Posted in Access to healthcare, Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), Community Underwriting, Crony Capitalism, DC & Related Shenanigans, Economic Issues, Employee Benefits, Free-Market, Government Regulations, Health Insurance, Healthcare financing, Individual Market, Individual ObamaCare Market, Insurance subsidies, Medical Costs, News From Washington, Patient Choice, Policy Issues, State-Run Insurance Exchanges, Uncategorized

Judge strikes down association health plan rule as ACA runaround

New York state and the special interests who want to maintain the ACA-dependent grip on the market are at it again.

Using a similarly contorted legal and regulatory logic that went into the design and subsequent SCOTUS justification for the ACA, a Federal District Court in District of Columbia (Judge John C. Bates) has ruled to block the Labor Department’s final rule on the implementation of Association Health Plans as an “end-run” around the ACA.

So let’s all pretend it all worked out just peachy, as the flimsy arguments made by the Plaintiffs suggest, and remove yet another financial tool which might help small businesses and individuals obtain affordable, more portable coverage!

Ostensibly and officially, the goal of the ACA was to expand affordable health insurance coverage.  Yet it has, arguably and predictably, expanded the Health Insurance Industrial complex by propping it up with tax-payer subsidized funds and making insurance MORE expensive.

And who cautions against the new AHP final Labor Department rules?  Who else but the American Health Insurance Plans (AHIP).

 “…we remain concerned that broadly expanding the use of AHPs may lead to higher premiums for consumers who depend on the individual or small group market for their coverage.  Ultimately, the rule could result in fewer insured Americans and may put consumers at greater risk of fraudulent actors entering this market.”

Really? Higher premiums? Compared to what?

In the ACA individual market insurance exchanges, single coverage premiums (unsubsidized) increased by 62% and family coverage premiums increased by 75% just since implementation of ObamaCare!

The financial life support of the community rating standards in the ACA Individual Market was contingent on a “Young-Healthy” participation rate of roughly 40%. It never happened as predicted, thus the skyrocketing premiums in the Individual Market.

The only concern of opponents of AHPs and other market reforms is to ensure that our healthcare dollars keep flowing through the channels they control.

Source: Judge strikes down association health plan rule as ACA runaround

Posted in Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), American Presidents, big government, Crony Capitalism, DC & Related Shenanigans, Economic Issues, government incompetence, Government Regulations, Government Spending, Influence peddling, Liberty, News From Washington, News From Washington, DC & Related Shenanigans, Organizational structure, Policy Issues, Uncategorized

Protectionism, Obamacare, and Atlas Shrugged

From an economic perspective, it certainly is true that this new system is “disorganized” and “a disservice” and an “insult to our intelligence.” Those same words could be used to describe the welfare state, the EEOCfarm subsidies, the tax code, and just about everything else the government does.

But there’s one group of people who are laughing all the way to the bank, The lobbyists, consultants, fixers, and other denizens of the swamp are getting rich. Whether they’re preparing the applications, lobbying for the applications, or lobbying against the applications, they are getting big paychecks.

And the longer this sordid protectionist process continues, we will see a repeat of what happened with Obamacare as senior-level people in government move through the revolving door so they can get lucrative contracts to help clients manipulate the system (yes, Republicans can be just as sleazy as Democrats).

Washington wins and we lose.

International Liberty

I very much suspect Obama partisans and Trump partisans won’t like this column, but the sad reality is that both Obamacare and Trump’s protectionism have a lot in common.

  • In both cases, government is limiting the freedom of buyers and sellers to engage in unfettered exchange.
  • In both cases, the fiscal burden of government increases.
  • In both cases, politicians misuse statistics to expand the size and scope of government.

Today, let’s add another item to that list.

  • In both cases, the Washington swamp wins thanks to increased cronyism and corruption.

To see what I mean, let’s travel back in time to 2011. I wrote a column about Obamacare and cited some very persuasive arguments by Tim Carney that government-run healthcare (or, to be more accurate, expanded government control of healthcare) was creating a feeding frenzy for additional sleaze in Washington.

Congress imposes mandates on other entities, but gives bureaucrats the…

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Posted in American Presidents, Bailouts, big government, Caricatures, Cartoons, Crony Capitalism, Currency Manipulation, DC & Related Shenanigans, Economic Issues, government incompetence, Government Spending, Government Stimulus, Job loss, Keynesian Economics, Liberty, Policy Issues, Poverty, Rule of Law, Tax Policy, U.S. Constitution, Uncategorized, Unemployment, Wealth

Everything You Need to Know about Assigning Blame for the Great Depression, Captured by a Cartoon | International Liberty

Posted in big government, DC & Related Shenanigans, DC & Related Shenanigans, News From Washington, DC & Related Shenanigans, Uncategorized

Newsgate 2016 | Sharyl Attkisson

Here is just the tip of the iceberg from Attkisson’s story…

It appears the watchdog of the government has a seat at the dinner table!



