Category Archives

Archive of posts published in the category: Health Care

Federalism and Health Care

Healthcare does more to illuminate the divide in political ideology than any other issue. It merges the ideological and pragmatic limits of central power;  the dispersal of interests (and thus the difficulty of consensus) and the dispersal of knowledge, the ‘fatal conceit’ that any central power can know how to manage complex markets for a vast and diversified nation.  Health care challenges the authority and the competence of central power.

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Covid Thoughts 2020 04 25

New data indicates that the disease arrived here much earlier than we thought, has already spread to many more people than we thought, and based on the estimated cases as compared to diagnosed cases the mortality is much less than we thought.

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Health Market Realities

To those who claim insurance is immune to market forces, I would suggest that the problem is that it is not.  If a grocery store was required to get a certificate of need to open up a new store and the competitors got to make the decision what would likely happen to the price of food.  What would happen if an association of grocers could determine who is allowed to sell food?  What would happen to the price of your auto insurance of you filed a claim for oil changes and preventative maintenance? What happens to anything when you restrict supply and expand demand?

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The Nirvana Fallacy

“Assuming some benevolent government will institute quick and perfect Keynesian business cycle corrections that maintain full employment, or that government provision or regulation will result in ideal outcomes in other markets, leads to unwise policy making—and to public displeasure with the outcomes of government.”

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Replacing One Health Care Failure with Another

By defying the relationship of health care to basic economics we passed a bill that defied basic economics- the outcome  was very predictable.   Another example of promising a benefit without paying for it; hiding the cost in a maze of cross subsidies, mandates, proxies and obscure regulations.

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Nationalizing Bad Outcomes

Imagine the compromises when 100 Senators and 435 Representatives bargain to get their piece of the health care allocation in an atmosphere where bitter partisanship rules every issue.  In other words what seems to work in Europe is not easily transferable to a radically different political and economic environment.   And the complete comparative picture is not as clear as we are led to believe.  Maybe we spend more on health care because we want to.

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ACA’s Death Toll

from the WSJ
“But new data shows that mortality rates have also increased, suggesting the policy may contribute each year to 5,400 premature deaths of Medicare patients with serious heart conditions. “

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Health Care Reform in 21 Words

In 2010 during the health care debate Democratic Congressman Jim Marshall (GA- my district) published an article in National Review about increasing consumer pressure on health care.  Read Real Health Care Reform- Why America must move away from its third-party-payer…

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First Do No Harm

from The Wall Street Journal, How Democrats Learned to Love Insurance Companies by Ellysia Finley  (paywall) The cost for the most popular ObamaCare silver plans will increase 37% on average next year. Democrats and insurers are both blaming soaring premiums on…

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Gilded Age Health Care

from my article in American Thinker a few weeks ago, The fatal attraction of single-payer Reform is seductive.  It is like the curvy woman with the soft voice you met at the bar.  The next thing you know, you have a boiled…

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Politics as Performance Art

From National Review Kevin Williamson writes McHealthcare Deluxe- The Affordable Care Act is a failed political product. There are better and worse ways to fail, and it pays to be conservative when trying out new products, most of which fail, or investing…

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Tax Bloated Insurance

from Scott Atlas at The Wall Street Journal, The Health Reform That Hasn’t Been Tried Third, introduce the right incentives into the tax code. Today employees aren’t taxed on the value of their health benefits—and there is no limit to that exclusion.…

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How HSAs Cut Costs

from Scott Atlas at The Wall Street Journal, The Health Reform That Hasn’t Been Tried A second tool for motivating patients to consider price is large, liberalized health savings accounts. These tax-sheltered accounts are generally used to pay for the noncatastrophic…

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Prices are the Ultimate Reality

from Scott Atlas at The Wall Street Journal, The Health Reform That Hasn’t Been Tried First, equip consumers to consider prices. Critics always claim this is unrealistic: Are you supposed to shop around from the back of the ambulance? But emergency care…

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Organizing Knowledge

From National Review Kevin Williamson writes McHealthcare Deluxe- The Affordable Care Act is a failed political product. Emotionally mature people and highly effective institutions are quick to admit error. The best of them in fact embrace periodic failure as a necessary part…

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The New Coke Policy

From National Review Kevin Williamson writes McHealthcare Deluxe- The Affordable Care Act is a failed political product. But whatever else you can say about the politics of health insurance, it remains the fact that the ACA does not work. Even if it…

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Failing Better

One of the greatest advantages of market solutions is not that it always picks better solutions, but that it recognizes failures quicker and better. The opposite happens in government. Self serving bureaucracies institutionalize failures. Instead of admitting failure and redeploying assets into better and different solutions we institutionalize failures and increase their funding.

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Creating Your New Master

Why Medicare for All Would Damage our Republic by Jay Cost at National Review This is a very diverse array of policies, but they all exhibit a similar flaw. When the government wishes to accomplish some public purpose that it does…

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Pragmatic Liabilities

by Henry Oliner The reason ideology is relevant in the health care debate is that at the core of the difficulty is the separation of pragmatic solutions from sound ideological support. Our health care problem is an accumulation of short…

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The Failure of Pragmatic Health Care

The health insurance controversy is the pragmatic apex of sharply conflicting ideologies and both will not easily coexist. It will take more than the repeal of Obamacare to fix. Obamacare was just a bad response to a history of bad policies. Trying a different bad response will not fix the problem either.

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