So Much for Prognostication


Fred Barnes,  2010 (Link):

“Oh, yes. The health care bill, ObamaCare, is dead with not the slightest prospect of resurrection. Brown ran to be the 41st vote for filibuster and now he is just that. Democrats have talked up clever strategies to pass the bill in the Senate despite Brown, but they won’t fly. It’s one thing for ObamaCare to be rejected by the American public in poll after poll. But it becomes a matter of considerably greater political magnitude when ObamaCare causes the loss of a Senate race in the blue state of Massachusetts.”

A Socialist Juices the Greed Machine

In a comment to this article in which I advocate abolishing the tax code monstrosity that favors employer-provided health insurance and instituting health savings accounts, someone with the username “markchrist” went off on a socialist rant. Actually that’s redundant. Socialists only can rant; they have no capacity for logical and reasoned arguments. In the rant, he or she wrote, “You (sic) “plan” is so obviously written and approved by the insurance industry. … bought and paid for for by the GREED MACHINE.”

Actually the health insurance industry likely would be terrified of this “plan” because it actually introduces competition. Companies, especially big ones, hate competition. It forces them to lower their prices and boost quality in order to try to win business. What company wants to reduce its profits and perhaps even go out of business, all in the name of competition?

The other day my new state representative, Virginia delegate Jim LeMunyon, in a telephone town hall observed that the airwaves are rife with car insurance advertisements like those of Geico. Car insurers know you can easily fire your current car insurer and switch to another one, so they do everything in their power to keep their prices as low and quality as high as possible.

But you rarely come across health insurer commercials. Why? Because you can’t fire them. Assuming you get your insurance through your employer – courtesy of the government program called the employer health insurance deduction – you’re stuck with them. They aren’t worried about losing your as a customer, so why should they cut their rates or boost quality?

They’re exceedingly comfortable in their government-protected, competition-scarce cocoon. Why would they want to see an end to the employer health insurance tax deduction, and the resulting boom in people shopping around for the best rates?

The same holds true for hospitals, medical practices, and other healthcare providers. The notion that they would have to start to actually compete for your business by lowering their prices must be a terrifying notion for them indeed.

So no, Mr. Socialist, this plan isn’t bought and paid for by the insurance industry. Just the opposite. Through your support for employer-provided health insurance, ironically it’s folks like you who are making the insurance industry as pleased as punch. You’re satiating their greed. But being a socialist, you’re not able to figure that out.

A Dollop of Banana Republicism

Speaking of Obama’s deal with the unions to exempt them from the cadillac (high-value) health plan tax, isn’t it outrageous how they want everyone to pay for socialized health care – except for the socialists.

The people who want massive government spending should help pay for massive government spending. Logical, right? What a dirty, smelly, obnoxious move Obama and his minions just pulled off. It’s like rubbing the faces of all the rest of us in the putrified mud.

Giving one group a special favor like that would need to be justified by demonstrating that it’s for the greater good of the country or some such reason. But the Obama people didn’t even attempt to explain it on grounds like that. They left the accurate impression that it was done for crass political reasons.

Now that’s what I call banana republicism.

Smear Alert! Another “If You Oppose Obamacare You Must Be Racist” Canard

Some folks’ bias is so strong, minds are so narrow, and economic illiteracy are so profound that they’re totally incapable of understanding why other folks don’t view Obamacare as a good thing. A big explanation, they surmise, must be racism.

The latest smear comes from an article in today’s Washington Post, written by a Kate Julian, which touts a “study” in which people sorted “stereotypically ‘black’ and ‘white’ words and names (Tyrone and Shaniqua vs. Brett and Jane) into positive and negative categories.” More “black” words in negative categories implied racism. By this logic, the fact that most white people don’t choose “black” names for the kids means that most white people must be racist.

What about the names Matilda or Gertrude or Vladimir? (No offense to anyone named that.) If those are mainly in a research participant’s negative categories, does that make the participant racist against whites?

Hey Kate, I don’t know what race you are or whether you have kids, but if you’re white and you do have kids, are they named Tyrone or Shaniqua or something along those lines? If not, does that make you a racist? (Of course no, but yes if you take Kate’s premise to its logical conclusion.)

The “study” found that people alleged to be racists were more likely to oppose Obamacare. But that can’t hold because the original premise – based on the misleading sorting exercise – was faulty.

What if, say, RNC Chairman Michael Steele, who is black, proposed Steelecare where healthcare is reformed along more free-market lines. What if the alleged “racists” were more likely to support Steelecare? Would that mean support for Steelecare is based on racism?

While I can’t rule out that there isn’t someone, somewhere in the U.S.A. who opposes Obamacare because he or she is genuinely racist, I am confident that at least 99.999 percent of those who oppose Obamacare do so because of legitimate concerns with this monstrosity of a plan.

Condoning Dishonesty

Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein denounces the practice of insurance companies canceling insurance on someone who omitted an illness or pre-existing condition on their application.

Comment by rodhug:
Just to get this straight: You think an applicant for medical insurance should be allowed to lie about their medical history to get lower rates and you think the insurance company (whose business model requires it to make money for its shareholders) should simply have to pay up for that lie. Wonderful.

Another comment, by donaldlevit:
What you fail to discuss is the fact that state government and law enforcement has refused to prosecute individuals that knowingly lie to obtain insurance with false information. When the government refuses to do their job insurers are left with no option but to protect themselves for the good of the company and honest policy holders. I would be pissed to find out my insurance company is charging me inflated rates because they are allowing dishonest people to game the system. Why do you leave this out? You further fail to mention this only applies to the individual market, which is 10-15 million people, this is not happening in the group market which is 10 times larger, meaning this hardly effects anyone, and only those that lie.