An article in an issue of the WSJ (paper edition) last week illustrated why the debate over "health care" is so shallow. ObamaCare touts that the uninsured will get covered under his plan and that your existing plan won't change. And he says the costs are low and fair. All this bloviation by him is a fallacy of lying by vagueness in the debate over this policy. Massachusetts has a law mandating persons to buy "coverage" or pay a fine. That word in quotes, "coverage" and its definition matters.
The WSJ article was written by a Masachusetts couple who are retired now from IBM. They pay for the IBM health care from their own money and bought a catastrophic policy as well. But now they will have to pay the fine in Massachusetts. Why ? Because the State requires "more" coverage, in essence a lower annual cap on their own outlays. Isn't how much one can afford by their personal means (self-insurance) a matter of individual freedom? They surely can "choose" between a prepayment via insurance for that potential cost or paying as they go. The difference is only $500 [$2,000 state limit vs. $2,500 for IBM.] However, the couple will have to pay the fine of $1,000 per year, because getting a policy other than the IBM one would cost a lot more.
Insanity. This is how the ruling classes led by Obama are lying by vagueness about this health care debate. They simply make up sound bits and propaganda with no basis in reality of human lives to sell their "plan".
It's a national disgrace and will probably lead to a huge disaster, cluster FUBAR if this 1,000 page monstrosity is passed.
What is being missed are all the mandated "coverage" details. Every lobby group is going to DC to get their favorite illnesses covered by mandates. Simple, affordable plans get chucked aside as this one size fits all policy is getting crammed though DC under a tidal wave of propaganda.
By the way, is it not obvious that employment will be severely hurt if more employer mandates are imposed ?
The Solution: A national "shared benefit" health plan that would provide a fair, moderate health coverage for all. This would be a provided to all persons in the form of an electronic voucher. The plans would be let out to bid by the government (or States) and all insurance firms could offer qualified plans for bid via the Dutch Auction method used for selling government bonds. Existing plans would get a credit for the value of the Shared minimum. Complete freedom for buying additional, "topping off" policies would be preserved.
How to pay: (A) Broaden the Medicare tax to a single tax on ALL income following the structure of the Alternative Minimum Tax, corporations included. All income would be taxed equally (including municipal bond interest). No more separate pools. Simply set the rate to raise the necessary amount.
Secondary Benefit: This is a model for true tax reform. Combine the existing income tax (personal and corporate), Social Security tax and Medicare tax into a single tax structured like the Alternative Minimum Tax.
I sold FCX yesterday from Fido Fund. I am concerned about an article in FT about problems with the Congo government regarding FCX's huge investment in a copper mine there. I also wonder why the company has not reinstated its dividend, as copper prices have been well in the upper $2 area for months. Total profit there was about 60 points in various positions, or about a nearly a quadruple.
Also, I sold the GOOG calls that I had, for over a 100% profit, in 1-2-3 Fund. I'm keeping the stock in Fido Fund long term. I figure I won't make much more on the calls even if earnings are good near term as the stock has rallied strongly into earnings with several upgrades..
PS: I need to translate "lying by vagueness" into Latin so it will sound more erudite.
PPS: A principle concept of this blog, viz. distrust of the ruling classes - all of them - is gaining more adherents. WSJ online today: "Americans have historically swung between anger at big business and anger at Washington. This year their rage has targeted business and government with equal fury. ... Episodes of populism in U.S. history are marked by "people being fearful of and opposing concentrated power of any kind," said Michael Kazin, a Georgetown University historian and author of "The Populist Persuasion." "Big corporations and big government can be seen as parts of the same problem," Mr. Kazin said. That was particularly true during the Gilded Age at the end of the 19th century. Theodore Roosevelt tapped into that resentment by promising to end what he portrayed as a corrupt and cozy system where powerful companies and politicians rewarded each other." Populist Libertarianism is the way !
Word of the Day
"Objurgation" - noun [$10]; from "Objurgate" - verb, transitive [$10] literary; a Mencken word
Objurgate means to chide or scold.
Sentence: Many posts of this blog are reasoned objurgations of the antics of the ruling classes. Why does the press objurgates them so little ? Because the modern press is part of the ruling class.