Medicare for All

Senator Bernie Sanders (I, VT) is beating that drum, again, and has support from some Progressive-Democratic Party Senators.

The health proposal, dubbed Medicare for all, would offer the same suite of medical benefits required for some insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act and eliminate most out-of-pocket costs. Mr Sanders argues that although taxes would likely rise to support the new system, families would save money by no longer needing to purchase health coverage. The government, he says, could also secure lower prices for medical services.

State’s Obligations

These are the flip side of the 10th Amendment States Rights mantra that State government personnel are starting to tout.  And that makes State governors’ and legislators’ objections to the Trump administration’s moves to clip the intrusive wings regarding investment advice to retail investors and who should be permitted/required to give it a bit ridiculous.

[T]he Obama Labor Department’s fiduciary rule requires brokers to act in the best interests of retirement savers rather than sell products that are merely suitable and potentially more lucrative for the brokers.

Republicans and Obamacare

Too many now are begging for surrender on repeal and replace.

[F]ew congressional Republicans have signaled they are ready to let the health-care market deteriorate while their constituents are still battling higher premiums and fewer insurers to choose from on the individual marketplace.

This means those Republicans are signaling that they don’t have the stomach to repeal Obamacare at all, which would be the ultimate deterioration of it.

This is a betrayal of their constituents along two dimensions: the cynical destruction of their promise to repeal and replace, and their decision to continue inflicting Obamacare with its steadily increasing premiums and fewer insurers to choose from on their constituents.

Yucca Mountain

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission voted 2-1 Tuesday to restart and resurrect the licensing process for the controversial Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site project.

The decision gives the go ahead for the “information gathering” stage that will eventually allow the Department of Energy to secure the license to build a nuclear waste facility more than 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

Finally.  We need a repository for our accumulating nuclear waste, and the bottom of a salt mine is one of the best places extant: given the easy solubility of salt, the existence of this much salt in one place strongly implies a geologically stable area that’s also stable over geologically long time periods.

Technology Theft

In a piece on American CEOs’ (and Apple’s in particular) cowardice in their dealings with the People’s Republic of China’s government—censor your stuff or you can’t operate in the PRC, give up your technology to or you can’t operate in the PRC, and these worthies meekly comply—comes this reminder on the latter bit:

Just about everybody in the US capital is complaining about how China forces foreign companies to give up technology in return for market access.

In truth, the PRC isn’t alone in this: willing participants are those American CEOs who acquiesce in the name of short-term profit rather than long-term gain.

Gun Control

A bill is making progress in Congress that would allow concealed carry license holders, whose license was issued in one State (their State of residence) to concealed carry their weapons in all States: the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017.  The bill also would require such a carrier to abide by the laws of the State they’re visiting, including all of that State’s gun-free zone designations.  In this way, the reciprocity law is similar to drivers license reciprocity, under which it’s legal to drive in any State so long as the driver both is licensed in his home State and obeys the driving laws of the State he’s visiting.

Human Gene-Splicing

Some scientists have successfully spliced some genes into a human embryo to correct a mutation that causes heart disease, proving the possibilities open to us and our health (and potentially eliminating health coverage provision as a Progressive-Democrat tool of welfare entrapment [/snark]).

Experts noted that the newly successful process could cure more than 10,000 genetic diseases, including some types of cancer and early-onset Alzheimer’s, sickle cell anemia, and cystic fibrosis.

“We have to be very delicate with how we use this because it’s very, very powerful,” Alice Benjamin, a clinical nurse specialist said on Fox & Friends.

Collapsing Obamacare

These data are from the Kaiser Family Foundation.  There was such hope by the health care coverage providers at the start; then the realities of the “market” place hit, and hit hard.  Following the early expansion of coverage providers into ObamaMart, the drop-off in companies between 2016 and 2017, and the resulting collapse of choice—in too many counties, even of any availability at all—is stark.  It’s expected to get worse in 2018 and 2019, too.

The State-by-State drop off is presented in the table below, constructed from KFF‘s table at the link.  The average drop-off across all States is nearly 23%.

Rule of Law

The DC Circuit Court stacked by President Barack Obama (D) seems to be iffy on the thing.  In an appeal concerning whether the monies the Federal government pays to health care plan providers as subsidies so the plan providers will hold down premiums and deductibles can actually be paid—the funds never were appropriated by Congress, so the payments aren’t legitimate, ruled the trial court—the Circuit Court ruled in part:

The States have shown a substantial risk that an injunction requiring termination of the payments at issue here…would lead directly and imminently to an increase in insurance prices, which in turn will increase the number of uninsured individuals for whom the States will have to provide health care[.]

A Bit More on Health Care Coverage

Senator Susan Collins (R, ME) is worried about health care plan availability to our poor, which she thinks would be endangered were President Donald Trump to act on his thoughts regarding cutting off the funds the Feds pay to health coverage plan providers to get them to charge (artificially) lower deductibles and copays from the poor.

It really would be detrimental to some of the most vulnerable citizens if those payments were cut off. They’re paid to the insurance companies, but the people that they benefit are people who make between 100% and 250% of the poverty rate.