Friday, November 8, 2013

Ten Reasons ObamaCare Will Fail

FrontPage Magazine ^ | November 8, 2013 | Steven Plaut

- FrontPage Magazine - -

There is a fundamental difference between economists and lawyers (or legal scholars) when it comes to resolving complex social and economic problems.  Economists believe that human behavior and the functioning of institutions are based upon incentives.  Lawyers and legal types believe that one can resolve complex problems by passing laws and imposing regulations.  The latter think one can legislate away the problem.
I like to describe the approach by lawyer-types to such problems as “rain laws.” They are like trying to resolve the problem of flooding from heavy rainfall by means of a law making it illegal for it to rain.  Or solving droughts by passing a mandate that it must rain.  Making global warming illegal is a pretty close runner-up idea.  An example of a rain law in the area of health care would be to solve shortages, health care inflation, and inadequate coverage by passing a law making it illegal for people to get sick.  A second example would be Obamacare.
The entire matter of Obamacare is so complex that most people have lost sight of the fundamental problems within it and especially its rain law aspects.   Instead, the media and much of the public are concentrating on tangential matters, like whether or not the software on the Obamacare web sites is functioning properly.
I will not attempt here to spell out all the issues and problems with Obamacare.  I would just like to point out a few of its flaws in simple words, and these should be sufficient to understand why the entire apparatus will fail:

1.   Provision and production of health care services involves resources.   Those resources cost money.  The real costs of those resources will not be reduced under Obamacare.  Doctor, nurse, and technician salaries will not be reduced.  The prices of medical equipment will not be reduced.  The costs of hospital buildings and infrastructure will not be reduced.  The costs of resources used for developing and producing medicines will not be reduced.  Costs of other factors, such as the notoriously high expense of malpractice insurance thanks to the rather loony American tort system, will not be reduced.
2.  If anything, the costs of all the items cited above will rise under Obamacare.  That is because the most important openly-stated goal of Obamacare is to expand access to medical services and coverage for the uninsured.  In simple words, Obamacare seeks to expand consumption of or demand for medical services, without changing in any significant way the supply of medical services.  The number of man-hours, the amounts of medication, and the set of equipment required to perform any medical procedure or service will not change because of Obamacare.  Raising demand without any shift in the supply function produces inflation in the prices of medical services.
3.  When demand expands but the supply function does not, the only way to prevent this from manifesting itself in inflation is using price controls.  But price controls produce shortages, long queues, denial of access to services, and diminishing quality of services.  The main mechanism for controlling costs in other state-run medical systems, ranging from the British Health System to Medicare, is indeed price controls and shortages and queues.   Since Obamacare does nothing to change the cost of the inputs used in producing medical services, the only manner in which it can seek to prevent the inevitable inflation from expanded “coverage” is price controls.
4.   Price controls with regard to insurance itself have the same consequence as price controls regarding particular medical treatments and services.  They produce shortages.  The price controls regarding health insurance packages contained in Obamacare mean that the market for Obamacare-defined health insurance will unavoidably fail to clear.
5.  In every place they have been used, in every country and in every period of history, price controls create shortages and cause reductions in quality.  Ask tenants in NY rent-controlled apartments about this.
