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How much are you willing to pay in exchange for gun law reformation?

May 20th, 2013 No comments

By: *Jaclyn Crittenden

Blog Topic: The Economics of Gun Control

How much are you willing to pay in exchange for gun law reformation?

While there are many ways to change gun control laws, I will summarize one of the proposal, that every gun purchaser has gun insurance.[1]  The problem with this method is that just like any other kind of insurance, compliance is unenforceable because it can easily be cancelled or may lapse right after the sale.

Additionally, without people having insurance, this will mean that fewer guns will be sold. As a result, this will cause prices and sales taxes to increase for guns, licenses, ammunition, magazines, and other accessories. Potential excessive rates and taxes would eventually make it so only wealthy people could afford guns.[2]  Wealthy people are generally law-abiding citizens as they have assets that can be seized and paychecks that can be garnished.

The legal firearm market would be negatively affected by increases in costs because it creates more demand for the illegal black-market, straw purchases, and gun thefts.[3]  For example, judgment proof felons convicted of gun-related crimes can illegally buy guns at a lower price, thus gaining access to firearms while avoiding insurance requirements and the related sales tax.[4]

Middle-class, law-abiding, tax-paying citizens end up bearing an average of $100 billion for every gun purchase under this proposed provision; I agree that something must be done, however, not by means that will financially burden the majority of citizens. That is just not the way to do it![5]

The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race.

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*Jaclyn Crittenden is a staff member on the Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race. To learn more about Jaclyn, click here to visit her page.

[1]http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/28/the-economics-of-gun-control/

[2]http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/12/28/should-people-be-forced-to-buy-liability-insurance-for-their-guns.html

[3]Shapiro RJ, Hassett KA, The Economic Benefits of Reducing Violent Crime: A case Study of 8 American Cities, Center for American Progress, Washington, DC, June 2012

[4]Supra note 2.

[5]Supra note 3.

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Liability Insurance for gun purchases

May 20th, 2013 No comments

By: Candace Embry

Blog Category: The Economics of Gun Control

Liability Insurance for gun purchases

With the latest gun-related tragedy in Newtown, CT, gun control has resurfaced as a topic of conversation and many Americans are ripe for change. Now that gun violence has affected our budding youth, “there is a moral price to be paid for inaction.”[1]  So, let’s get to work America!

John Wasik of Forbes magazine describes President Obama’s solutions of banning assault weapons, multiple-ammo clips, and gun-show sales as “low-hanging fruit approaches.”[2]  The President also proposed increased funding for law enforcement and providing easier access to mental health care.[3]  Will any of these really work? John Wasick says, “No.”

Instead, Wasik suggests an approach focused on forcing gun owners and sellers to take on the financial burden that gun-ownership poses to all Americans. Wasik argues that gun owners should bear the associated risks and costs through the mandated purchase of liability insurance.[4]  Gun violence is harmful not only to one’s physical well being, but also to our economy. When a household acquires a gun, the imposed costs on society are between $100 and $1,800 per year.[5]  However, the impact in the aggregate is actually much greater. The Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research reported that gun violence impacts quality of life, emotional trauma, and even property values.[6]  Considering these broader effects, gun violence resulted in a $100 billion cost to society in 1998.[7]  These are the costs for which gun owners and sellers should be held liable.

Wasik’s plan would work much like car, homeowners, or health insurance plans requiring gun owners to shop for and secure a liability insurance policy prior to even making the purchase. Rates would be determined by actuaries’ calculations of risk based on factors like age, residency, history of mental illness, and the type of gun. Those most at risk to commit a gun crime would be quoted higher rates, and, ideally, this will create an economic disincentive and make gun-ownership too expensive for those who pose the greatest risks to society. This is not the first time the idea has come up. In fact, a similar law was proposed in the Illinois legislature in 2009, but it was quickly defeated.[8]

While insurance is not a solution to all problems presented by gun violence in America, if combined with the President’s suggested changes, mandatory insurance policies could actually fund greater protections to prevent more tragedies like the one in Newtown, CT. Most importantly, Wasik posits this plan would likely survive a second amendment challenge.

So, what’s the verdict? Will we sacrifice morality for another round of inaction? Or will we challenge gun owners to put their money where their guns are?

The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race.
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*Candace Embry is the 2013-2014 Articles Editor (DE) on the Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race Journal. To learn more about Candace, click here to visit her page.
[1] John Christoffersen, Joe Biden: Gun Control Views Have Changed Since Newtown, HUFFINGTON POST (Feb. 21, 2013, 6:48 PM), http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/21/joe-biden-gun-control_n_2735716.html.
[2] John Wasik, Newtown’s New Reality: Using Liability Insurance to Reduce Gun Deaths, FORBES (Dec. 17, 2012, 7:34 PM), http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnwasik/2012/12/17/newtowns-new-reality-using-liability-insurance-to-reduce-gun-deaths.
[3] Now is the Time to do Something about Gun Violence, THE WHITE HOUSE, http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/preventing-gun-violence#what-we-can-do.
[4] Wasik, supra note 2.
[5] Brad Plumer, The Economics of Gun Control, THE WASHINGTON POST (Dec. 28, 2012), http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/28/the-economics-of-gun-controlSee generally Philip Cook & Jens Ludwig, The Social Costs of Gun Ownership, 90 JOURNAL OF PUB. ECON. 379-91 (2006) available at http://home.uchicago.edu/~ludwigj/papers/JPubE_guns_2006FINAL.pdf.
[6] The Case for Gun Policy Reforms in America, JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR GUN POLICY AND RESEARCH (Oct. 2012), http://www.jhsph.edu/research/centers-and-institutes/johns-hopkins-center-for-gun-policy-and-research/publications/WhitePaper102512_CGPR.pdf
[7] Id.
[8] Wasik, supra note 2.

