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.

Expanding their Empire?

The SEC—the Securities and Exchange Commission—doesn’t have enough power; it wants to convince more private companies, over which it has no jurisdiction, to go public so it can regulate them, too?

To spur more companies to go public, the new head of the Securities and Exchange Commission has turned to a veteran Silicon Valley lawyer whose career has involved some of the biggest deals in history.

SEC Commissioner Jay Clayton seems to be sincere in this effort, but he won’t be around forever, and his predecessor had different regulatory ideas, and so likely will his successors.

Then there’s this:

Going Soft

Senate pseudo-Republicans are balking at one good item that was contained the House-passed American Health Care Act: repeal of Obamacare’s trillion dollars’ worth of taxes.  These guys actually don’t see the value of that repeal.  Senator Susan Collins (R, ME) is typical:

I don’t see how you can repeal all of the pay-fors…and still meet the goal of providing health-insurance coverage for people who truly need assistance[.]

Aside from the false premise of needing Federal government “pay-fors” as a default position, rather than a last result, the Lady from Maine and her fellows plainly either don’t understand free market principles, or they have no confidence in free markets.

Getting Rid of Federal Government Rules

A couple of random thoughts triggered by a Wall Street Journal article.  The Republican Congress has been using the Congressional Review Act to rescind rules enacted by various Executive Branch agencies.  The Act allows Congress, by simple majority vote (no Senate filibuster) and Presidential signature to rescind rules so long as the rescission is done within 60 days of the rule’s promulgation in the Federal Register or formal reporting to Congress.  There are potsful of rules that haven’t yet passed that threshold, and so Congress can reach back years for rescissions under the Act.

Senate Democrats have insisted the rules have lengthy debate time….

The Durbin Amendment and Price Fixing

Senator Dick Durbin (D, IL) added to Dodd-Frank an amendment that mandated the maximum price large banks could charge merchants who process debit-card payments.  The House’s Financial Services Committee, in marking up Chairman Jeb Hensarling’s Financial Choice Act, included repeal of the Durbin Amendment.

Naturally, Durbin has demurred, and he did so, among other place, in a Letter to the Editor of The Wall Street Journal.

An Example of the Climatistas’ Political Failure

Neil deGrasse Tyson in some recent remarks:

when it comes time to make decisions about science, it seems to me that people have lost the ability…to judge…what is true, and what is not.  What is reliable, what is not reliable.  What should you believe, what should you not believe.

And

When you have people who don’t know much about science, standing in denial of it, and rising to power, that is a recipe for the complete dismantling of our informed democracy.

Social Security Trust Fund Investing in the Stock Market

The Wall Street Journal held one of its aperiodic debates last Sunday, this time on whether the Social Security Trust Fund should be allowed to invest in stocks.  One debater argued that such investing would reduce the need for dependence on benefit cuts or tax increases; the other claimed that government should stay out of the market.

It’s certainly true that investing in the stock market could produce better returns than the Trust Fund’s current requirement to invest wholly in (unmarketable) Federal debt instruments.

YGTBSM

This episode is from Newark Mayor Ras Baraka (D).  He claimed last Sunday, with a straight face that

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is “targeting” mayors like himself, and intimidating them into being “fugitive slave catchers that run around and do their bidding in our cities.”

Milwaukee County, WI, Sheriff David Clarke was more polite than I:

I’ve heard a lot of stupid things [but] comparing fugitive slaves to illegal immigrants is the gold standard of stupidity[.]

I say, rather, that Baraka’s TDS has turned him into an irrational election-denier.

Contrasts

As the Trump administration begins to shape its policy on drugs, tension is growing between a treatment-focused approach, embodied in a new commission on opioids headed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and the aggressive prosecution of drug crimes promised by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

There need there be no tension because there is no contradiction.  The two approaches—nail hard those who prey on the vulnerable and the addicted—and working to free the addicted from the controls of their addiction (“free from the controls” because an addict never loses his addiction; he can only reach a point where he can say reliably, “not today.”  That’s where current medical technology has us) rather than simply jailing them, too, potentiate each other.