Posted in Economic Issues, Free Society, Free-Market, Government Regulations, Government Spending, Liberty, Philosophy, Policy Issues, Poverty, Rule of Law, Uncategorized, Wealth

Watch “Rand Paul Explains the Two Big Lies of “Democratic” Socialism I Kibbe on Liberty” on YouTube

Individual liberty is never fully realized without economic freedom, which includes strong private rights & a climate conducive to self-determination.

Posted in Access to healthcare, Economic Issues, Government Spending, Healthcare financing, Medical Costs, Medicare, News From Washington, outcomes, Policy Issues, Reforming Medicare, Tax Policy, Uncategorized

Medicare Hypocrisy for All – Foundation for Economic Education

Gary M. Galles
Gary M. Galles
“Medicare is not even close to sustainable in its present form, much less to be leveraged to cover the entire population.”
Saturday, October 5, 2019

“Because of the wealth transfer to early enrollees, as well as from ensuing expansions, Medicare provided many with a great deal. But that deal was the result of dumping an enormous bill on future generations (bigger than the unfunded liabilities for Social Security plus the national debt).

As a result, Medicare was a far worse deal than M4A salesmen and women admit, and it is now decaying at an increasing rate.

With that bill starting to arrive, Medicare is not even close to sustainable in its present form, much less to be leveraged to cover the entire population (although one can understand the vote-buying potential in promising massive new M4A generational transfers).”

https://fee.org/articles/medicare-hypocrisy-for-all/

Posted in American Independence, big government, Dependency, Disease Prevention, Economic Issues, Education, Free Society, Free-Market, Government Spending, Job loss, Patient Safety, Philosophy, Policy Issues, Poverty, Uncategorized, Wealth

Bad Ideas Are Spreading Like the Plague – Reason.com

At the very moment we succeeded in banishing a deadly affliction from our country, in other words, people began eschewing the measures that made this medical miracle possible.

Socialism, too, is having an American renaissance. As with measles, if it’s allowed to spread, the result will be needless human suffering.

A generation after the fall of the Soviet Union, young Americans have forgotten, if they ever learned, what happens when a citizenry allows itself be enraptured by the promise of communal ownership of a national economy (“Socialism Is Back, and the Kids Are Loving It,” page 55). Such regimes have failed whenever and wherever they’ve been tried, engendering misery, starvation, persecution, and wasted human potential on a massive scale. At this very moment, hyperinflation and desperate shortages of food, medicine, and power are ravaging Venezuela (“Man-Made Disaster in Venezuela,” page 75), a previously rich country that had every intention of forging a better, smarter socialist future for the 21st century.

 

What unites the left’s flirtation with socialism and the right’s move toward nationalism is the willful discarding of long-understood, dearly learned truths about how to make the world a better place. Like the death count when parents stop vaccinating their kids, the fallout from these developments may not be instantaneous. But bad ideas can be hard to contain once they get going, and the results are not likely to be pretty.

https://reason.com/2019/07/02/bad-ideas-are-spreading-like-the-plague/

Posted in Access to healthcare, Accountable Care Organizations, Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), American Presidents, Canadian Health System, Direct-Pay Medicine, Economic Issues, Employer-Sponsored Health Plans, Government Regulations, Government Spending, Health Insurance, Healthcare financing, Independent Physicians, Medicaid, Medical Costs, Medical Practice Models, Medicare, News From Washington, out-of-pocket costs, Patient Choice, Policy Issues, Quality, Reforming Medicare, Uncategorized

What You Need To Know About Medicare For All, Part I

A study by Charles Blahousat the Mercatus Center estimates that Medicare for all would cost $32.6 trillion over the next ten years. Other studies have been in the same ballpark and they imply that we would need a 25% payroll tax. And that assumes that doctors and hospitals provide the same amount of care they provide today, even though they would be paid Medicare rates, which are about 40% below what private insurance has been paying. Without those cuts in provider payments, the needed payroll tax would be closer to 30%.

Of course, there would be savings on the other side of the ledger. People would no longer have to pay private insurance premiums and out-of-pocket fees. In fact, for the country as a whole this would largely be a financial wash – a huge substitution of public payment for private payment.

But remember, in today’s world how much you and your employer spend on health care is up to you and your employer. If the cost is too high, you can choose to jettison benefits of marginal value and be more choosey about the doctors and hospitals in your plan’s network. You could also take advantage of medical tourism (traveling to other cities where the costs are lower and the quality is higher) and phone, email and other telemedical innovations described above. The premiums you pay today are voluntary and (absent Obamacare mandates) what you buy with those premiums is a choice you and your employer are free to make.

With Medicare for all, you would have virtually no say in how costs are controlled other than the fact that you would be one of several hundred million potential voters.