6.  To an extent, some of the shortages produced by price controls can be disguised with government subsidies.   But “suppressing” inflation of health care services with price controls does not really eliminate the inflation.  It just means that people will pay the higher prices through taxes instead of directly out of pocket as consumers.  Consumers will quickly figure out the scam.
7.  You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink.  The Democrats can define a minimally acceptable health insurance package, but they cannot ensure that sufficient Obamacare insurance packages will be offered to consumers by the insurance industry to clear the market.   The more that Congress tries to twist the arms of the insurers to provide more policies to clear the market, in other words, the more it tries to escalate the level of regulation of insurers, the worse the problem will become.  The shortage in Obamacare insurance policies means that those who fail to find such coverage are left with the option of buying non-Obamacare health insurance, and this augmented demand will significantly raise the prices of such “private” non-Obamacare health insurance.
8.  From the start, the “problem” of the uninsured in the United States was very different from the way it was presented in the media.  Before Obamacare the number of Americans who did not have health insurance because they were too poor to buy it was basically zero.  That is because the truly poor could get their health insurance from Medicaid.   On the other hand, millions of healthy young Americans were choosing NOT to buy insurance because they preferred spending their money on other things, like education, child rearing, and housing.  This was no more of a social problem than the fact that few 30-year-olds save for their old age, while few 50-year-olds do not.  At 30, people have other concerns on their minds.   At most, a case might have been made for requiring that people get a high-deductible catastrophic health insurance policy, a bit like some states require car owners to have insurance that covers injuries their car may cause to other people.  Instead, Americans got Obamacare, a law whose pages must be measured by the kilogram.
9.  Denying the ability of medical insurance providers to differentiate insurance premiums based upon risk is idiotic and self-defeating.  It is like requiring that life insurance companies charge the same exact rates to 25-year-olds and 80-year-olds.  It simply ensures that the 25-year-olds will not want to buy life insurance and will probably refuse to buy it EVEN if they are charged a penalty for remaining uncovered by life insurance.  Indeed, such suppression of differential risk pricing is what lies behind much of the “uninsured” population “problem” and explains why these people have refused to buy insurance.  This suppression of differential pricing is a thinly disguised form of income and wealth redistribution.  It is as silly as requiring that non-smokers agree to pay higher insurance premiums in order to offset the high premiums that smokers would ordinarily be charged for coverage by the market.  Come to think of it, Obamacare contains THIS subsidy of smokers as well.
10.  A bureaucrat in Washington cannot effectively define the managerial principles and rules that would lead to the efficient functioning of an ice cream soda fountain outside of Washington.  Washington bureaucrats cannot deliver the mail with any semblance of efficiency or competence.  Why would anyone think they can create a system of regulations that will lead to the efficient functioning of thousands of medical providers?
The Declaration of Independence promises Americans they are free to pursue happiness.  It does not guarantee that they will be happy.  A governmental regulatory bureaucracy that set up regional exchanges to supervise consumer happiness and formulate definitions and regulations establishing the adequate amount of happiness would be an absurdity.  A set of rules that insisted that Americans have an entitlement to happiness, defined in the exact same way for all people as a “one size fits all” notion, without anyone bothering to contemplate how happiness is produced or what its costs of provision are, would be even more absurd.

