Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cruising the Web

For all those who have been screaming about the Supreme Court allowing corporations and unions to advertise two months before an election about how corporations will be buying elections, how do they feel about unions pressuring and threatening legislators about their vote. Nancy Pelosi is relying on the money and threats from SEIU to help persuade wavering Democrats.

How about states and the federal government privatizing some of their non-governmental functions? In this day and age when every day it seems that government is absorbing previously private functions, it would be a breath of fresh air to take some baby steps in the other direction.

Don't believe the President when he gets before a microphone and starts claiming that ObamaCare would bring insurance rates down. Just look at what has happened in states such as Massachusetts which have tried to adopt parallel plans. The costs of insurance have gone up and up to among the highest in the nation.

Pelosi is confident enough
to expose her true goal - to see ObamaCare as just the beginning of her plans to insert the federal government into more and more of our lives telling Ezra Klein that "once we kick through this door, there'll be more legislation to follow." She's just getting started.

Ed Morrissey points to good news
on air quality improvement that just doesn't get the trumpeting that doom and gloom does.

David Axelrod attempts to redefine "special." Now the Louisiana Purchase isn't a special deal because it didn't specifically mention Louisiana even though the language was written in such a way that it could only be Louisiana. How very special of him.

I've always found Robert Samuelson to be one of the most dispassionate and fair writers on public policy. He's not a partisan; what concerns him is the out-of-control spending that ObamaCare does nothing to stem.
Though it seems compelling, covering the uninsured is not the health-care system's major problem. The big problem is uncontrolled spending, which prices people out of the market and burdens government budgets. Obama claims his proposal checks spending. Just the opposite. When people get insurance, they use more health services. Spending rises. By the government's latest forecast, health spending goes from 17 percent of the economy in 2009 to 19 percent in 2019. Health "reform" would probably increase that.

Unless we change the fee-for-service system, costs will remain hard to control because providers are paid more for doing more. Obama might have attempted that by proposing health-care vouchers (limited amounts to be spent on insurance), which would force a restructuring of delivery systems to compete on quality and cost. Doctors, hospitals and drug companies would have to reorganize care. Obama refrained from that fight and instead cast insurance companies as the villains.

He's telling people what they want to hear, not what they need to know. Whatever their sins, insurers are mainly intermediaries; they pass along the costs of the delivery system. In 2009, the largest 14 insurers had profits of roughly $9 billion; that approached 0.4 percent of total health spending of $2.472 trillion. This hardly explains high health costs. What people need to know is that Obama's plan evades health care's major problems and would worsen the budget outlook. It's a big new spending program when government hasn't paid for the spending programs it already has.

"If not now, when? If not us, who?" Obama asks. The answer is: It's not now, and it's not "us." Pass or not, Obama's proposal is the illusion of "reform," not the real thing.
Illusions. Sort of like "Change you can believe in." Just yet another illusion of the Obama phenomenon.

Obama has gone from being Mr. Sptock to being Captain Kirk. This is an improvement?

Ever wonder what happens for all the T shirts that are pre-printed up for the teams that lose tournaments? They're going to Haiti this year.

Jeff Jacoby ponders the chilling statistics
of "100 million missing girls" in places like China and India where parents either abort or let die unwanted girl babies. Adult males are facing a future where they won't be able to find wives because the ration is now 124 to 100.

Philip Klein ponders Obama's claims that he doesn't pay any attention to polls yet he claims to know that the American people want his plan.
This brings to mind two questions. If Obama refuses to look at public opinion polls, then how can he profess to know what the American people want? And if he doesn't care about polls, then how come the White House is circulating polls on Capitol Hill asserting that support for health care legislation is rising?
Indeed.

Don't look now, but Social Security is ahead of schedule in having to cash in its IOUs from the federal government because it's started to take in less money than it's paying out. Of course, the federal government just doesn't have the money. Just the environment to take on a massive new entitlement.