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December 27, 2020

Peter Moore, P.E., F.ASCE, ENV SP, LEED AP

President, Chen Moore and Associates

Last week: The story of 2020 may have actually just revealed itself this week when Congress passed the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act, which removes the antitrust exemption that since 1945 has allowed health insurers to disregard the basic free-market rules of competition that operate throughout the rest of the economy. The antitrust exemption, giving insurers combined negotiating power, puts pressure on providers to cut corners on service to increase the profits the health insurers can extract. This can provide social benefits for un- and under-insured people, along with benefits to small business. Maybe 2020 was trying to redeem itself.

Looking ahead: I think the story of 2021 will be how we rebuild, figuratively and literally, from 2021. As an engineer, you may think that I talk about rebuilding in the literal sense because it is self-serving, but you’d be wrong. Some of the greatest economic times in U.S. history were during times of great infrastructure expansion. Estimates place the return on investment for infrastructure spending somewhere between four and 10, because stable infrastructure allows people and businesses to invest in the certainties that quality infrastructure provides. Hopefully, infrastructure will be the first thing that D.C. agrees on a long time.

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