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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Citing that Democrats outnumber Republicans 12:1 in faculty positions at the University of North Carolina, Senate Majority leader Phil Berger suggests that Republican job candidates are discriminated against when they apply for university positions unless they "toe the line from the left." However, it seems likely that there may be other, more objective explanations for the imbalance of party affiliation. read more


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Between 2007, when Mylan acquired the patent for the EpiPen, to 2015, the wholesale price had skyrocketed from $56.64 to $317.82 -- a price increase of 461 percent. Similarly, compensation for Mylan CEO Heather Bresch increased astronomically over the same time period. According to NBC News, Bresch went from making $2.453,456 in 2007 to $18,931,068 in 2015, amounting to a 671 percent raise over eight years.


Pediatrics professor Aaron Carroll, New York Times: The EpiPen isn't new; it has been in use since 1977. Research and development costs were recouped long ago. Nine years ago, it was bought by the pharmaceutical company Mylan, which then began to sell the device. When Mylan bought it, EpiPens cost about $57 each. ... As of this May, they cost more than $600 a pack. Since 2004, after adjusting for inflation, the price of EpiPens has risen more than 450 percent. ... There's little competition, but there are huge hurdles to enter the market, so a company can raise the price again and again with little pushback. The government encourages the product's use, but makes no effort to control its cost. Insurance coverage shields some from the expense, allowing higher prices, but leaves those most at-risk most exposed to extreme out-of-pocket outlays. The poor are the most likely to consider going without because they can't afford it. EpiPens are a perfect example of a health care nightmare. They're also just a typical example of the dysfunction of the American health care system.


Sam Stein, Huffington Post: After bragging for a year about how cheaply he was running his campaign, Donald Trump is spending more freely now that other people are contributing -- particularly when the beneficiary is himself. Trump nearly quintupled the monthly rent his presidential campaign pays for its headquarters at Trump Tower to $169,758 in July, when he was raising funds from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his campaign, according to a Huffington Post review of Federal Election Commission filings. The Trump campaign paid Trump Tower Commercial LLC $35,458 in March -- the same amount it had been paying since last summer ... read more


Monday, August 22, 2016

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican in a tough re-election battle against Democrat Russ Feingold, used an appearance on Thursday to say the "higher education cartel" is raising prices and preventing reforms that would help college students learn at affordable prices.

He criticized accreditors and tenured professors for blocking reforms. He said that he favored "certification," in which people could demonstrate competency or skills in certain areas through testing rather than earning degrees. read more


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