory for Bekerbrede, Gallagher, Goff, Haynes, Silkwood, or Yelinski. Through policy briefings and First Principles lectures, Heritage’s Young Leaders Program educates interns on the importance of rediscovering our principles in order to reclaim our future. Heritage interns learn how these conservative principles were “fused” together to create a powerful political force in American politics. Exposure to such principles has equipped these new fellows to approach contemporary political issues with strong, conservative solutions.

Visit the Young Leaders Program page for more information about Heritage’s internship program.

A budget proposal released yesterday by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) would balance balance the budget and reduce the debt by cutting spending, reforming poverty programs, repealing Obamacare, and reforming health care entitlement programs, which are the largest drivers of deficit spending and debt.

Heritage Foundation expert Romina Boccia looked closely into Ryan’s budget and found many other good elements, including its tax reforms and proposals on defense, energy, education, and transporation policy. She did identify several areas for improvement, such as the long delay before critical Medicare reforms are implemented.

Read her full analysis of Ryan’s budget on the Foundry.

How would you improve Paul Ryan’s budget proposal?

Photo: Reuters

The “doc fix” bill sent to President Obama for his signature Tuesday contained an important provision to delay a costly new medical mandate from going into effect, Heritage Foundation expert Robert Moffit argues in a new report.

A federal rule would require many doctors to switch to a new method for classifying medical diagnoses and inpatient procedures by October 1. The new classification, known as ICD-10, would replace the existing 18,000 codes with 155,000 entries—creating headaches and costs for doctors.

Moffit explains the oddly specific nature of the new codes, which he urges Congress to delay or even scrap:

A number of [codes] have been highlighted in popular journalistic accounts, including codes for injuries sustained in a collision with a bicycle, while knitting and crocheting or gardening and landscaping, or in a collision with a balloon. Codes are also assigned to cases where a patient has been bitten by a parrot, injured in a spacecraft collision, or sucked into a jet engine.

There are even separate codes for injuries at museums, art galleries, music halls, theaters, and opera houses.

Doctors already spend 22 percent of their time on non-clinical paperwork. The switch to ICD-10 can only make matters worse.

Do you think the federal government should require doctors to use the new system?

Photo: United Nations

Heritage Foundation expert Brett Schaefer has identified eleven critical ways Congress can fix President Obama’s unrealistic budget for foreign affairs.

Schaefer’s proposed fixes include: increased oversight over the United Nations; reversing the massive increase in spending on foreign affairs; trimming spending on climate change initiatives; prohibiting funding for U.N. organizations that grant full membership to the Palestinians; and capping U.S. contributions to United Nations peacekeeping.

Find out what else is on the list.

Do you think the President’s budget is misguided?

Policymakers should use skepticism and humility when designing social programs and should avoid one-size-fits all solutions, Heritage Foundation experts Stuart Butler and David Muhlhausen write in National Affairs.

That’s because the evidence shows it’s very hard to reproduce successful pilot programs on a national scale:

[T]he task of mimicking and scaling up programs that work is not so straightforward. Success is never a simple matter of easily traceable cause and effect, and even the people who have achieved a breakthrough often cannot pinpoint exactly what worked and why. Social outcomes have an impossibly complex array of causes, and the circumstances that characterize one place are rarely identical — and are often not even very similar — to those found elsewhere. A seemingly successful preschool program in Chicago may fail in Atlanta, even if it is reproduced virtually identically, because of differences, both large and small, between the two cities.

Head Start is a case in point. The early-education program showed promise during 1960s trials and it was quickly rolled out nationally, but the first rigorous study of its effectiveness—run decades later—was disappointing.

Butler and Muhlhausen urge lawmakers to avoid one-size-fits-all programs and instead to base solutions on local, decentralized knowledge. Do you agree with this approach?

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