Remember also that there is a reason why Obamacare is such a mess. The Democrats in Congress convened special interests around a figurative table – the drug companies, the insurance companies, the doctors, the hospitals, the device manufacturers, big business, big labor, etc. – and gave each a piece of the Obamacare pie in order to buy their political support.

As we show below, every single issue Obamacare had to contend with would be front and center in any plan to replace Obamacare with Medicare for all. So, the Democrats who gave us the last health care reform would be dealing with the same issues and the same special interests the second time around.

It takes a great deal of faith to believe there would be much improvement.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/johngoodman/2018/09/07/what-you-need-to-know-about-medicare-for-all-part-i/

Posted in Crony Capitalism, DC & Related Shenanigans, Economic Issues, Government Regulations, Government Spending, Organizational structure, outcomes, outcomes measurement, Policy Issues, Poverty, Progressivism, Uncategorized, Wealth

Homelessness and the Failure of Urban Renewal | Mises Wire

In the department of economy, an act, a habit, an institution, a law, gives birth not only to an effect, but to a series of effects. Of these effects, the first only is immediate; it manifests itself simultaneously with its cause—it is seen. The others unfold in succession—they are not seen: it is well for us, if they are foreseen. Between a good and a bad economist this constitutes the whole difference—the one takes account of the visible effect; the other takes account both of the effects which are seen, and also of those which it is necessary to foresee. Now this difference is enormous, for it almost always happens that when the immediate consequence is favorable, the ultimate consequences are fatal, and the converse.  ~Frederic Bastiat

The parallels are numerous, and highly revealing, between our attempts to control prices in healthcare over the past 50 years and that of government attempts to solve “urban blight” and improve inner city living conditions.  In his book Myth Busters: Why Healthcare Reform Always Goes Awry, Greg Scandlen does a fantastic job of laying out the case for the negative unintended consequences of central planning in healthcare. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34942619-myth-busters

homeless“…Since the Progressive Era, government agencies — from the federal level on down — have been front and center in subsidizing, regulating, and planning city development in ways that have made housing in city centers more sparse and more expensive for households who aren’t part of the hipster-millionaire demographic that so many urban planners and politicians are working hard to attract.

While rising demand for housing in a fixed number of square miles will indeed increase the price of land and housing, various types of government intervention makes housing more expensive than it would otherwise be. And sometimes, through zoning ordinances and other regulations, cities largely outlaw just the sorts of housing that are most needed by low-income residents…

City planners were happy to show off the shiny new projects they had used government money to redevelop. But unseen were the households who simply could not afford units in the new buildings.

After all, the poor that lived in the slums lived there precisely because it was cheap, low-rent housing. Reformers admitted there were no “pat answers” to explain what would become of the displaced families. But few reformers seemed much troubled by it. Then, as now, it may have been what really mattered to reformers was to be able to claim they were doing something.

It turned out that the federal government’s grand plan of leveling flophouses and residential hotels in the name of “beautifying” cities, mostly just resulted in destroying the only housing the very-low-income population could afford. Deprived of their units in the slums, these people ended up living in tent cities and cardboard boxes instead.

Today, little has changed for those with the lowest incomes. The options once available to them in the pre-1950s world are gone, and were never replaced.

Thanks to the persistence of the Progressive mindset in cities, zoning, “redevelopment” and a centralized control of new construction remains the norm. “Density” is the new “congestion” and the attitude of city planners remains the same. They bemoan the lack of affordable housing while also blocking efforts to build more housing. Meanwhile, they tighten controls on modern-day boarding houses and other private-sector attempts to provide low-cost housing…

…Tax Increment Financing (TIF) legislation is geared not toward low-cost housing, but toward new commercial development. Often, that development is built where “unsightly” (but affordable) housing once existed. Its destruction is encouraged by government policy…

Yet, city centers remain the most practical place for very-low-income housing to be built and sustained. This is because the lowest-income households need to be close to the densest areas that sustain mass transit and access to employment. By destroying the urban ecosystem of very-low-income housing, though, governments have left many of these people few options other than living in cars, alleyways, and sidewalks…

…We continue to live with the wreckage of failed urban renewal, and the evidence can be seen in the tent cities and makeshift latrines we now see in public spaces.”

Source: Homelessness and the Failure of Urban Renewal | Mises Wire

Posted in American Exceptionalism, Economic Issues, Free Society, Government Spending, Influence peddling, Organizational structure, outcomes, Policy Issues, Poverty, Uncategorized, Wealth

Watch “Milton Friedman – The Robber Baron Myth” on YouTube

“Robber Barons will always be with us. The crucial question is whether we have a form of economic organization in which one robber baron keeps the other robber baron in check. Or whether we have a form of political & economic organization in which one robber baron can help the other robber baron at the expense of the public.”