So just why is Obamacare any less absurd than this?

Don’t miss this week’s Glazov Gang, which exposes ObamaCare’s Dirty Little Secret.

Trust Us: This Will Be Good for You (Says The Liar in Chief) ^ | November 8, 2013 | Jonah Goldberg

The government thinks you're stupid, or at least ignorant.

This isn't just an indictment of the current government or an indictment of government itself. It's simply a statement of fact. At its core, the government exists to do certain things that people aren't equipped to do on their own. The list of those things has gotten longer and longer over the years. In 1776, the federal government's portfolio could have easily fit in a file folder: maintain an army and navy, a few federal courts, the post office, the patent office and maybe a dozen or two other pretty obvious things.
Now, the file folder of things the federal government does is much bigger. To paraphrase Dr. Egon Spengler from "Ghostbusters," let's imagine that the federal government in 1776 was the size of this Twinkie (take my word for it, I'm holding a normal-sized Twinkie). Today that Twinkie would be 35 feet long, weighing approximately 600 pounds. Or, if that illustration doesn't work for you, consider this: The number of civilians (i.e., not counting the military) who work for the executive branch alone is today nearly equal to the entire population of the United States in 1776. The Federal Register, the federal government's fun-filled journal of new rules, regulations and the like, was about 2,600 pages in 1936 (a year after it was created). Today it's over 80,000 pages.
And that's just at the federal level. Each state government is a pretty giant-sized Twinkie, too. In Massachusetts, all kids in daycare are required by law to brush their teeth after lunch. In Texas -- Texas! -- if you don't have an interior design license, you can't call yourself an interior designer, lest some unsuspecting consumer trust your opinion on throw pillow placement without the backing of the state. Almost everywhere, Americans need a license to open a business -- sometimes even a lemonade stand -- but in Milwaukee, you even need a license to go out of business.
The justifications for all of these laws and all of these workers -- the good, the bad and the ugly -- have one thing in common: the assumption that the rest of us couldn't get by without them, whether we like it or not.
This week the feds took the first steps to ban trans fats. Why? Because trans fats are bad for you and you can't be trusted to avoid them on your own. I bring this up not because it is such an outrageous illustration of my point, but to demonstrate how typical it is. This is what the government does, day in, day out.
That's what makes the reaction to Obamacare so interesting. Several times now, the president has endeavored to explain that it's not that big a deal millions of Americans are losing their health insurance plans against their will. The people who had plans they liked didn't understand that the plans they liked were no good -- they were the actuarial equivalent of trans fats, don't you know? The fact that the people who held them liked them, thought they were good and wanted to keep them doesn't count for much, because the government knows best.
The president can't say it as plainly as he would like, because to do so would be to admit not only that he lied to the American people, but that he thinks the complainers are ignorant about their own needs and interests.
The president's more intellectually honest defenders have said exactly that. "Vast swathes of policy are based on the correct presumption that people don't know what's best for them. Nothing new," tweeted Josh Barro, politics editor for Business Insider.
Barro's fairly liberal, but I'd be dishonest if I said that he was wrong from a conservative perspective. The difference, however, is that conservatives tend to see government as a necessary evil, and therefore see policymaking with some humility. Liberals tend to see government as a necessary good, and see ordering people to do things "for their own good" as a source of pride, even hubris.
From a conservative perspective, telling people how to run their lives when not absolutely necessary is an abuse of power. For liberals, telling people how to run their lives is one of the really fun perks of working for the government.
You can see the frustration on the president's face. It's almost like the ingrates who refuse to understand that his were necessary lies for their own good are spoiling all his fun.

Obama's Obamacare Lies Were Chronicled From the Beginning ^ | November 8, 2013 | David Limbaugh

