Archive for the ‘Free Markets’ Category
Greg Gutfeld’s column offers the perfect explanation why the Affordable Care Act, aka the ACA, is destined for failure. Mr. Gutfeld starts by highlighting what iTunes would look like if it was a government invention:
Now imagine if iTunes had been run by the government. This is how I see it:
To enjoy my recently repurchased Marshall Crenshaw’s song “What Do You Dream Of”, I’d have to pay for an additional 19 songs I do not want, in order to help pay for someone else’s desire to listen to Ke$ha. Or worse, Enya. The iPod would come with a mandated airbag, and it would be the size of a baby’s head, and weigh 45 lbs. It would require that 34 percent of the music I purchase be polka. It would probably start overheating after an hour of use, break down, and give you thyroid cancer.
But as a reasonably compensated guy, the government believes that my desires for my music would require purchasing other music I don’t want, and I’d have to subsidize the musical choices belonging to some old guy I don’t even know.
And chances are all the music would suck (think Dave Matthews and Maroon 5). It would all cost more and satisfy less, which is what happens when choice is replaced by coercion.
That’s essentially what the ACA requires. This isn’t pie-in-the-sky. Those are the principles behind the ACA. Young healthies are essential to the equation because their overpaying pays for older, less healthy enrollees. Then Gutfeld explains why it’s destined for failure:
My point: just as civilization is moving toward an endless fragmentation allowing for options beyond our wildest expectations, President Obama believes the opposite course is “the right thing to do.” It is his warped version of progress. It’s no different than a young man staring at the advances in medicine and thinking, “No thanks, I’ll take the newt’s tail and onion powder for my cancer.” Ancient Chinese secrets no longer are acceptable medicine, except with Obamacare, what’s retro is now progress.
It’s like choosing to eat raw meat even when you know fire’s been invented and works reasonably well under certain circumstances. That’s what Obama is doing. He’s staring at a Ferrari V4i, and thinking, “No thanks, I’ll take this penny-farthing.”
There’s no questioning that world is going megachoice. President Obama’s ‘reform’ relies on limiting choice. By definition, the ACA is a dead man walking. The choice movement is the irresistible force. For all of this administration’s efforts to fix HealthCare.gov, the ACA’s biggest flaw is that it limits appealing choices.
So, you can be depressed over Obamacare, because it’s worth being depressed about. But it can’t win. Not against the human, creative mind and its desire for options. Sooner or later it will collapse, and then people will have the freedom to choose — the way health care should have been from the start.
It isn’t a question of whether the ACA will collapse. The only questions still to be answered are when will it collaps and how much destruction will it cause before it collapses. Charles Krauthammer wisely stated that anything that can’t be sustained won’t be.
Technorati: Greg Gutfeld, Free Market Capitalism, iPods, Affordable Care Act, Command and Control Economy, Individual Mandate, Employer Mandate, Minimum Required Benefits, HealthCare.gov, President Obama, Democrats
The latest Democratic chanting point on the Affordable Care Act has been that President Obama didn’t really break his promise that you could keep your health insurance plan if you liked it. The chanting point has become that the policies getting canceled were substandard policies that insurance companies foisted on unsuspecting dupes (you). That’s certainly the message Henry Aaron is peddling in this article:
Of late, numerous reports have told of people surprised by letters telling them that insurance plans they now have will not be renewed. Many are puzzled. Weren’t they told that if they like their insurance they could keep it? Opponents of health reform in general are seizing on the fact and asking in an accusatorial manner: “Isn’t this a betrayal of trust?”
No. To see why, imagine a new law enacted to promote food purity. As it is being debated, you are told: “If you like what you eat, you can keep on eating it.” The new law takes effect, and one day, you find that the market no longer carries certain foods you have been buying. As it happens, those products included elements found to be bad for your health. The pure food act barred their use.
There’s a huge flaw with this logic. They’re called Cadillac health insurance policies. Last night on Megyn Kelly’s show, a woman talked about how she had such a plan. When her husband got cancer that eventually killed him, the policy saved her family from huge expenses. The treatments cost over $300,000. Thanks to their health insurance policy, their out-of-pocket expenses came to $1,500. That’s in addition to the premiums they paid.
When the policy wasn’t offered anymore, this woman chose to continue this coverage, paying the premiums out of her own pocket. She did the right thing. She wasn’t putting a burden on society. She didn’t complain about not getting her policy subsidized. She just paid the premiums.
This fall, she got a notice that her policy was canceled thanks to the Affordable Care Act’s penalty on Cadillac plans. That’s right. The Affordable Care Act is making Cadillac plans obsolete. That’s why the unions are upset. All these years, they’ve settled for smaller wage increases, which are taxed, in exchange for premium quality health insurance policies, which aren’t taxed.
