May 29, 2015
It was established in 1970 to help the struggling railroad industry by placing its unprofitable private passenger-rail lines under federal control. Amtrak’s creators believed that a unified rail network with Uncle Sam in charge would be successful enough that federal funds wouldn’t be needed. Its first chairman, David W. Kendall, claimed, “This new system can and will succeed because it unifies for the first time the operation and promotion of the nation’s rail passenger service.” More than four decades and $44 billion in taxpayer subsidies later ($70 billion when adjusted for inflation), however, Amtrak has yet to deliver a single year of profitability.
Why are insurers raising premium rates, sometimes by as much as 50%? Because their administrative costs are increasing under Obamacare, according to a recent study that compared costs with the ACA to estimated costs without the ACA. The total increase to overhead costs will top out at $273.6 billion. These “bloated administrative costs” will be present in both private and public (aka Medicaid) providers. The additional costs under the ACA average out to $1,375 per newly insured person per year. Of course, the majority of the newly insured will not be paying for their coverage, as the majority have been enrolled in Medicaid or in subsidized plans for “high risk” patients.
Under the ACA, you can’t keep your doctor, you can’t keep your plan, but you can, and will, pay more for out-of-pocket expenses, mostly for someone else’s insurance coverage.
Under Obamacare, health insurers who are planning a rate increase of more than 10% must notify the administration why they are doing so. Several of the largest insurers are planning rate increases well above that, ranging from 25% (Moda of Oregon) to 51% (Health Care Service Corp of New Mexico). The reason is simple – more patients on their plans who are sicker and requiring more expensive treatment. (Surprised?) Unfortunately, under Obamacare, the feds cannot prevent insurers from making their desired rate increase. Read more here.
May 18, 2015
A week ago, President Obama joined “the debate” over how to combat poverty in this country. I put “the debate” in parentheses, because it really wasn’t a debate. It was a gathering of voices, to be sure, but neither the President nor his fellow-participants are economic experts by training or experience. They also mostly agreed with each other (including the moderator). So I thought I would present a true debate, albeit an older one, on the same subject from 1980. (Yes, we’ve been arguing about the same thing for some time now.)
May 14, 2015
Freedom of Conscience, or Freedom of Thought, is void without the ability to express that conscience openly n the arena of human discourse. Around the world, there are multiple efforts to silence dissent and beat down debate through intimidation, violence, and law. This isn’t only happening overseas, in the embattled Middle East or communist-controlled Asia. It is happening right here in the United States.