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Alex M. Hendler
Alex M. Hendler's posts

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Just added an answer to this question on Quora. I'm eager to hear what other people may think about the issue.  Are there any big points I'm missing (or misunderstanding)? +Ari Hershowitz +Grant Vergottini +Robert Richards +Chad Robinson +Richard Granat +Marc Lauritsen +Andrew Weber +Sean McGrath (and many others...)?

Just found an interesting feature in #Chromium and #Chrome  browsers (at least for #Linux) that I had never noticed before: Ctrl + 1-8 takes you to the respective tab in your browser, left to right (quite sensibly, 9 seems to always go to the last tab regardless of the number of open tabs). I'm not sure if this is really common knowledge, but given that I've been using these browsers daily for more than 3 years and never found it before, my guess is "probably not." Just thought I'd share. +Samuel Lampa, maybe you can add this to some of your productivity tips?

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Comparing four ways of looking at political and legal data. Thanks to +Robert Richards for leading me to half of the charts used here. There is also a link to a survey related to this topic, so please visit the post and fill out the survey if it interests you.

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Thanks +Daniel Schuman for shedding some more light on CRS reports. They can often be gems. They are typically well-written, thoroughly researched, and incredibly useful—if you can get a hold of them. Hopefully we will start to see more routine open access to them in the near future. Thanks +Robert Richards for pointing out this post. 

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What happens when a single-point-of-failure has multiple failures? 

See also (if it will load for you).

No wonder I've had trouble getting online in Dar es Salaam since yesterday morning. Not optimistic about this getting fixed anytime soon....

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New blog post about the indirect expansion of the federal anti-kickback statute through a provision in the Internal Revenue Code. What does that mean in English? Because of a new provision in the US tax code, as of January 1, 2014, some health care providers and patients in the US could be subject to harsh criminal penalties for going about their business as usual. Click through for more...

Post has attachment now shortening links to the Code of Federal Regulations. Comments and suggestions are welcome!

When can a tax be a tax, yet not a tax? When the Supreme Court says so. The Court held that the "Individual mandate" portion of Affordable Care Act is a "tax" under the Constitution, but not a "tax" under the Anti-Injunction Act. See, pages 12-13, 33-42.

Specifically, the Court found that because Congress did not call it a "tax", Congress did not intend for the Anti-Injunction Act to apply, so the Court could hear the case before someone had to pay the tax. They then found, by looking at its function and applicability, that it is a permissible "tax" under the Constitution, analogizing to, e.g., tax-favored treatment for buying homes. 

"Sustaining the mandate as a tax depends only on whether Congress has properly exercised its taxing power to encourage purchasing health insurance, not whether it can. Upholding the individual mandate under the Taxing Clause thus does not recognize any new federal power. It determines that Congress has used an existing one." p. 42* of link above. 

"[I]mposition of a tax nonetheless leaves an individual with a lawful choice to do or not do a certain act, so long as he is willing to pay a tax levied on that choice.... Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness." pp. 43-44. 

Blog post to come soon; I have yet to delve into the remaining issues.

*Coincidentally, Douglas Adams fans, this is the answer to the meaning of the life for a large portion of this law, but probably not the universe and everything.

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Just added to : Bills in Congress, Federal Register by citation. Examples: ,
Underscores are not necessary in practice, I just used them here to get the links to be clickable. 

Suggestions for additional materials? Please comment below. 

Post has attachment - Part 2 of my 4-part series about Medicare as a guest blogger for LifeBridge Health
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