Category Archives: Politics

Why The Health Care Bill is A Disaster

Excellent article by Richard Epstein in today’s Journal While the explicit public option may be dead, the bill will strangle insurance companies’ rates and services and guarantee a rationing of care:

The perils of the Reid bill are made evident in a recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report that focused on the bill’s rebate program, which holds that once an insurance company spends more than 10% of its revenues on administrative expenses, its customers are entitled to an indefinite statutory rebate determined by state regulatory authorities subject to oversight by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Defining these administrative costs is a royal headache, but everyone agrees that they are heaviest in the small group and individual markets, where they typically range between 25% and 30%, without the new regulatory hassles.

The CBO concluded that this one restriction turned the Reid bill into “an essentially governmental program.” In other words, the targeted health insurers would become de facto public utilities whose profits are gutted when the huge compliance costs under the Reid bill are piled on top of the hefty costs inherent in running a labor intensive health-care insurance business.

..Indeed, the most common justification for the public option was to supply real competition to the private sector. Now that the option has vanished, the alternative regulatory technique is brute regulatory force. The argument seems to be that price controls alone can force out the waste and inefficiency that are posited to be the hallmark of private markets.

By this twisted logic, rent control is the perfect path to efficient competitive markets. Unfortunately, here no insurer can simply cut back on services provided given the minimum standards. And if it raises rates, the rebates cut ever more deeply during the next period. So essentially, there is no viable option for these firms either on the state exchange or off it.

The economic chaos that is likely to follow the disruption of private insurance health-care markets draws no attention from its Democratic supporters. Oddly enough, it has also been overlooked by the opponents of the bill who are so appalled by this hydra-headed monster that they don’t have the patience to parse its mind-numbing provision.

Today’s bidding up of insurance companies’ stocks shows the ignorance of the experts of what’s in store. This will inevitablly lead to insurance companies going out of business with Uncle Sam gladly stepping in and explicitly taking over health care, an engineered crisis with an engineered rescuer. How anyone can support this insanity, (particularly with Social Security and Medicare alone having a 99.2 TRILLION dollar unfunded liability) I will never know.

And to understand why employers will drop all but their high earner employees like the plague and force them to get the government subsidized insurance one need only look at this graph from the Journal:

Also see these articles from Heritage:

The House and Senate Health Care Bills: The Key Differences

Twelve Anti-Family Gifts from Congress

EPA Scientist Alan Carlin: Global Warming Has No Clothes

Alan Carlin is a lifer at EPA who realizes that the EPA and the rest of the global warming bandwagon are heading straight over a cliff – science be damned. Read his report on his web site or just watch the movie (but the report is much more fun):

These inconsistencies between the TSD analysis and scientific observations are so important and sufficiently abstruse that in my view EPA needs to make an independent analysis of the science of global warming rather than adopting the conclusions of the IPCC and CCSP without much more careful and independent EPA staff review than is evidenced by the Draft TSP. Adopting the scientific conclusions of an outside group such as the IPCC or CCSP without thorough review by EPA is not in the EPA tradition anyway, and there seems to be little reason to change the tradition in this case. If their conclusions should be incorrect and EPA acts on them, it is EPA that will be blamed for inadequate research and understanding and reaching a possibly inaccurate determination of endangerment. Given the downward trend in temperatures since 1998 (which some think will continue until about 2030 given the 60 year cycle described in Section 2) there is no particular reason to rush into decisions based on a scientific hypothesis that does not appear to explain much of the available data.

It takes a scientist at the end of his career to be so blunt.

All in all the father of lies is having a field day passing off fantasy for science. Reminds me of the distortion of science in That Hideous Strength, C.S. Lewis’ final volume in his Space Trilogy.

See my prior posts for other critics of the global warming madness

Obama and the Interrogation Memos

Excellent article on the disclosure of the memos analyzing the legality of the interrogation techniques from Bush’s former Atty General and former director of CIA: The President Ties His Own Hands on Terror

It points out the obvious that interrogation is not used for confession it is used for intelligence. And further:

The techniques themselves were used selectively against only a small number of hard-core prisoners who successfully resisted other forms of interrogation, and then only with the explicit authorization of the director of the CIA. Of the thousands of unlawful combatants captured by the U.S., fewer than 100 were detained and questioned in the CIA program. Of those, fewer than one-third were subjected to any of the techniques discussed in these opinions. As already disclosed by Director Hayden, as late as 2006, even with the growing success of other intelligence tools, fully half of the government’s knowledge about the structure and activities of al Qaeda came from those interrogations.fully half of the government’s knowledge about the structure and activities of al Qaeda came from those interrogations.

Obama’s a fool and has ensured we have forever lost effective techniques against terrorist. We are all a LOT less safe.