Don't you believe that President Obama's lies that people could keep their health insurance plans and doctors were his only lies about Obamacare or that these and the other lies were not demonstrably false when he uttered them.
In my book "Crimes Against Liberty," I chronicled Obama's multitudinous lies about Obamacare and many other subjects, from earmarks to tax increases. Please allow me to revisit some of my reporting on the Obamacare lies in light of the recent furor over Obama's dissembling concerning health care.
Let's start with the particularly galling declaration Obama made after Congress' partisan passage of Obamacare on March 21, 2010: "We proved that this government -- a government of the people and by the people -- still works for the people. ... Tonight's vote ... is a victory for the American people."
Never mind that the American public was manifestly against passage of the bill, as shown in poll after poll and further demonstrated by Obama's inability to get the bill passed -- despite overwhelming Democratic majorities in both chambers -- without, in my words in the book, "legislative trickery, executive deception, political bribes, arm-twisting, and a meaningless executive order to supposedly negate the bill's abortion funding provisions."
Sen. Lamar Alexander, no raging conservative, then observed that Obama's behavior on Obamacare was "the most brazen act of political arrogance since Watergate ... in terms of thumbing your nose at the American people and saying, 'We know you don't want it, but we're going to give it to you anyway.'"
Indeed, this is essentially what Obama's defenders are saying now with respect to Obama's "you can keep your plan" lie: "Obama lied to the American people because a lie is sometimes necessary for the greater good."
During the Democratic presidential primary campaign, Obama repeatedly promised that he would televise the health care debates on C-SPAN. When he was criticized for shamelessly reneging, he reacted similarly to how he is today, by twisting his own words. Even PolitiFact called him out on this "broken" promise.
Many of us pointed out at the time that Obama was lying when he said we could keep our plans and doctors. In the book, I wrote: "Obama said Obamacare 'would preserve the right of Americans who have insurance to keep their doctor and their plan.' But he knew his plan had no such guarantee, and he also knew the plan would likely crowd out private insurers. The chief actuary of the Medicare program estimates 14 million people will lose their employer coverage under Obamacare, even though many will want to keep it."
I continued, "Investor's Business Daily reported that internal White House documents show Obamacare may result in 51 percent of employers (and 66 percent of small business employers) relinquishing their current health care coverage by 2013." Well, IBD may have estimated the date wrong, but these aren't new revelations we're witnessing, folks.
I wrote that Obama told a joint session of Congress on health care Sept. 9, 2009, "Under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions." That very declaration, along with a bogus executive order, I noted, directly led to the passage of the bill by securing Democrat Bart Stupak's vote. The law obviously allowed federal funding for abortion; otherwise, Obama wouldn't have needed to issue the executive order supposedly countermanding it. But abortion, in some cases, was federally funded anyway.
The book also documented the double counting and sleights of hand Obama employed to misrepresent the bill as budget-neutral to the Congressional Budget Office. "'The most amazing bit of unrealistic accounting,' says (former CBO Director Douglas) Holtz-Eakin, is the projected savings of $463 billion from Medicare spending, which will be used to finance insurance subsidies. But Medicare has no extra funds at all to donate to the cause: it 'is already bleeding red ink.'" Holtz-Eakin estimated that these unaccounted items would "generate additional deficits of $562 billion in the first 10 years." Clearly, the administration knew at the time it was lying. These weren't just innocuous miscalculations.
Obama was also lying when he said Obamacare would reduce premiums by $2,500 for an average family of four. In the book, I quoted a CEO of one of the biggest health care companies, who said Obamacare would obviously make premiums go up. I also reported that economic experts inside the Health and Human Services Department confessed that contrary to Obama's claim, Obamacare would increase health care costs.
I unpacked Obama's egregious lies concerning the uninsured that served as the fraudulent impetus for this entire reform mania, and I covered the remainder of Obama's Obamacare lies concerning access to care, choice, quality of care, a single-payer plan and more.
The point of all this is not to claim any prescience on my part but to demonstrate that this information was available at the time for all to see. But the liberal media, Democrats and many other Obama enablers nonetheless deliberately assisted Obama in misleading the public into passing a bill that could very well lead to the destruction of the greatest health care system in history.

PPP Poll: Cornyn Not Conservative Enough for Texas Republicans ^ | 11/7/13 | Dan Weil 

The GOP's No. 2 in the Senate, John Cornyn, is facing electoral trouble as virtually half of Texas voters say they want someone more conservative in the Upper Chamber.
The survey, by Public Policy Polling found 49 percent of Lone Star State Republicans want a candidate further to the right than the Senate Minority Whip.
Just 33 percent say they want Cornyn to be given the chance to seek a third term when he faces the voters next year.
A total of 62 percent said they have a higher opinion of the state's junior, Ted Cruz, than they have of Cornyn. Just 23 percent said they prefer the senior senator.
When it came to potential opponents from Cornyn's right, Gov. Rick Perry was the favored candidate. He leads the incumbent 46 percent to 35 percent in a primary, the PPP survey found. Rep. Louie Gohmert trails 40 percent to 31 percent and evangelical minister David Barton is behind 51 percent to 18 percent to Cornyn. Barton announced after the poll was conducted that he would not run despite tea party pressure.
"GOP voters are open to replacing John Cornyn, it's just a question of whether there will be a candidate strong enough to pull it off," said PPP's president Dean Debnam.
Among all Texas voters, Cornyn still leads potential Democratic candidates Julian Castro, mayor of San Antonio, 49 percent to 35 percent, and former Houston Mayor Bill White, 44 percent to 39 percent.
The poll of 500 voters was conducted from Nov. 1-4. The overall margin of error is plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

The "Affordable Aircraft Act" coming soon!

  1. The Affordable Aircraft Act, a new program under development which if enacted will allow every American to own a new approved (and in many cases cost subsidized) airplane. nickname: "Obamaplane".

