Health Plan Providers Are Concerned

These providers, which surprisingly The Wall Street Journal misapprehends as insurers, are bracing for a drop in enrollment in the ongoing health plan provision program “turmoil.”  There’s this key passage in the article at the link:

[M]any firms say they expect to lose consumers who will bear the full brunt of the rate increases—those who aren’t eligible for the health law’s premium subsidies, which help enrollees with annual incomes of less than around $48,000.

On Whose Side Is He?

[Steve] Bannon has been recruiting and promoting challengers to GOP incumbents and the party’s preferred candidates in next year’s midterm elections.

And

…it could also imperil Republican majorities in the House and Senate.

Indeed.  He’s trying to get farther right candidates nominated in place of incumbents, but he’s likely to drag the party too far right to suit a center-right population of Americans, force serious candidates to expend resources on frivolous primaries (rather than primaries involving serious Conservative candidates), even get candidates like Christine O’Donnell, Todd Akin, or Sharron Angle nominated—which in their time cost the Republicans entirely winnable Senate seats..

Civil War

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy demanded that Catalonia “clarify” its position following its referendum on independence from Spain following Catalonian President Carles Puigdemont’s declaration of Catalonian independence and his immediate suspension of that in favor of a period of negotiation with Madrid.

However, Rajoy’s pretended confusion says volumes about him without adding a syllable to the subject’s discussion.  His pretense is nothing but an attempt to obfuscate and distract from his deliberate decision to use violence to suppress a referendum when he could have peacefully arrested the referendum leaders in the aftermath of its defeat at the polls.

Health Plan Coverage and Contraception

The Wall Street Journal has noted that the Trump administration has taken regulatory action to reduce, if not eliminate (the Supreme Court still has to do its job vis-à-vis a Little Sisters of the Poor case, as does Congress legislatively, contra a short handful of Republicans who prefer Obamacare intact over any step toward getting rid of it), the requirement that health plan providers provide contraception to women at no cost to those women coverees and do so regardless of any question of conscience or religious tenet.

Naturally, Progressive-Democrats and the Left generally have their collective panties in a wedgie over that.  However, they carefully ignore certain inconvenient facts.

What’s Their Limiting Principle?

Progressives, as The Wall Street Journal puts it,

believe that every human problem can be solved with a policy tweak. A ban here, a background check there, and, voila, no more mass shootings.

But what’s their limiting principle?  What level of gun control would satisfy them?  What fundamental concept would make them believe they’ve gone far enough with their tweaks, checks, bans on an American citizen’s access to the means of defending himself and his family?  Besides their empty rhetoric of “I wouldn’t do that, I wouldn’t take all your guns away…,” I mean.

Some Early Thoughts on the Tax Reform Proposal

…triggered by Laura Saunders’ piece in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal.

Beginning with the headline and thesis of her piece: Winners and Losers Under the Trump Tax Plan. Because Government should be about picking winners and losers instead of just protecting a level free market for all.  Sure.

Now a couple of specifics.

People with large medical or disaster deductions. Each of these write-offs on Schedule A has significant hurdles and is only available to taxpayers with large unreimbursed expenses

The Not Good Enough Legacy

Here are some stats regarding Obamacare’s impact on our poor, courtesy of The Wall Street Journal.

More than one in three of taxed [via the individual mandate penalty] households earned less than $25,000, which is roughly the federal poverty line for a family of four.

And

More than 75% of penalized households made less than $50,000 and nine in 10 earned less than $75,000.

And

Fewer families paid the tax in 2015 than in 2014, yet government revenues increased to more than $3 billion from about $1.7 billion, as the financial punishment for lacking coverage increased.

False Premise

Budget mavens, politicians, and the NLMSM have one regarding our national tax code.  The Senate is considering a budget that sets an outer bound on the size of Federal tax cuts.

A budget with a tax plan that is revenue-neutral would effectively pay for itself, meaning any reduction in tax rates would be offset by reducing breaks or other revenue-raising measures.

No.  “Revenue neutral” must also consider what’s done with the revenue collected.  Revenue neutrality can be achieved, also, with sufficient spending cuts so that revenue collected meets or exceeds spending outflows.

Manufactured Racism

A Democratic congresswoman said drawing attention to a colleague’s first job in the fast food industry is racist.

Seriously.

Congressman Joe Wilson (R, SC) was talking up the value of a fast food job as a means of gaining valuable experience and life/work lessons while on the job, and he mentioned that Senator Tim Scott (R, SC) had started out in such a starter job in a Chick-fil-A franchise, and now he was a sitting Senator.

[Franchises] provide entry level jobs for people to have first-time employment, improve themselves, and succeed.  In South Carolina we particularly recognize this. US Senator Tim Scott had his first job at a Chick-fil-A franchise.

Huzzah

Regular order—it lives, sort of, at least on spending measures, in the House.

The House on Thursday voted to send 12 appropriations bills to the Senate. The chamber approved four of these 2018 spending measures prior to its August recess, and the remaining eight were debated and passed as part of the broader Thursday vote. They had previously passed out of committee. This is the first time since 2004 that a House Republican majority has passed all of its individual spending bills….