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May 2011

OIRA’s 30th Anniversary

The thirtieth anniversary of OMB’s regulatory review office, OIRA-the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, was celebrated on Friday, May 20th.  The event was sponsored by Susan Dudley, a former OIRA Administrator, who presently heads the George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center.

Virtually all former Administrators and Deputy Administrators made presentations, including Jim Tozzi, the first Deputy Administrator of OIRA.

The Bureau of National Affairs Reports:

Jim Tozzi, the first deputy administrator of OIRA, said the institution gives a protective shield against the wholesale dismantling of regulatory agencies, which play an integral role in society.

Oklahoma Insurance Department to return nearly $1M in federal funds

From: NewsOK

Federal officials have acknowledged receiving a letter from the Oklahoma Insurance Department stating that the state agency is returning nearly $1 million to conduct health insurance premium rate reviews.

“We’re waiting for them to physically take the money back at this point,” agency spokesman Shawn Ashley said Tuesday.

Insurance Commissioner John Doak said the federal money was returned because “the majority of Oklahomans do not want the federal government making decisions about their health care.” Doak last month said he would return the funds, on the same day Gov. Mary Fallin declared that the state would not accept a $54.6 million federal grant for setting up a system where Oklahomans could shop for health insurance.

A Dutch model for Medicare

From: The Washington Post

By Richard B. Saltman

The debate over Rep. Paul Ryan’s proposed changes for Medicare — replacing guaranteed payment for services with a voucher for most of the cost of purchasing private insurance — is generating a lot of heat. The Dutch might be able to shed a little light.

In 2006, the Netherlands shifted its entire population — elderly and sick as well as young and healthy — to a premium-support-based arrangement. The complex, multi-payment approach had three basic elements.

Americans Favor Free Market Approach to Health Care

From: WeeklyStandard.com

Jeffrey H. AndersonMay 5, 2011 2:21 PM

Likely voters’ responses to two questions in a recent Rasmussen poll highlight both the challenge that Paul Ryan and the House Republicans face in persuading Americans to support their proposed budget, and why it’s likely that they will ultimately prevail. Rasmussen asked likely voters what they think of Ryan’s proposed Medicare reforms, without explaining at all what those reforms entail.  The question and the answers were as follows:

4. Do you favor or oppose the plan for changing Medicare that is included in the Ryan budget proposal?