Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Recommended Reading: "Who Poses the Greater Threat?"

If you haven't yet read, "Who Poses the Greater Threat?" by Walter E. Williams click on the link below.

Who Poses the Greater Threat?
by Walter E. Williams

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Health Care Reform Simplicity

The health care argument has been extraordinarily complex. When details are discussed eyes glaze over. When broad assertions are made they’re refuted by details quoted from the legislation. Many people don’t know what to think or who to believe.

Here are some simple questions you can ask and answer for yourself. Your answers will tell you everything you need to know about the proposed health care reform.
If an insurance company denies treatment to a patient, the patient can appeal to the state insurance regulators and to the courts. If the federal government denies treatment where can the patient appeal?

If the government increases taxes on insurance polices and medical devices how will the costs of medical care go down?

If there really are 30 million people who aren’t getting medical care today - who will get care under the proposed model; how will an instant 10% increase in demand for medical services affect access to services for all?

If $500 billion can be saved by cracking down on Medicare fraud and abuse why didn’t the crackdown start last year?

If Medicare is now underfunded; how will its funding be improved by diverting $500 billion from Medicare to ObamaCare?

If Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are all underfunded and either in deficit or projected to go into deficit; how will ObamaCare avoid that fate?

If Veterans Administration hospitals neglected wounded solders returned from Iraq and Afghanistan; how will quality be ensured in a much larger health care system run by the federal government?

If politicians control health care; will health care decisions be political decisions? Will access to health care be linked to political influence?

If Congress has the Constitutional power to force you to buy health insurance can they also force you to buy a Chevrolet?

Quote of the Day
“You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down; Up to man’s age-old dream – the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order – or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism.
A Time for Choosing
Ronald Reagan (1911 – 2004)

Universal Health Care

Friday, March 5, 2010

Health Care Articles - Links

Links to Health Care Blog Posts
Build a Health Care Bill - Content Index
Universal Health Care

Links to Health Care Articles

"Top 10 Reasons ObamaCare is a Disaster"
by Kathryn Nix
April 5, 2010

"Timeline of the Democrats Healthcare Package"
by Human Events
April 1,2010

"Prescription For Disaster Now Covered Under Obamacare"
by Ann Coulter
March 31, 2010
Human Events

"Mexico Gearing Up for U.S. Healthcare Patients"
by Roger Hedgecock
March 26, 2010

"Solving the 'Pre-Existing Condition' Problem"
by Rep. John Shadegg
March 16, 2010

"Obamacare is a Budgetary Disaster"
By James C Capretta
March 5, 2010
The National Review On-Line

"The Big Problem with Health Care Is Cost, Not Access"
By Richard Baehr
March 3, 2010
The American Thinker

"Alice in Health Care"
By Thomas Sowell
March 2, 2010
The National Review On-Line

"Dear President Obama, Per Your Request ..."
By Brad Hessel and Madge Cohen
February 24, 2010
The Motley Fool

"Cut Costs and Improve Care? That's True Reform"
by Regina Herzlinger and Eric Silfen
February 17, 2010in National Review On-Line

"The Power of Small Ideas"
by Tevi Troy & Jeffrey H. Anderson
February 15, 2010in National Review On-Line

"Health-Care Nation"
by Robert J Samuelson
December 7, 2009
The Washington Post

"How the Senate Health Bill Punishes Businesses That Hire Low-Income Workers"
by Robert A. Book, Ph.D.
December 3, 2009
Published by The Heritage Foundation

"More Doctors Needed"
by Pat Wechsler
November 17, 2009
The Worcester Telegram & Gazette

"111 New Federal Government Entities Created by Health Care Reform Bill"
November 3, 2009

Alice in Health Care

Link to the article, "Alice in Health Care"
by Thomas Sowell
published in National Review On-Line on 3/2/2010

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Does the Debt Matter? – Questioning Assumptions

In my post "Does the Debt Matter? - Alternate Projections" I wrote:

“The Obama administration projections assume substantial growth in tax revenues averaging 12.5% each year for 2011 through 2014 and reductions in the growth of federal spending such that spending growth averages 2.9% over the same period. For the years 2001 through 2007, year over year actual increases in tax revenues averaged 3.7%. Average annual increases in federal spending were 6.2%.”

I then projected 2014 revenue and spending based on the 2001 through 2007 averages. But what if the average results for 2001 through 2007 overestimate revenue increases and underestimate the growth of federal spending?

What if Congress passes “Cap & Trade” driving more businesses and jobs overseas?

What if consumers continue to pay down their personal debt?

What if “boomers” realize they’re closing in on retirement and because they haven’t saved any money they establish a new normal personal savings rate of 6% or more – like it was in the 1950’s?

What if the published unemployment rate remains over 9% and the real unemployment rate remains over 15% through 2014?

What health care is reformed and raises premiums for people with insurance, raises taxes on businesses, and adds taxes on medical devices – just like the bill that passed in the House of Representatives and like the bill passed by the Senate?

What if, because government prevents banks from foreclosing on defaulting mortgages, ten times as many homeowners with “underwater” houses use that “Get Out of Jail Free” card – and default on their own mortgages to pay down other debt - all while remaining in their homes?

What if foreign governments – especially China and Japan – stop buying U.S. Treasury Bonds and their yields jump to 14%?

What if rising interest rates drives us deeper into recession and drives unemployment even higher?

What if there are 50 other things that could go wrong that I haven’t mentioned or thought of?

I oversimplified in my previous posts in order to make my points. For example, if Treasury bond yields rose to 10% tomorrow and stayed there, it would take years for overall interest payments to reach the 10% level. Much of the debt is in 10 to 30 year bonds and only a portion comes due each year. Still, the trends are representative and the revenue and spending projections are conservative.

Some have proposed we get out of this situation by intentionally inflating the currency – been there – done that – it doesn’t work! Rising inflation reduces economic growth, increases unemployment, and drives up spending – and deficits.

So how do we get out of this mess? Don’t know. But it has to be a combination of:

(1) Real federal spending cuts and that means cuts in entitlements; Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and all others.

(2) Restructuring the tax code to promote economic growth without counterproductive net tax increases – the "Fair Tax" would do it.

(3) Opening up for oil and gas exploration and production all of the currently prohibited areas in the United States including, Alaska and off the east, west and gulf coasts.

What are your ideas?

Quote of the Day
“We should never despair, our Situation before has been unpromising and has changed for the better, so I trust, it will again. If new difficulties arise, we must only put forth new Exertions and proportion our Efforts to the exigency of the times.”
George Washington

Link to Other Topics in the Special Report: Does the Debt Matter?