    The U.S. government is contemplating new legislation called "The Affordable Aircraft Act" which declares that every citizen MUST purchase a new aircraft, by April 2016. These "affordable" aircraft will cost an average of $154,000 - $355,000 each. This does not include taxes, hangar fees, licensing and registration fees, nor ongoing costs of fuel, docking, hangar and storage fees, maintenance or repair costs or pilot training.This law is being drafted, because until now, typically only wealthy and financially responsible people have been able to purchase an aircraft. This new law will ensure that every American can and will now be able to acquire an "affordable" aircraft of their own, because everyone is "entitled" to a new airplane. If you purchase your airplane before the end of 2014, you will receive four "free" life-saving parachutes; not including monthly testing and packing fees.

    In order to make sure everyone purchases an affordable airplane, the costs of owning a plane will increase on average of 250-400% per year. Supply and demand may drive operating prices up too as no new airports or airstrips are being contemplated. This way, middle class and wealthy pilots will pay more for something that other people don't want or can't afford to maintain, and will contribute to the "aircraft acquisition subsidy" fund.

    But to be fair, people who can't afford to maintain their airplane will be regularly fined.
    Children (under the age of 26) can use their parents aircraft to fly to Miami South Beach for R&R and to party until they turn 27; then must purchase their own aircraft.

    If you already have an airplane, you can keep yours (just kidding; no you can't). 
    All substandard aircraft will be crushed and recycled under a companion program "Cash for Crashers".

    If you don't want or don't need an aircraft, you are required to buy one anyhow.

    If you refuse to buy one or can't afford one, you will be regularly fined $8000 monthly until you purchase one, die trying to learn to fly, or face imprisonment.

    Failure to sufficiently use your airplane will also result in fines. People living in the mountains; inner cities or areas with limited or no access to suitable airports or landing/takeoff strips are not exempt. They all must participate if any airport access is possible, including walking to the nearest airstrip or airport.

    Age, air sickness, lack of experience & knowledge or lack of desire are not acceptable excuses for not using your airplane.

    The only legitimate excuse is if you crash flying or while learning to fly.

    A government review board (that doesn't know the difference between a turn and bank indicator and a pitot tube) will decide everything, including when, where, how often and for what purposes you can use your aircraft, along with how many people can ride your aircraft, and determine if one is too old or unhealthy enough to be able to use their aircraft. They will also decide if your airplane has out-lived its usefulness or if you must purchase specific upgrades & accessories, (like a $50000 Cirrus parachute system) or a newer and more expensive airplane.

    Those who can afford multi-engine aircraft or jet propulsion will be required to do's only fair.

    Failure to comply with these rules will result in fines and possible imprisonment.

    Government officials are exempt from this new law.
    If they want an airplane, they and their families can obtain new planes free, at the expense of taxpayers.

    Unions, bankers and mega companies with large political affiliations ($$$) are also exempt.
    Lastly, non governmental private aircraft & pilot organizations such as AOPA and EAA will face new and dreadfully burdensome taxes, penalties and punitive licensing fees.

    If the government can force you to buy health care, they can force you to buy an airplane, or ANYTHING else. 