“Media Matters staff had the direct line of MSNBC president Phil Griffin, and used it,” a Media Matters source told Daily Caller. “If we published something [negative] about Fox in the morning, [MSNBC would] have it on the air that night verbatim. We were pretty much writing their prime time. But then, virtually all the mainstream media was using our stuff.”

Source: Newsgate 2016 | Sharyl Attkisson

Posted in big government, Caricatures, DC & Related Shenanigans, DC & Related Shenanigans, government incompetence, News From Washington, News From Washington, DC & Related Shenanigans, Unsettled Science

An Attempted Hillary Email Coverup? | The Weekly Standard

A senior State Department official repeatedly pressed the FBI to change the classification of emails stored on Hillary Clinton’s private server, according to FBI interview summaries set to be released in the coming days. Patrick Kennedy, the undersecretary of state for management, discussed providing additional overseas slots for the FBI in exchange for revisions to classifications of the sensitive emails. The 34 summaries, known as FBI 302s, will be released in connection with a Freedom of Information Act request and after pressure from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Two additional 302s are being withheld because they contain information classified at the Top Secret/SAP level. The summaries, described to THE WEEKLY STANDARD by five intelligence and congressional officials familiar with their contents, are sure to bolster Donald Trump’s criticism of corruption at Clinton’s State Department, the FBI and Washington, D.C., with just more than three weeks until the 2016 presidential election.

Source: An Attempted Hillary Email Coverup? | The Weekly Standard

Posted in Crony Capitalism, DC & Related Shenanigans, DC & Related Shenanigans, Economic Issues, government incompetence, Government Regulations, Influence peddling, Policy Issues, Progressivism, Uncategorized

What if the Left Doesn’t Really Want to Achieve its Policy Goals? – John C. Goodman

John C. Goodman

First, labor unions in Los Angeles – the very unions that were in the forefront in pushing for California’s recently passed $15-an-hour minimum wage legislation — are petitioning to be exempted from the new law. After telling us for years how good high minimum wages are for everyone else, they are now claiming that the regulation is not good for their own members.

Second, as the New York Democratic primary election was well under way, the rhetoric became increasing shrill. Wall Street is responsible for inequality we were told by both Bernie and Hillary.

Yet as Dan Henninger reminds us in a Wall Street Journal editorial, it’s the rich Wall Street types who are putting up the money to fund charter schools and other alternatives to the public schools that are failing so miserably. No one who is poor is likely to climb the income ladder without a decent education. Yet New York City liberals, including the new liberal mayor, aren‘t lifting a finger to help. In fact, New York’s liberals seem quite content to let the teachers unions run the schools as they wish and leave things pretty much as they are.

Source: What if the Left Doesn’t Really Want to Achieve its Policy Goals? – John C. Goodman

Posted in Capers, DC & Related Shenanigans, Economic Issues, Government Spending, Job loss, Policy Issues, Unemployment

Abbott and Costello’s take on unemployment? Its hilarious. | PJ Wilcox, Author | LinkedIn

abbott-and-costelloLet’s take a break from the Greek default saga for a day so we can prepare for the NFP number; the Non-Farm Payroll data. How many new hires are there? Are the data reliable? Man, who cares anyway.

Hopefully the following comedy will help assuage some recent angst so let’s have it.

Wait, “who’s on first” again?

COSTELLO: I want to talk about the unemployment rate in America .

ABBOTT: Good Subject. Terrible Times. It’s 5.6%.

COSTELLO: That many people are out of work?

ABBOTT: No, that’s 23%.

COSTELLO: You just said 5.6%.

ABBOTT: 5.6% Unemployed.

COSTELLO: Right 5.6% out of work.

ABBOTT: No, that’s 23%.

via Abbott and Costello’s take on unemployment? Its hilarious. | PJ Wilcox, Author | LinkedIn.

Posted in Access to healthcare, Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), Crony Capitalism, DC & Related Shenanigans, Economic Issues, Electronic Health Records, Free-Market, Government Spending, Health Insurance, Hospital Uncompensated Care / Disproportionate Share Revenue, Independent Physicians, Influence peddling, Medical Costs, Organizational structure, Patient Choice, Patient Safety, Policy Issues, Price Tansparency, Quality

G. Keith Smith, M.D. – 10 Health Care Myths, and the Truth – 10 Health Care Myths, and the Truth

Dr. Keith Smith
Dr. Keith Smith

7). Free market principles don’t apply to health care.

Free market principles always apply, in spite of all attempts by the state to thwart them.  Acting in concert and consistent with free market principles allows for the most rational and fair and least wasteful and most moral allocation of resources.  Acting in concert with the free market and its characteristic open competition causes quality to soar and prices to plummet.  Every time, no exceptions.  Patients from all over the country are using our online pricing to leverage better deals in their local medical markets, as our facility and others embracing transparent pricing are only a short plane ride away!  As hard as many hospitals are trying to avoid it, they are in a competitive marketplace whether they like it or not.  Those in the medical industrial complex who say that free market principles don’t apply to their industry are typically those who benefit from avoiding competition at all costs.

Read the full article at: G. Keith Smith, M.D. – 10 Health Care Myths, and the Truth – 10 Health Care Myths, and the Truth.