american individualism
societal values
fiscal responsibility
economic prosperity
rule of law

Health Care

November 13, 2013 | Corner (National Review Online)

Obamacare Is Dead. Long Live Obamacare!

In the next 90 days, the Obama administration will have to declare victory and then abandon most of Obamacare.  The legislation defies the laws of physics—more and broader coverage for more people at less cost—as well as logic: Young people, on average as a cohort with higher debt and less employment, will pay more for coverage they do not use much to subsidize others, often better off, to pay less for coverage they use a lot. It will be interesting how the administration pulls it off, given its past record of often being successful at this sort of dissimulation. The “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”—despite the euphemistic name, the legislation has caused millions to lose their coverage and upped the costs for millions more—is a stone around the necks of Democratic congressional candidates, and something political will have to be done within the next year to address it. The Obama administration’s first impulse will probably be haphazard and periodic non-compliance with the law in the manner of its treatment of the employer mandate, and, for that matter, all sorts of other “settled” legislation that, for political reasons, it simply chose not to enforce, from pre-election border enforcement and the Defense of Marriage Act to the contractual order of the Chrysler creditors. In that regard, the administration might table the individual mandate or administratively change the wording of required insurance protocols to let people keep their old plans that were recently dismissed as “bad apples” or “junk.” Maybe they could call all that “pro-choice,” or “good apples.” A second and previously popular Obama strategy—cf. the war on terror rebranded with “workplace violence,” “largely secular,” “man-caused disasters,” and “overseas contingency operations”—would be just to scrap most of the law and keep a tiny sliver like the front-ended goodies (such as not losing your insurance for preexisting conditions or keeping children on parental plans until 26) and restamping that tiny change as the old Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, while quietly dismantling the program piecemeal.  Each time Obama has had to square the circle—e.g., keeping or expanding the hated Bush-Cheney anti-terrorism protocols while still demagoguing them—he has resorted to philology and simply changed the meanings of things. He will probably tell us the naked health-care emperor is fully dressed in the way that the tenfold expansion of the drone program was a legacy of Bush, or the willingness to exceed the U.N. in Libya, ignore it in Syria, and undermine it with Iran is “working with the UN.” I don’t see as viable the third, and no doubt favored, solution: a stealth attempt by fiat to implement a single-payer system. Assuring the people that the problem with Obamacare was not enough government rather than too much does not seem like a winner. Somehow the Obama administration took public distrust of insurance companies and transmogrified that suspicion into greater distrust of government. And when they talk of drafting techies to the rescue of the website, they seem not to be talking about more GS somethings, but hip Silicon Valleyites from the correct part of the private sector. For now there can be no more presidential sweeping statements about not losing this or not paying more for that, but probably silence, as administration lawyers administratively chart non-compliance strategies and the usual politicos find ways to call that a smashing success.
November 13, 2013 | Wall Street Journal

Letter: Genetically Engineered Foods a Plus

November 10, 2013 |

To Achieve ObamaCare's Insurance Goals, We Must Abolish ObamaCare

ObamaCare was sold to the American people as an “effort to help 40 to 50 million Americans with low income or people with preexisting conditions.” (Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer,  ObamaCare’s original promises (now long forgotten) were that we can help those 40 to 50 million unfortunates who can’t get insurance, keep [...]
November 8, 2013 |

President Obama, is a 'Substandard' Health Plan Really Substandard?

Unfortunately, President Obama’s definition of “substandard” health plans is likely to work in the wrong direction by disqualifying plans that induce health consumers to behave more efficiently.
November 7, 2013 | Yahoo!Finance

Obamacare Is Misguided: Let’s Prioritize Specialist Care and Technology

From Yahoo Finance: By Scott W. Atlas, MD While today’s headlines focus on the horrendous technical failures of Obamacare’s insurance websites, and analysis remains fixated on insider political fights about the law, it will take years after this initial implementation for its real … Continue reading →
November 7, 2013 |

President Obama's Loss Of Trust Over Obamacare Imperils Immigration Reform

  The President’s “misspeaking” on his Obama Care pledges have doomed any chance of immigration reform, or any other major reform, for that matter. Obama may go into campaign mode on immigration reform to gain Hispanic votes, but it will be only talk. There can be no comprehensive reform of anything [...]
November 6, 2013 | Defining Ideas (Hoover Institution)

The Silent Serial Killer

November 4, 2013 | John Batchelor Show

Henry Miller on the John Batchelor Show (19:47)

Reza Kahlili, author; Arif Rafiq, Middle East Institute; Henry Miller, Hoover; Kara Brandeisky, ProPublica.
November 3, 2013 | National Review Online

Obamacare and Human Nature

Obamacare was predicated on the idea that it would be techie-driven and noble in inspiration, and therefore, presto, just had to work. But the entire program, whether one likes it or not, assumes things that simply are contrary to human nature, and therefore, unless modified, will never offer the necessary incentives for Americans. It can only operate through increasing coercion. If people can’t get online, why should they continue to try? (Sort of like calling a 1-800 fix-it number, getting put on hold by someone in India, and then swearing never to do that again.) Each time an administration official assures the public that the latest glitch is about fixed, and each time that it is not, a few more hundred thousand will give up. And if, for many, the penalty is cheaper than the premium and the latter can be retroactively paid after a sickness, then why pay the cost upfront? If people can get a known Medicaid package free without too much scrutiny about the actual facts of their income and status, why would they prefer to pay for an unknown Obamacare plan? If younger people feel both broke and invincible, why expect them to flock to pay for something that costs and that they won’t often use? If people don’t like premium hikes coupled with reduced coverage, why should they be won over by arguments that they should pay more money for more coverage of the sort they will never use? And if some are sick and need costly care and cannot obtain insurance or afford to pay the full cost of insurance for their conditions, why would they not rush to sign up even more rapidly than their antitheses would avoid signing up? If a program is said to be both superior and universal in providing excellent coverage for all, why would there be any exemptions whatsoever for anyone, especially for those who support or even helped pass the legislation? If insurance companies would go broke selling life insurance of a reasonable cost to those with preexisting conditions, or affordable car insurance to those with numerous citations, why would they not do the same with Obamacare? If the program was passed through coercion, noble lies, and subterfuge, and ushered in with the same, why would anyone believe it will not operate in the same spirit and practice? Why should everyone who has insurance expect to believe that he was simply given it and that everyone who doesn’t was deprived of it, when millions made difficult and costly choices not to play the odds while at least a few million others in no different circumstances embraced different choices? To counter all of the above, Obamacare would have to assume that it is hip, knows best, is not worried about Neanderthal human nature, and has the power to force what it wishes anyway—and there we have what we have.
November 1, 2013 | Bloomberg View

Where Would Obamacare Be With Romney at the Wheel?

With President Barack Obama invoking Mitt Romney to defend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act this week in Boston, it’s worth considering what U.S.