Headlines I Wish I Hadn’t Seen

Two online health calculators designed by federal officials to help states and employers comply with ObamaCare mandates are riddled with so many flaws that users are abandoning them.

Another pay-for-performance failure.(HT: Jason Shafrin)

The government also knows what you buy.

Comments (16)

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  1. August says:

    The calculators are used to find the Actuarial value. Actuarial value is a complicated concept by can be understood as “the percentage of total (allowed) health spending covered by the insurance policy”

    The calculator is used to determine the “metal level” of the plan. Here are a couple links:

    http://www.leavitt.com/NewsAndEvents/HealthCareReform.aspx?eid=7007143027180391763

    http://www.bcbsm.com/content/microsites/health-care-reform/en/reform-alerts/actuarial-value-defined.html

    • Baker says:

      According to Blue Cross Blue Shield:

      “The factors that impact actuarial value the most include: deductible, co-insurance, maximum out-of-pocket, and, to a lesser extent, specific cost sharing on ER visits, inpatient admissions, pharmacy benefits, laboratory services, and diagnostic imaging.”

      This sounds complicated. I’m not surprised the government is having problems with an all inclusive calculator.

    • Cabaret says:

      Regulation is hard to implement, be I hope everyone weighs the benefits and costs. Providing this actuarial value measure to americans could be very useful.

  2. Nigel says:

    The bottom link is just another reason why the cash economy is extremely undervalued in American society.

    • Craig says:

      I find it to be incredibly suspect to believe that the federal government (with how inefficient it is) has the infrastructure to process all credit card statements to know what everyone is buying. They may have a red flag system is someone buy specific chemicals that could be used for weapons etc., but to say they know all of the things you buy is a bit absurd.

      • Craeten says:

        Is the bottom link credible to talk on HLS policy? It seems like a blog post…I looked up his credentials, he is from the Independent institute and the Mercatus Center with a PhD in Econ from George Mason (impressive resume if we were talking about economics), how does that make him qualified to speak on the topic of national security?

    • Randall says:

      It should have nothing to do with card swipes and everything to do with each transaction at the register or every scan with a bar code scanner.

  3. Jeff says:

    Why is it a big deal that government knows what you buy at a store? Is it really a violation of ones privacy for the government to know that some people rack up ridiculous amounts of credit card debt on KFC? or other things. If you aren’t buying anything suspicious why should you care?

    • Nigel says:

      I can understand where your coming from, but who are we to define what is a big deal or not a big deal for the government to know about other peoples personal lives?

      • Jeff says:

        We have the ability to make a judgment on what our government can do for our safety, and I don’t think it would be just for people do decrease the governments ability to protect us because they have a petty argument for their privacy when people could die without surveillance.

        • Nigel says:

          How far is too far for the government to intervene in peoples privacy? I don’t see how their argument for privacy is petty. Most people would agree that no one wants a big brother 1984 situation. While that could be interpreted as reductio ad absurdum, it is a possibility, and it is happening in multiple different countries around the world as we speak…I mean type lol.

          • Jeff says:

            It seems like you are using alarmist rhetoric based off of dystopian fiction, that still isn’t an argument for why privacy in this situation is more important than the security and safety of americans.

            • Nigel says:

              How many people are actually saved by the surveillance of peoples credit card expenditures? I was being ironic when I commented ” the cash economy is extremely undervalued in American society” earlier. Terrorists are not going to buy things with credit cards, they definitely have proven that they know better.

    • Howard says:

      If it is anonymous then it is fine with me.

  4. Hubert says:

    I wouldn’t say the Pay for Performance was a failure. If it cost the same amount as the other strategies then its probably just the same.

  5. Buster says:

    The government also knows what you buy.

    Last week under the post Big Brother is Listening to Your Cell Phone I discussed how if the NSA listened in on my calls the day before they heard about four references to picking up Chinese food at PJ Changes. I guess they can match those records to my subsequent credit care purchase.