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, these union workers won’t have the option of a Cadillac plan plus they’re stuck with the lower pay increases that they negotiated.
It’s difficult to see how Cadillac plans are the equivalent of “products [that] included elements found to be bad for your health.” The full name of the Affordable Care Act is actually the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. One of the Democrats’ first chanting points was the PPACA would protect families from medical bankruptcies. This lady’s Cadillac health insurance policy did that and then some.
It’s insulting that Mr. Aaron insists that the canceled policies are sub-standard policies. It’s insulting on multiple levels, starting with the fact that those policies can’t be sold if they aren’t first approved by that state’s insurance commissioner.
Early in her political career, Ms. Sebelius was Kansas’ insurance commissioner. Is she now admitting that the policies she approved were sub-standard? When President Obama called these insurance plans sub-standard, he essentially accused the 50 state insurance commissioners incompetent.
Second, in many places, competition among insurers will lower premiums. Bloomberg Government has reported that the more plans offered in an exchange, the lower the premiums.
In Minnesota, a state recognized as a leader in health insurance innovation and access, most rural cities have few options. In fact, many of these places have a single option in terms of insurance providers competing.
Third, people can hold down premiums by selecting plans with comparatively high deductibles.
That option isn’t brought to us by the Affordable Care Act. That was available to clients who had health savings accounts and a catastrophic policy, both of which are illegal under the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.
The problem was a misdiagnosis of the situation in 2009. The US health care system needed extensive work. It didn’t need to put an incompetent administration in charge of a complex industry. Democrats didn’t need to give bureaucrats the authority of who could keep the health insurance plans they liked. Democrats didn’t need to tell people what insurance policies were “sub-standard” and which ones were government-approved.
What Democrats should’ve done is get out of the way so innovators couls’ve put together a package of real reforms.
Technorati: Henry Aaron, Media Bias, Insurance Cancellations, Individual Mandate, Cadillac Health Insurance, Medical Bankruptcies, Affordable Care Act, President Obama, Kathleen Sebelius, Democrats, Free Market Reforms, Megyn Kelly
Charles Krauthammer’s latest column offers this advice:
It’s Halloween. There is a knock at your door. You hear: “We’re the government and we’re here to help.”
With the Affordable Care Act failing beyond even the most pessimistic Republican’s worst nightmare, that’s sage advice. This, though, is the most disturbing information in Dr. Krauthammer’s column:
So that your president can promise to cover 30 million uninsured without costing the government a dime. Which from the beginning was the biggest falsehood of them all. And yet the free lunch is the essence of modern liberalism. Free mammograms, free preventative care, free contraceptives for Sandra Fluke. Come and get it.
And then when you find your policy canceled, your premium raised and your deductible outrageously increased, you’ve learned the real meaning of “free” in the liberal lexicon: something paid for by your neighbor best, by subterfuge.
That last clause in the last sentence reminded me of this famous quote:
As soon as A observes something which seems to him wrong, from which X is suffering, A talks it over with B, and A and B then propose to get a law passed to remedy the evil and help X. Their law always proposes to determine what C shall do for X, or, in better case, what A, B, and C shall do for X… What I want to do is to look up C. I want to show you what manner of man he is. I call him the Forgotten Man. perhaps the appellation is not strictly correct. he is the man who never is thought of…. I call him the forgotten man.
There’s a poem that goes with that famous quote. It says “If you promise to not tax me, I promise not to tax thee. Instead, let’s tax that fellow behind the tree.” That’s the essence of the Affordable Care Act. In fact, it can’t survive without the “forgotten man” subsidizing someone else’s health insurance.
In this instance, the forgotten man are really forgotten people. Specifically, they’re called “young healthies” by the pundits. They’re being counted on to buy health insurance they don’t need. If they don’t buy insurance in significant numbers, there isn’t a way for the government or the insurance companies to pay for health care of older people and/or people with pre-existing conditions.
Another forgotten man in this are middle class families who make too much to qualify for premium support but who’ve been getting squeezed with higher taxes and higher costs of goods. They’re getting hit with higher premiums, thanks to A and B conspiring to force the forgotten man, aka middle class families, into buying health care coverages they don’t want or might never need.
That’s why it’s wise to be suspicious of politicians promising free lunches.
