Tag: "public option"

More People Are Poor Because We Define Them as Poor

Back in the 1960s the major form of poverty alleviation was cash welfare… this is included in the incomes of those who are defined as poor. The poverty numbers from the 1960s are therefore the number of people who are still poor after we’ve helped them.

Since then … we’ve had a bipartisan move to stop just giving money to poor people and start giving them what we think they need. We give help with housing vouchers known as Section 8 vouchers… Food Stamps existed before but the program has been greatly extended. Medicaid, that free health care, is not included in household income either.

The EITC is the country’s largest poverty alleviation program and we don’t count its effect in reducing poverty at all.

Because, just as in the 1960s, we count peoples’ market and direct cash grant incomes when we place them below or above the poverty line. But we’ve moved our major methods of poverty alleviation from that direct cash assistance to those goods and services in kind plus aid through the tax system, all things which we don’t count when we place people above or below the poverty line.

Full story on the new U.S. poverty numbers here.

Seniors Know More than Polltakers

Perhaps you saw the headline: “Most Seniors Misinformed…[About] Key Provisions of the Affordable Care Act.” Yet on closer inspection, it turns out that the seniors — who are about to get taken to the cleaners under ObamaCare — knew a lot more than the polltakers.

It reminds me of last summer’s townhall meetings, when members of Congress claimed their constituents were confused and misled. Turned out, the voters often were much better informed than their representatives.

On the answers to the polling questions, you be the judge.

It’s Baaack! Return of the “Public Option”

After a painful and ultimately losing struggle against bipartisan opposition in Congress, it’s surprising to see that advocates of the so-called “public option” have brought that zombie back from the dead. 

Just as Congress prepares to recess for August, Representative Lynn Woolsey and 128 co-sponsors have brought back a somewhat slimmed down version. H.R. 5808 would establish a Medicare-like public option in ObamaCare’s exchanges. That is, people acquiring health insurance through the exchanges would be able to choose a government-owned plan alongside the ones offered by private insurers. The Left, which wants a single-payer, government monopoly, health plan, sees the public option as a necessary step. By crowding private insurers out of the exchanges, the public option would make more people dependent on the government and paves the way for “Medicare for all.”

Health Reform Policy Update

Harry Reid: “We are going to have a public option before this bill goes to the president’s desk.”

Frist corrects the record: He’s against the Baucus bill.

A ban on pre-existing condition discrimination by insurers could actually make discrimination even worse.

The Terminator sells out.

Quote of the Day – 2009/10/5

There’s a public option; there’s a public option, and there’s a public option. And we’re gonna look at each of them.

                                                                             — Sen. Harry Reid

Doctors Seven Times More Satisfied with Payments from Private Insurance as Medicare

With all the polls of Americans on health reform, one group’s members are rarely surveyed about their preferences: physicians. Although medical societies are lobbying for special privileges, the views of actual physicians have remained largely unexamined. Two physicians recently sought to remedy this by surveying a random sample of 6,000 physicians (of which 43% responded) and publishing the results in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson (RWJ) Foundation, the survey’s results were promoted with a different headline than you see above.

Hits & Misses – 2009/9/8

Native Americans are Already in a Public Plan — and It’s Not Very Good

This is Terry Anderson, writing in the Wall Street Journal:

In 2007, rates of infant mortality among Native Americans across the country were 1.4 times higher than non-Hispanic whites and rates of heart disease were 1.2 times higher. HIV/AIDS rates were 30% higher, and rates of liver cancer and inflammatory bowel disease were two times higher. Diabetes-related death rates were four times higher. On average, life expectancy is four years shorter for Native Americans than the population as a whole.

Rural Indians fare even worse….. in Montana and Wyoming, Indians suffer diabetes at rates 20% higher, heart disease 12% higher, and lung cancer rates 67% higher than the average across all IHS regions in the country. A recent Harvard University study found that life expectancy on a reservation in neighboring South Dakota was 58 years. The national average is 77.

What Froma Harrop Doesn’t Understand About Health Insurance

Ordinarily I don’t respond to a newspaper column. But this piece is touching and powerful. And the conclusions the writer draws from it are wrong.

Here’s the back story: The husband of Providence Journal columnist Froma Harrop died of liver cancer. After the diagnosis, the couple learned that the best place in the country for liver cancer treatment was in Boston. But since the facility was not in United Healthcare’s network, the insurer refused to pay for it. Eventually the insurer relented but not before a long, frustrating bureaucratic battle — the last thing in the world any family would want on the eve of the death of a loved one.

It’s hard not to sympathize. But Harrop uses the incident to argue for a government-run plan. Not because the government plan would have paid for an out-of-network treatment. It probably wouldn’t have. But because a government plan would have required less hassle:

The bureaucrat would have given a simple “yes” or “no” based on official guidelines. He or she would have had no personal stake in denying you care…… a government-run program doesn’t tell you what treatments you may or may not have. It tells you what the taxpayers will subsidize. You are free to go out with your own money and buy whatever you want.

Believe me, “death panels” already exist, and they have nothing to do with the government.

Here’s what Harrop doesn’t understand.

Hits & Misses #2 – 2009/8/17