Friday Highlights

Good morning.

  1. Start with some fun.
  2. Mr Holder and the 17 Dems … one claim is that all 17 face difficult re-election campaigns.
  3. Ice melt.
  4. Experimental Platonic ethics considered.
  5. Some Television recommended viewing.
  6. Fur the carnivore.
  7. Some pessimism regarding bureaucratic growth.
  8. Hunting for a realistic broccoli example.
  9. So its a tax. Let’s see, you’re 20 something have a modest income and good health. Pay $800 tax or $8k for heathcare. Hmm.
  10. So girls, to be safe, drive and carry concealed.
  11. And we’ll end (bookend?) with some grace and poise.

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8 comments

  1. So its a tax.

    Wow, exactly what I said months ago! Shocking.

  2. Boonton says:

    Indeed, I said it too but the SC did NOT say that. Out of 9 Justices, 4 felt it wasn’t a tax but a permittable use of the commerce clause. 4 felt it wasn’t a tax and an unpermittable use of the commerce clause. 1 felt it was a tax. That would make the vote 8 to 1 in favor of it not being a tax

    If the SC felt it was a tax, then the right wing members should be impeached as they therefore should have voted in favor of the law on the grounds that it was a tax (the court could have voted 9-0 in favor of the law but split on their reasons why they were infavor).

    9.So its a tax. Let’s see, you’re 20 something have a modest income and good health. Pay $800 tax or $8k for heathcare.

    No faith in the power of competition huh? http://www.docstoc.com/docs/3391996/spending-habits-by-age seems to be a tad dated but sounds like on average 20 yr olds cost about $1,000 per year in health costs. A health insurance company charging them $8,000 would be enjoying pretty serious profit margins. You’d think other health companies would slice into that action by, say, offering the same policy for $6,000, $5,000, $3,000 and so on down.

  3. Boonton says:

    8.Hunting for a realistic broccoli example.

    Actually the first example cited was actually enacted by Congress centuries ago. They didn’t actually say everyone had to buy a firearm (women, blacks and children were exempted) but they did require that able bodied males purchase rifles and a given amount of ammo and keep it in their homes.

    The other examples aren’t as convincing. ‘Learning English’ isn’t really commerce in itself, and you run into conflicts with the First Amendment. ‘Take a civics class’ falters for the same reasons. ‘Support your local Boy Scounts’….well by the logic of the mandate critics, that’s already a mandate. Money you give your local Boy Scouts is tax deductable. Therefore everyone who doesn’t give is getting a penalty. Therefore we all have been under a mandate to support local boy scouts for generations now and didn’t even realize it.

  4. Boonton says:

    7.Some pessimism regarding bureaucratic growth.

    Nothing really helpful here, hodgpodge of ancedotes tied to nothing….for example:

    That may cause surgeons–who formerly had no reason to care about implanting a $5,000 hip from a U.S. manufacturer–to choose less-expensive models from an overseas manufacturer, resulting in a potential loss of U.S. jobs, Mr. Birkmeyer said. …

    It’s one thing to talk about the butterfly effect when describing how a butterfly in China can cause a hurricane in the US…it’s totally ass-backward to try to predict hurricanes in the US by looking at butterflies in China!

    Let’s just say its a given that a US manufacturer makes a $5,000 artificial hip and a foreign one makes one for $2,500. There is no health care financing regime where a lot of pressure won’t be put on the US manufacturing firm and the only regime where that may not be a problem would be one of strict protectionism.

    The part about failing to bend the curve is interesting but does suffer from lumping together radically different systems. The UK, which has the ultimate single payer is lower than France and Germany which have extensive private insurance systems….and all countries are lower than the US both before and after Obamacare.

    I think the problem is the assumption that the curve should be bent. Why should the % of GDP spent on health care *not* grow? Living longer and living healthier is a pretty good thing and to the degree health care can provide that most people will want to spend more money on it. Other things we can spend money on, video games, cell phones, fancy ‘artisan’ foods, have a lot of possible pleasure to offer but given the choice between living in slightly less pain for five years from ages 70-75 but having to make do with a slightly less *new* ipad or getting the ipad 25 or whatever they will have when I’m 70..I’ll probably choose less pain.

  5. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    Uhm, you show me a large bureaucracy that has been removed or substantially reduced. I’ll wait (but I won’t hold my breath).

  6. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    They didn’t actually say everyone had to buy a firearm (women, blacks and children were exempted) but they did require that able bodied males purchase rifles and a given amount of ammo and keep it in their homes.

    And they enforced it how?

  7. Boonton says:

    And they enforced it how?

    Not sure it was seriously enforced although you could enforce such a law by prosecuting it in the breach….in other words if you called up the militia and Joe Smith reports without his required weapons you prosecute him for violating it but if that never happens Joe gets away with breaking the law….just like you get away with speeding if there’s no cop around.

  8. Boonton says:

    Uhm, you show me a large bureaucracy that has been removed or substantially reduced.

    Relatively speaking neither Medicare or Medicaid have huge bureaucracies relative to what they do. Private health insurance tends to increase bureaucracy as each competiting insurance company adds its own billing procedures, ‘preferred networks’ and so on that doctors have to keep track of and navigate. They also tend to reduce transparancy as one tactic they employ is to simply not pay doctors (or give them harsh delays in payment) by bogging their claims down in excessive paperwork and minute billing rules. I’ve found that dental insurance seems to be the worse about this where even if you have very good insurance and a dentist with a very good billing person they still can’t give you an actual real estimate of what your true out of pocket costs will be.

    But then the demand made by the right in health care reform was that insurance remain private and as a result the single payer option was totally taken off the table. Even so Obamacare uses more private insurance than Bush’s Medicare D considering that the public option was removed from the bill.