Seeking Liberty

Liberty is the Fruit from Which All Progress Grows

Teetering on the edge of destruction

It’s hardly surprising that the Hartford Business Journal is happy about the new Health Care Takeover legislation: Hartford has long been considered the Insurance Capital of the World, and the insurance companies are thrilled with the forced enrollment of 32 million Americans into their health insurance plans.

With sweeping federal health care reform now on the books, business owners are scrambling to make sense of a new range of tax breaks, coverage responsibilities and potential pitfalls by turning to benefits consultants, accountants and insurance brokers for advice and perspective.

Although the $940 billion legislation alters the way small businesses buy and supply health insurance, many of the changes won’t kick in until 2014. And clear answers are at a premium today.

“Small business owners will have more choices and greater accessibility to affordable health insurance, which will help them to attract and keep a talented workforce,” said Kevin Galvin, owner of Connecticut Commercial Maintenance Inc. in Hartford. He says small businesses like his will be the big winners under health care reform.

In fact, in the entire article, only one opponent to the legislation is quoted. Four proponents are interviewed, and two of those are from advocacy groups specifically in favor of the legislation. One more is a health insurance executive, and even Mr. Galvin quoted above, a small business owner, is also an organizer of a pro-legislation political organization. Read the rest of this entry »

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Filed under: economics, Government, insurance, media, , , , , , , , , ,

Basic Economics

With Apologies to Thomas Sowell


In observing the mass of articles, blogs, tweets and web postings, it has become clear why so many people do not understand why the Health Care legislation that the President signed into law today will harm our economy and increase health care prices. Explaining why it will harm our economy is futile without first illustrating how it raises health care costs and prices.

Economics is called the “Dismal Science.” I think this has less to do with predictions of Doom and Gloom, as many people claim, and more to do with Economist’s obsession with abstract ideas, like Utils (a unit of measurement for “utility,” an economic concept that can’t actually be measured). Indeed, until I learned to apply these abstract concepts to real-world situations, I was as lost as anyone who supported this bill.

Fortunately, Thomas Sowell wrote an engaging (for an economist, at least) book called Basic Economics: A Citizen’s Guide to the Economy, which anyone with an interest in understanding economics should read. It is a long book, so if you’d rather have something shorter and a bit more fun, check outCommon Sense Economics: What Everyone Should Know About Wealth and Poverty, by Gwartney, Stroup and Lee. Both books paint the picture of economics, but pull away from the abstract and focus more on the real-world.

Now class, time to explain the basics of why the Health Care Takeover will be certain to raise prices for health insurance and health care in the long run. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: economics, Government, insurance, , , ,

Almost Forgotten: The Insurance Mandate Lie

The other day, I was reminded of one of the lies we’ve been fed about the Health Care Takeover the Democrats are desperately trying to pass through the Houses of Congress: The Individual Mandate, which would be just like your mandated automobile insurance. This specious line of reasoning has been almost forgotten amidst the arguments over abortion funding and the Constitutionality of reconciliation and trying to “deem” a bill passed by rule.

The individual mandate would require every American to purchase health insurance, or to pay a penalty (I call it a fine, because that’s what it really is) if they choose to go without. Proponents of this insurance mandate argue that it is like automobile insurance, where we are required to purchase liability insurance for our automobiles before we can drive them on the roads. They say that this mandate protects individuals from the financial harm of medical bills they cannot afford.

In this limited line of reasoning, they are correct, but that isn’t the whole story. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: economics, health care, insurance, , , , , , , , ,

Why the Democrats health care takeover must be defeated now

The Democrats are intent on passing their Health Care Takeover bill, no matter what the political cost. According to the Washington Post, President Obama wants to add a couple of ideas suggested by Republicans at his “Health Care Summit” in an effort to turn one or two Republican votes in his favor and claim “bipartisan” status.

On Wednesday, Obama plans to call on Congress to bring the year-long debate to a swift close, and congressional leaders expect him to signal support for a strategy that includes a special budget maneuver known as reconciliation. Under that strategy, the House would adopt the bill the Senate passed on Christmas Eve and approve a separate package of fixes to reflect a compromise worked out between Democrats in the two chambers.

Under reconciliation rules, the fixes could not be filibustered and Senate Democrats could approve them with a simple majority vote — a move intended to bypass a Republican caucus that remains united in its opposition to the legislation. Republican leaders said Obama’s offer to adopt some of the ideas they promoted at last week’s health-care summit would do little to improve what they consider a fundamentally flawed measure. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Government, health care, socialism, , , , , , ,