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OpenMarket: Alex Hankins

  • Dems' Health Care Bill Looking Weaker by the Day

    July 27, 2009
    For the Democrats still supporting the health care overhaul, the blows just keep coming. As if the financial problems I described in a previous post were not enough to deter this fiscal suicide, the Congressional Budget Office has now said that a plan to offset the massive costs by putting an outside panel in charge of budget-cutting for other government health care programs will amount to savings of only about $2 billion over 10 years -- practically negligible in comparison to the final price tag, which is already expected to exceed $1 trillion.  For those who still consider this legislation financially feasible, that is a discount of 0.2%.  Oh boy, I can't wait to cut out the coupon!

    When the...
  • Obama Rejects Reality as "Politics of the Moment," Embraces Politics of Fear

    July 21, 2009
    Listening to President Barack Obama and other top Democrats on the subject of health care, one could be forgiven for thinking commercial medicine itself is on the verge of collapse, and that most of us soon will be completely unable to access decent medical treatment.  In response to criticisms from GOP lawmakers and gloomy CBO projections, Obama re-emphasized what he insists is a need for immediate, drastic reform.  He dismissed the illumination of the fiscal insanity of his prized health care plan as the "politics of delay and defeat" and "politics of the moment" and said, "The need for reform is urgent and it is indisputable."

    It is impossible to arrive at the...
  • Stepping Up the Class War

    July 7, 2009
    On both of the most salient issues of the day, health care reform and climate change, proponents of the corresponding legislation are setting their sights on the rich to pay for these expensive measures.

    The massive government health care bill in the House involves a very expensive restructuring of the health care system in the United States--so expensive, in fact, that Democrats are proposing a tax increase on the rich, that is, in addition to the one that will occur when the Bush tax cuts expire in 2011.  They are calling it a "surtax"--a yet-undetermined slice of the incomes of those earning over $200,000 per year, which would be used to help pay for the implementation of the health care overhaul.

    At the same time, a...
  • Obama's Call for Light Bulb Regulation Not a New or Bright Idea

    June 30, 2009
    Eager to sustain his regulatory whirlwind, President Obama is now calling for efficiency standards for household and business lighting.  As if the climate-themed energy rationing bill that just blew through the House wasn't enough, the White House now wants to force lamp and light bulb manufacturers to make their products use less energy.  This plan appears modeled after the ambitious fuel efficiency standards applied to the now decimated auto industry and Obama's order to the Department of Energy to mandate...
  • Hearings Open on Coercive and Counterproductively Costly Health Care Bill

    June 23, 2009
    Congressional Democrats are pushing hard to complete their health care bill before next week's recess, but their hopes for a quick passage and the fulfilling of Obama's goal of signing by October look increasingly bleak--especially since the drafting was done without Republican input, leading, of course, to a political firestorm.  The bill would mandate health insurance coverage for all Americans at enormous taxpayer expense and require major employer contributions, though there is not yet full agreement on the specifics of the burdens that will ultimately be imposed on employers.  All that is clear so far is that...
  • HHS Secretary: Health Insurance Industry Needs Competition... With Government

    June 17, 2009
    In an AP interview on Tuesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius called for competition in the health insurance market. No, not between private insurance providers free to set their own policies, but between the private sector and the federal government. Failing to understand (or acknowledge) that the top and proper priority of any private enterprise that intends to survive is profit, not service to others, she boldly claimed that the private insurance market "has really failed to provide affordable coverage to Americans."

    There can be no real competition in the market if one player makes the rules for the others and cannot run out of money. If (when) the government health care system fails to live up to its stated goals, it will not suffer downsizing or face bankruptcy....
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