Washington's Pet Insurance Industry
University of Chicago law professor Richard Epstein has an excellent article in the Journal today explaining how the complex insurance provisions of the Reid bill will either strangle the insurance industry or turn it into a wholly owned subsidiary of ...
Atul Gawande is one of my favorite writers on health care and medicine – always even handed, intelligent, and interesting.
But I’ve got issues with his latest piece in The New Yorker: “Testing, Testing.”
In a nutshell, Gawande thinks that ...
Whac-a-Mole with Health-Care Costs
For two views on why, in the age of the Internet, it’s very difficult for governments to lower health-care costs through blunt rationing, see Megan McArdle and my colleague Dr. David Gratzer.
The economist’s perspective:
The problem with ...
The press is all aflutter with the idea that Joe Lieberman, with his stubborn opposition to the “public option” (a government run insurer competing against private insurers), may prevent Senator Reid from corralling the 60 votes he needs to overcome a ...
A Scary Bill, Full of Tricks
Health-care reform will not pass this year, but something that calls itself reform likely will. The dysfunctions in the current system (uncontrollable entitlement spending, rapidly rising insurance costs, miles of innovation-killing red tape) will continue to function as usual because ...
‘I am not the first president to take up this cause [health-care reform], but I am determined to be the last.” You’ve got to give President Obama credit for his boundless self-confidence: He has never met a problem that ...
New York Is No Model for the Nation
Heavy regulation in New York State drives up the cost of individual health insurance.
A major component of the “health reform” legislation in Congress is sweeping regulation of the insurance industry, including “guaranteed issue” (GI) and “community rating” (CR) restrictions ...
'Game Changing' Speech Produces a Dead-Cat Bounce
Rasmussen reports today that the president’s speech last week produced a dead-cat bounce in favor of the administration’s health reform plans, i.e. a small gain that has now evaporated:
Following President Obama’s speech to Congress last ...
Health-Care Reform by Committee. All 53 of Them.
Hat tip to House Republican leader John Boehner and his staff. Take a gander at the 53 new agencies, panels, and committees tasked with health-care “reform” courtesy of Nancy Pelosi, President Obama, and H.R. 3200.
1. Health Benefits Advisory Committee (Section 123, p. 30)2. ...
Kennedy's Passing Part II
No time for reflection in Washington, I guess:
The death of Sen. Edward Kennedy quickly became a rallying cry for Congress to pass health care overhaul legislation.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office sent an email to reporters at around 2:30 ...
How about a Replacement-Knee Panel?
The ineluctable bloggress Megan McArdle highlights a NY Times article noting that, gasp, Obamacare may not turn out to be all sunshine and rainbows for Medicare recipients. She goes on to write that
“Waste, fraud and abuse”, that favorite old ...
No Pot of Gold for Obamacare
One of the White House’s biggest talking points for Obamacare is that it’ll save lots of money through new government-required prevention and wellness programs. Greg Mankiw points out that, yet again, the CBO is raining on the president’...
Drunken Sailor + Health Care = Government Spending
Let me get this straight. Current health care entitlements (Medicare and Medicaid) have enormous cost and quality control problems. Check. Medicare alone is trillions of dollars in debt. Check. And so President Obama’s solution to America’s health care ...
The Reid Bill: A Lose-Lose Proposition for Insurers
We’ve just posted a new analysis of the Reid bill by Richard Epstein, who concludes that it’s likely unconstitutional — and not only for its individual mandate. Epstein writes that
In effect, the onerous obligations under the Reid Bill ...
Three Strikes against Obamacare
Joseph Lieberman’s words, “I’m going to be stubborn on this,” must be giving Harry Reid heartburn.
Lieberman may caucus with the Democrats, but he’s more than willing to go his own way — especially when it comes to ...
Kudos to Mickey Kaus (and one of his alert readers, cited below) for pointing out that the media’s interpretation of the recent CBO estimate of the impact of the Reid bill on insurance premiums is totally off-base:
Most of ...
$2.4 Trillion for House Health Bill
The Republican staff on the Senate Budget Committee has published an estimate of the cost of H.R. 3962 when fully implemented over ten years: $2.4 trillion.
The Blue Dogs in the House should be very, very worried by this estimate. Back ...
The Lobby the Democrats Dare Not Offend
The Baucus bill is bad — but let’s assume for a moment that the president is sincere in asking every health-care stakeholder to sacrifice something for health-care “reform.” Most of the major players (AHIP, PhRMA, etc) have in fact lined ...
No, Mr. President, You Won't Be the Last
President Obama doesn’t tackle little problems. He only tackles big problems, and he aims to solve them. As he said in his September 9 speech to Congress on health-care reform: “I am not the first president to take up this ...
This Should Rock a Few Votes
From the Washington Post this morning:
As health-care legislation advances through Congress, the young adults who were so vital to President Obama’s election are emerging as a significant beneficiary of his top domestic priority, but they are also likely ...
The Game Remains the Same
President Obama’s speech last night was hailed as a game changer. It was eloquent oratory, to be sure, and aimed squarely at independents and centrists. But it was probably too little too late. With Republicans having been shut out ...
Is There an Economist in the House?
Could someone please explain to Representative Kucinich how insurance works?
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) yesterday requested that six top insurance company executives appear before his subcommittee to explain how they do business. Kucinich has asked the six executives from Aetna, ...
Today, the nation mourns the death of Sen. Edward Kennedy, one of the most influential senators of the 20th century. Later, when the eulogies end, his death may impact the health-care debate in unpredictable ways. It could push Democrats towards ...
Critics of America’s health-care system like to note that the U.S. appears to lag other developed nations in life-expectancy. But this claim confuses health and health care: Many factors (smoking, teen pregnancy, obesity, murder and accident rates) can ...
Legislate in Haste, Repent at Leisure
In a telling moment yesterday, as reported by the New York Post, Senator Reid tacitly conceded concerns from conservatives and moderates that the rush to get something done and declare victory wasn’t the right way to reform the nation’...