Technorati: Free Lunches, Individual Mandate, Health Insurance Exchanges, Sandra Fluke, President Obama, Affordable Care Act, Free Lunches, Government Bureaucrat, Democrats, Liberalism, William Graham Sumner, The Forgotten Man, Charles Krauthammer, Conservatism, Free Markets
The number of visitors to the federal government’s HealthCare.gov Web site plummeted 88 percent between Oct. 1 and Oct. 13, according to a new analysis of America’s online use, while less than half of 1 percent of the site’s visitors successfully enrolled for health insurance the first week.
Based on a sample of two million users, or 1 percent of all online users in the U.S., which Millward Brown Digital has permission to track, it suggests that the rush of traffic administration officials cited as the cause of the site’s problems trailed off within a matter of days.
Of the 9.4 million unique visitors to the site during the launch’s first week, according to the analysis, roughly a third attempted to register, and a third of that number, 1.01 million, completed registration. Ultimately, roughly 36,000 Americans signed up for an insurance plan online, the report said.
Then Ed included this commentary:
If any commercial web portal only ended up with a 0.384% success rate in its first week of operation followed by an 88% plunge in traffic, the project team would find itself out on the street. If it happened to a publicly-traded company that sunk hundreds of millions of dollars into the project, the CEO and the executive management team would be joining them on the sidewalk.
If the individual mandate and the penalties didn’t exist, people would stay away in droves. To put it in Yogi Berra’s words, it’d sound like this:
If people don’t want to come out to the ball park, nobody’s gonna stop ‘em.
That’s what happens when something is voluntary. This administration isn’t into voluntary. Pointing a proverbial gun to people’s head is more this administration’s style. The Affordable Care Act isn’t about free markets matching needs with products. It’s about the federal government telling people what they must do:
Update: The schadenfreude has run deep on the Right over this Daily Kos entry from September:
My wife and I just got our updates from Kaiser telling us what our 2014 rates will be. Her monthly has been $168 this year, mine $150. We have a high deductible. We are generally healthy people who don’t go to the doctor often. I barely ever go. The insurance is in case of a major catastrophe.
Well, now, because of Obamacare, my wife’s rate is gong to $302 per month and mine is jumping to $284.
I am canceling insurance for us and I am not paying any f***ing penalty. What the hell kind of reform is this?
Conservatives have been predicting this since President Obama signed the bill into law. The only thing that’s less surprising than finding out people’s insurance rates are going up is that the federal government ran another deficit last year.
Technorati: HealthCare.gov, Health Insurance Exchanges, Affordable Care Act, Insurance Premiums, Deductibles, President Obama, Accountability, Kaiser Foundation, Democrats, Free Market Capitalism, Yogi Berra, Individual Mandate
When one of President Obama’s trusted allies says the PPACA has to go, then it’s a great sign that President Obama is in trouble. Warren Buffett, one of President Obama’s most trusted allies, just made that statement:
“‘We have a health system that, in terms of costs, is really out of control,’ he added. ‘And if you take this line and you project what has been happening into the future, we will get less and less competitive. So we need something else.’” Buffett insists that without changes to Obamacare average citizens will suffer.
“‘What we have now is untenable over time,’ said Buffett, an early supporter of President Obama. ‘That kind of a cost compared to the rest of the world is really like a tapeworm eating, you know, at our economic body.’
That isn’t the only criticism Buffett made during the interview:
Buffett does not believe that providing insurance for everyone is the first step to take in correcting our nation’s healthcare system.
“‘Attack the costs first, and then worry about expanding coverage,’” he said. “I would much rather see another plan that really attacks costs. And I think that’s what the American public wants to see. I mean, the American public is not behind this bill.’”
Buffett is right. American families didn’t insist on universal coverage. They clamored for lower health care costs. With the PPACA, they got what they didn’t care about. With the PPACA, they didn’t get what they pushed for.
Just like with other things, Washington didn’t do what the American people wanted. The Democrats did what the party elders and their special interest allies wanted. This was the Rahm White House not letting “a good crisis go to waste.” Democrats sold their soul for thirty pieces of silver because they weren’t worried about fixing a problem. They worried about their ideology.
Now that they’re left with a major mess to fix, their special interest allies, include Buffett and the AFL-CIO, are deserting them like rats fleeing a sinking ship.
The PPACA will die a horrific death. The only questions left are whether Democrats go along with its execution and how quickly it’ll be replaced with a market-driven, patient-centered system. (Forget about European single-payer. Americans’ trust in government is almost non-existent.)
Is it really wise to fight a fight we can’t win? That’s one of the important questions that the TEA Party hasn’t answered yet. In other words, should Republicans fight to defund Obamacare in the upcoming budget fight, especially knowing that it’s a fight they’ll lose while shutting down the government?
