General Reform

25% of us don’t see doctors because that costs too much.

32% of older millennials (is there such a thing?  Gad) skip the doctor.  13% of Americans don’t have any health coverage plan at all—paying the penalty is more valuable to them.  Half of us don’t think we’ll have affordable health insurance much less Obamacare’s health coverage welfare.

This, together with today’s other post, just illustrates the fact that no single part of our economy—or of our Federal government—can effectively be treated in isolation: not Obamacare alone, not Federal spending alone (especially not by “cutting” through reducing the rate of growth in spending), not taxing alone, not debt handling alone.

Losing Health Coverage

The CBO and Progressive-Democrats in Congress loudly claim that millions will lose their health coverage plans under Republican plans to repeal and replace Obamacare.

What the Progressive-Democrats are carefully ignoring (the CBO not so much; they weren’t tasked with comparing the Republican plans and Obamacare) are the real millions that already are losing or are about to lose their health coverage plans because Obamacare is collapsing now.

The nation’s second largest health insurance company, Anthem, will extract itself from the majority of the ObamaCare market in the state of Ohio by 2018, the company announced Tuesday, raising questions about the future of its exchange participation.

The Rich Are Out Of Money?

They are in Connecticut, anyway, or at least out of trust in the State’s government regarding their money.  Or the State is out of rich.  Aetna, Inc, one of the giants of health and dental coverage that’s headquartered in Connecticut is looking hard at joining the exodus from the State, having grown tired of being the State’s tax piggy bank.

Governor Dannel Malloy (D) says he’ll match other states’ financial incentives—not exceed—if only Aetna will stay, but as The Wall Street Journal put it, “taxpayer money can’t buy fiscal certainty and a less destructive business climate.”

Another Hypocrisy of the Left

Among the tax reforms in the current plan before Congress is the elimination of the state and local tax payments as deductions from individuals’ Federal income tax returns.  Who actually benefits from these deductions, though?  Taxpayers in New York, California, and a couple of others.  States dominated, for the most part, by the Progressive-Democratic Party.  There’s an ox being gored.

Who else benefits from these deductions?

…88% of the benefits in 2014 flowed to taxpayers who earn more than $100,000, while 1% went to those who earn less than $50,000….

Some Thoughts on the Paris Climate Accord

Some information provided by Matthew Dalton in The Wall Street Journal is illuminating, if not in the way he—or the WSJ—might have intended.

The US’s willingness under the Obama administration to propose major emissions reductions and put money on the table helped solidify global consensus behind the deal. It also helped persuade politicians world-wide of the need to seek more ambitious cuts and channel more money into the fight against global warming, officials and experts say.

“About That ‘Gutting the Safety Net'”

That’s the title of a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed.

Critics are accusing President Trump’s 2018 budget of “gutting the safety net” with cuts to food stamps and disability insurance. In reality, the White House is proposing long-needed reforms that would fix a dysfunctional disability system that traps Americans in dependency.

The editor is right as far as he goes, but he doesn’t go far enough.  It isn’t just our social security disability system that is a welfare trap, it’s our entire welfare system.

On Whose Side Are These Guys?

There is a move afoot in Congress to “overhaul” Dodd-Frank, at least to the point of adjusting the threshold size that banks would need to exceed in order to become subject to strict rules on “the capital, mergers, and other business” in which Government will permit these otherwise private enterprises to engage.  Under the present threshold of $50 billion or more in assets, some 37 financial institutions are subject to such Government diktat.

The trick will be reaching a compromise on what should come next.

Medicaid Transfers

It’s well understood that Medicaid badly wants reform.  My own view is to give it back to the States by reducing Federal fund transfers to them until the transfers are zero, which also would eliminate Federal strings jerking the States to do everything the same way, the Federal way.

There are lots of paths to that end, and there are a number of other reforms that would help the situation at least a little.  The House plan for repeal and replace of Obamacare, the first step of which was the American Health Care Act, has one such step, the repeal of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion.

Disingenuosity

At the State level, more and more legislatures are succeeding in ceasing to send taxpayer money to Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood recently announced the shuttering of four of its 12 Iowa’s clinics in Iowa [sic] after the Hawkeye state’s Republican-led legislature voted earlier this year to cut funding to clinics that performed abortions. Also last week, the health care nonprofit announced it was closing its only clinic in Wyoming and three of its clinics in New Mexico in what it called a “realignment of resources.”

Department of YGTBSM

Amtrak has decided to refurbish New York City’s Penn Station, which will involve unavoidable disruption through the summer.  New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) doesn’t think Amtrak is up to the task, so he’s bringing New York to the rescue.

The state will step up and do it.  We don’t own Penn Station but we will step up and we’ll take over construction and we’ll do it with a private construction company or let the Port Authority do it.

So generous.  Here’s how the Democrat will execute his generosity.