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OFCCP abandons their position in attempting to implement widespread Affirmative Action policies in the health care industry

November 5th, 2012 No comments

Blog Category: Affirmative Action

Written by: *Dan Baum

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFFCP”) announced that they will rescind Directive 293. Directive 293 provides guidance in determining whether a health insurance provider falls under OFFCP’s jurisdiction. OFFCP jurisdiction is necessary to subject healthcare employers to Affirmative Action commands.

Prior to this, a ruling by OFFCP had announced for the first time that it has jurisdiction over healthcare providers enrolling in the Medicare advantage program and Medicare prescription drug programs (parts C and D).  Historically, the OFCCP has taken the position that participation in Medicare, TRICARE and Medicaid is a healthcare provider’s acceptance of financial assistance, not their acceptance of a government contract.  Healthcare organizations with 50 or more  employees that enter into employment contracts with the federal government are subject to affirmative action obligations under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the amended Veteran’s Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. The two acts require employers to ensure non-discrimination in their employment practices, and create written affirmative action plans to ensure compliance.

Because healthcare providers’ acceptance of Medicaid has traditionally been viewed as financial assistance, they were usually  outside of OFCCP’s jurisdiction.  However, in Florida Hospital of Orlando, an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) stated that healthcare providers participating in TRICARE are government contractors, implicating that they would be subjected to Affirmative Action requirements.  However, the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act essentially reversed the findings of Florida Hospital and directive 293. In response, the OFCCP gave up their fight for obtaining jurisdiction by rescinding the directive.

For now healthcare providers will not be subjected to Affirmative Action requirements under the OFCCP, however, OFCCP stated in a webinar that they will be reviewing on a case-by-case basis  to determine whether Medicare (specifically parts C and D) providers will be subjected to OFCCP contract/subcontract jurisdiction.  Therefore providers must continue to monitor their sources of federal revenue to determine whether they are within OFCCP’s jurisdiction, and if so, ensure compliance with Affirmative Action regulations.

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*Dan Baum is currently a staff member on the Widener Journal of Law, Economics and Race. To learn more about Dan Baum, click here to view his page: Dan Baum
Sources:
Health Lawyers Weekly, Feb 18, 2011, Vol. IX Issue 7. OFCCP Clarifies When Healthcare Providers Must Comply with Affirmative Action, available at: http://www.hallrender.com/health_care_law/library/articles/753/Bumgarner_HLW_article1.pdf
Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P., Publication, OFCCP Rescinds Directive Regarding Its Jurisdiction Over Health Care, available at: http://www.fulbright.com/index.cfm?DETAIL=yes&FUSEACTION=publications.detail&NEWPAGE=0&PUB_ID=5499&SITE_ID=494&pf=y
Smith, Gambrell & Russell, L.L.P., Publication, OFCCP Rescinds Medical Providers Directive 293, available at: http://www.sgrlaw.com/resources/client_alerts/1838/

Raynes McCarty Lecture Live Webcast

November 18th, 2009 No comments

Widener University School of Law is pleased to announce that Princeton University Professor Paul Starr will deliver the fifth-annual Raynes McCarty Distinguished Lecture in Health Law on Widener’s Delaware campus and at The Union League of Philadelphia, both on Thursday, Nov. 19.

The Live Webcast has expired

RaynesMcCartyStarrPromov2

Starr holds the Stuart Chair in Communications and Public Affairs at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. His lecture, “Health Care Reform: The Long View,” is expected to put the current political battle over health-care reform into historical perspective and explore the future of the health-care system.

Starr received the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction and Bancroft Prize in American history for “The Social Transformation of American Medicine” and the 2005 Goldsmith Book Prize for “The Creation of the Media.”

He will first give the lecture during a luncheon event at The Union League of Philadelphia. The luncheon begins at noon and the lecture starts at 12:30 p.m. He will repeat the talk that day for the law school community at 4 p.m. in the Ruby R. Vale Moot Courtroom on the Delaware campus.

One substantive Delaware and Pennsylvania continuing legal education credit is available for attendance at either lecture. There is no cost to attend either event, including the luncheon, thanks to a generous gift from the Raynes McCarty law firm, based in Philadelphia. Raynes McCarty attorneys represent the catastrophically injured in the courts and the legislature. It is one of the country’s most philanthropic and civic-minded firms.

The Health Law Institute on Widener University School of Law’s Delaware campus is frequently ranked among the top-10 programs in the nation. Institute Director and Law Professor John G. Culhane said the Law School is proud to host Starr.

“We are delighted that Paul Starr will be our Raynes McCarty lecturer this year,” Culhane said. “He has a powerful command of the issues on health-care reform and, as someone even the White House has looked to for advice, should provide a thought-provoking hour of discussion. His remarks come at a time when health-care reform is at the height of our nation’s consciousness. Widener’s Health Law Institute is pleased to again present such a high-quality lecture on such a timely topic. I encourage the legal community and the Widener family to come out in force for this important event.”

Starr has written extensively on American society, politics, and domestic and foreign policy. He co-founded “The American Prospect” nearly 20 years ago with Robert Kuttner and Robert Reich. The liberal magazine about politics, policy and ideas is published monthly in print and online. His short book “The Logic of Health-Care Reform,” published in 1992 and reissued in a revised and expanded edition in 1994, laid out the case for a system of universal health insurance and managed competition. He served as a senior advisor at the White House during 1993, in the formulation of the Clinton health plan.

Attorneys interested in attending either lecture and receiving the continuing legal education credit may register by calling Karla Harris at 302-477-2704 or emailing kmharris@widener.edu. There is no fee but space is limited. Business attire is required.

****This article was written by the public relations department of the Widener University School of Law, and was found at the following Widener Law Website Page