The Knives Come Out -- for Christie ^ | November 8, 2013 | Pat Buchanan

"Maybe the folks in Washington, D.C., should tune in their TVs right now and see how it's done," said the big winner of Tuesday last.
"I did not seek a second term to do small things," Chris Christie went on, but "to finish the job -- now watch me do it."
Humility is not the governor's strong suit.
Yet, Christie registered a remarkable victory. He won with 60 percent in a blue state, winning 55 percent of women, half of the Hispanic vote and 20 percent of African-Americans.
If he could replicate those numbers in New Jersey and nationally in 2016, Chris Christie would be elected president in a landslide.
"[T]his fellow is really on the right track," says seven-term Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, "if the Republican Party is not too stupid." To fill out Christie's ticket in 2016, Hatch proposes Susana Martinez of New Mexico, who made eight campaign stops with Christie on Monday.
Democrats concur with Hatch. The headline on the lead story on page one of Thursday's Washington Post reads: "Democrats Take Aim at Christie: He's Seen as GOP's Best Hope for 2016."
"The Elephant in the Room" is the title of Time's cover story.
And with the corporate contributors and Beltway bundlers gravitating to him, Christie is emerging as the establishment's hope to recapture the GOP from its Tea Party, libertarian, social conservative and populist wing.
Will Christie be the candidate in 2016?
Put me down as a skeptic.
Some of us yet recall James "Scotty" Reston of the New York Times writing in 1963 that Nelson Rockefeller had as much chance of losing the Republican nomination as he did of going broke.
Comes the retort: Christie is no Nelson Rockefeller, but a pro-life conservative with five kids and Middle American values.
Why then the skepticism?
Geography, persona and culture -- for openers.
The Republican Party is a Southern, Midwestern and Western party, suburban and rural. Not since Tom Dewey in 1948 has the GOP nominated a candidate from the urban Northeast.
And Chris Christie is not only from New Jersey; he is indelibly and proudly so.
The candidate who comes closest to him is Rudy Giuliani, hero of 9/11. Christie may be the hero of Hurricane Sandy, but Sandy is not remembered nationwide like the shock and horror 9/11.
As Rudy won two terms in the toughest turf in America for a Republican, New York City, Christie has now won two terms in New Jersey.
So, how did Rudy, who started off 2008 as the front-runner in the Republican polls, do? He did not win a single primary.
Then, there is the "in-your-face" persona of Christie, a pol who does not suffer fools gladly and is forever finding them along rope lines and at town hall meetings.
Not a good fit for Cedar Rapids or Sioux City.
Moreover, Christie seems to have no coattails. Despite his triumph, he failed to make significant gains in the state House or state Senate, both of which remain solidly Democratic.
Then there is the reputation Christie has built as a self-centered politician. At the 2012 GOP convention, his prime-time address was the political counterpart of Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself." Mitt Romney went unmentioned until 16 minutes into the speech.
According to Chuck Todd of NBC, though heading for a blowout, Christie rebuffed a desperate plea to come down to Virginia for a few hours to help Ken Cuccinelli, whose late surge almost won the state.
And while Christie embraced and thanked President Obama profusely for federal assistance during Sandy, when asked about a visit by his party nominee Romney to view the damage, he retorted, "I have no idea, nor am I the least bit concerned or interested."
Christie trounced state Sen. Barbara Buono, who was abandoned by her party. Yet, according to an NBC poll, were he running for president against Hillary, Christie would lose New Jersey 48-44.
In congratulating the governor, the Wall Street Journal noted that Christie has failed "to improve the state's economy. New Jersey ranks 49th in the Tax Foundation's state business tax climate index, ahead of only New York. The state jobless rate is still 8.5 percent, among the 10 highest in the country."
Christie appears to be peaking more than two years before the Iowa caucuses. And not only will Democrats be spending 26 months blocking him in Trenton and trashing him nationally, so, too, will those elements in the GOP who see in the coalescing Chamber of Commerce-Beltway elite alliance a plot to seize the party from them.
These folks will not be going gentle into that good night.
Nor is Christie being helped by all the bouquets being tossed his way by a media that regards his party's base as extremist. If a civil war is coming inside the GOP, does Chris Christie wish to be the champion of the establishment?
Because that is where the forces assembling are pushing him.

What difference does 20,000 shoulder-to-air fired missiles make?

Allen West website ^ | 11-07-2013 | Allen West

Regarding the abandonment and murder of of Ambassador Chris Stevens, State Department IT Specialist Sean Smith and former US Navy SEALS Ty Woods and Glenn Doherty, Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton infamously ranted before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee “what difference does it make?” Well, beyond her and President Obama’s obvious negligence, there is a new threat,: the proliferation of shoulder- fired Man Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS), one of the world’s most deadly weapons.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...