Today’s economy is driven by Washington in more than just determining the location of Maserati dealerships. We see the ramifications of current government policies in numerous obvious ways. Make full-time employment more expensive with required benefits, and suddenly there are more part-time jobs; provide ample benefits and low eligibility standards for defining disabled workers, and suddenly there are more long-term unemployed going on SSDI; keep interest rates at zero, and suddenly there are more elderly workers; end unemployment insurance, and suddenly you see people accepting jobs they were reluctant to take; and as we’ve seen at the state and local level, raise the minimum wage, and suddenly teens are struggling to find work.
Yesterday’s narrow Hobby Lobby decision shows why the culture war isn’t over – it’s just getting started. The reality is that in the absence of the ability to compel employers to pay for things over their religious objections, and at a time when covering 16 forms of birth control out of 20 is culturally insufficient, the Obama administration will be more than happy to turn to the traditional method of the left: skipping the middle man of the employer and just handing people other people’s money.
Following oral arguments, I was not optimistic about this ruling. The Court could have bought into the argument that Hobby Lobby can’t really complain about this requirement when they have the capability to not offer coverage at all, instead shifting people under their employ to the taxpayer via Medicaid or the exchanges. The penalty for offering coverage which fails to meet essential benefits is clearly absurd and sizable, but the penalty for not offering coverage at all would actually cost them less than offering coverage in the first place (around $26 million per year). The “gun to your head” penalty was the one which moved the court on the Medicaid/federalism question before, in a ruling that unexpectedly led to half the states declining to expand Medicaid. Justices Kagan and Sotomayor stressed this in oral argument and the Court could have found that this factor removes the pressure of an actual requirement. You can understand the reasoning: Just like the requirement to purchase insurance, it’s not illegal, it’s just a tax!
The dearth of transplantable organs remains a serious problem in the United States and in much of the world. There are 123,000 Americans currently waiting for an organ. 18 of them die every day because demand continues to exceed supply. The problem has drawn the attention of many activists and policymakers, but sometimes the proposed solutions have proven more unpleasant than the problem. Chief among these unsavory solutions is the policy of opt-out organ donation.
Today, the Manhattan Institute re-released its Obamacare Interactive Map. The map is one of the most comprehensive and useful tools for people looking to determine how Obamacare will affect their healthcare premiums. Presenting data by county, individuals can see just how costly the “affordable” care act is going to be.
National Center for Public Policy Research Risk Analysis Director Jeff Stier is responding this week to a range of stories bubbling up in the news and in social media recently that have one common denominator, according to Stier: “ideologically-driven scares.”
For every 100 mortgages being sold in the United States these days, at least 95 of them have government backing. We’re told America has a free-market economy? Not judging by the government’s involvement in housing, arguably the most important market there is. Most people can go years without needing health care. A healthy adult can go weeks without food. We cannot go one day without needing shelter.
In our world of laptops, iPads, flat-screen TVs, microwaves, and jet-skis, it is easy to forget that 1.3 billion people on this planet, nearly one in five overall, do not have access to electricity. Even fewer people have access to clean cooking areas, as 2.6 billion people (38 percent of the world’s population) use traditional biomass—such as wood and animal dung—or coal indoors to cook their meals. As a result, indoor air pollution prematurely claims 3.5 million lives every year, more than double the lives claimed by either malaria or HIV/AIDS. These people are victims of energy poverty.
Republicans have not unified behind a single bill to replace Obamacare because conservatives have been debating among themselves exactly what the components of that bill should be. The ongoing collapse[…]
The Veterans Administration (VA) has been a disaster since just about its inception. Because it is government-only monopoly single-payer health care. Championed by the exact same people dying to impose[…]
The VA (Veterans Administration) scandals show why so many people have been so highly motivated for so long to fight against Obamacare. That is because of the perfectly rational fear that Obamacare will end up doing to the entire American health care system what the VA has done to health care for America’s veterans.
Now that 8 million or more have signed up on health insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the President is deploying his phone and his pen to solve another urgent problem: climate change. This will require another transformational change that no previous President has been able to bring about, as they were unable to get around a recalcitrant Congress.
Even so, you do not have to be smart with numbers to know that the real state of the U.S. economy is pathetic these days. You can thank Barack Obama for that because, dear reader, he is utterly clueless regarding America’s economy; how it works, and what it needs to work.
Medicaid expansion is an expensive endeavor that studies show does not provide better or more-affordable health care. Many of the expansion plans that Pennsylvania legislators are considering would use federal[…]
Look, it is a fantasy that a group of legislators in Washington, DC or Albany New York can wave their magic wands and make everybody do what they want. A few years ago, I gave a speech to a group of state legislators in Albany shortly after New York enacted a new law prohibiting the use of hand-held cell phones while driving. In the taxi going from the airport to the venue I noticed that every single car on the highway was violating the 55 MPH speed limit, without exception, and at least a third of the drivers were chatting merrily on their hand-held phones.
NONE OF THIS EVER WORKS!
Health insurance is the most important thing on the face of the earth — more important than food, more important than clothing, or housing, or a job, and certainly more important than cell phones and cable TV, according to the President.
With this contemptuous attitude towards the people the elite is trying to “help” perhaps it is not surprising that the helpees are not behaving the way the helpers would like them to. Amy Goldstein writes in the Washington Post that “Health insurance marketplaces (are) signing up few uninsured Americans…”
Had the administration admitted its management failure before the exchanges launched, or traded a delay of implementation in the course of negotiation, it could’ve taken a political hit, but avoided the policy failure.