One myth that’s been peddled is the myth about a partial government shutdown. It’s fiction. There’s no doubt that the House will pass 2 bills, one to defund Obamacare, the other to fund the rest of government. Likewise, there’s no doubt that Harry Reid will take the House bill funding government, modify it to include funding of Obamacare. Finally, there’s no doubt that they’ll then send that modified bill back to the House.
At that point, the Republicans’ options are to cave or shut the government down. Neither option is a positive option. Jim Hoft points out that polling shows strong support for defunding Obamacare:
With citizens across America asking their congressman to support defunding Obamacare, Heritage Action CEO Michael A. Needham alongside leading pollster Jon Lerner today released a poll showing the idea of defunding Obamacare is broadly supported. Moreover, the potential of a partial government shutdown does little to dampen the desire to stop the implementation of Obamacare.
Independents in the survey strongly support defunding Obamacare by a margin of 57 percent to 34 percent. Further, only 20 percent of voters in these districts support going forward with Obamacare unchanged.
I won’t dispute Heritage Action’s findings. I’ll simply highlight the fact that that isn’t the pertinent question. The pertinent question is whether the people who support defunding Obamacare will hate Republicans for shutting down government.
Another thing we’re hearing is that this is the last chance to rid ourselves of the PPACA. The people pushing defunding the PPACA insist that it’s our last chance. Those same people will list a lengthy list of catastrophies either happening or waiting to happen.
They insist that it’s all over the minute people start getting premium support checks from the HHS. Again, that’s a myth. Here’s why:
34 states didn’t set up state-run health insurance exchanges, aka HIXs. The people in those states that buy health insurance through those HIXs aren’t eligible for premium support. There’s another thing to factor in in the defund vs. delay debate:
Here’s the relevant portion of the interview:
SCOTT PRUITT: Well, Greta, as you know, state health care exchanges are a major part of the Affordable Care Act and Congress each of the states a decision, a decision on whether to set up a health care exchange. And there’s something very important that happens when a state chooses not to set up a state health care exchange and it’s that the employer mandate penalties that flow when companies don’t provide qualified health care — they cannot be assessed in those states.
Pruitt later said that the IRS implemented a rule granting them the authority to collect the employer mandate in states that didn’t establish HIXs. Greta then asked a question clarifying Pruitt’s statement. Here’s what she said:
GRETA: Alright, so what you’re saying is that if the state had set up the exchanges, then the IRS could do that but that the way the law is written, that if the state declines to set up a health insurance exchange and the federal government has to set up an exchange, that they (the federal gov’t) doesn’t have the expressed authority to do that?
PRUITT: That’s exactly what we’re saying.
That’s bombshell information. If these 34 states continue to refuse to put together state-run HIXs, then the IRS can’t impose fines on companies in those states. If free market capitalists believe that free markets work, then we should think that the reddest of those states would become a magnet for companies who don’t want to pay the employer mandate if Oklahoma wins this lawsuit.
The PPACA is a trainwreck waiting to happen. I’ve called it a house of cards waiting for a strong breeze to topple it. This administration is proving that they can’t implement major parts of the PPACA. It’s collapsing right in front of our eyes. The best strategy when something is collapsing is to get out of the way and let it collapse on its own.
I get it that people want to get rid of the PPACA. I’m one of those people. I just want conservatives to be smart for a change and let something that’s collapsing collapse.
When it comes to highlighting liberals’ wrongheaded economic thinking, nobody’s been better at it than Milton Friedman. This video is a great example of Friedman’s wisdom:
Friedman’s wisdom on the subject of minority education is playing out in big cities daily. First, Friedman said that nothing traps young people in poverty more than underperforming “government schools.” That’s being verified by the fact that the DC Opportunity Scholarship program has far more minority applicants than scholarships. The documentary “Waiting for Superman” highlights parents as they attempt to rescue their children from government schools by getting them into charter schools. In St. Paul, a healthy portion of the families wanting their children in charter schools are minority parents.
Time after time, minorities are hurt by government schools. What’s worst is that the teacher unions and Democrat politicians protect bad schools. New York City is famous for its Rubber Room:
Educators accused of breaking rules, abusing kids, or simply failing to provide students with a decent education, will be paid a stunning $22 million by the city this year for doing absolutely nothing.
Charter schools aren’t restricted by union rules, which gives them more latitude to innovate. Charter schools can get rid of underperforming teachers quickly, something government schools can’t do.
Here in Minnesota, Republicans included a Basic Skills Test requirement in the Omnibus Education Bill that Gov. Dayton signed. This year, with the DFL running state government from A to Z, Democrats repealed the Basic Skills Test requirement. It wasn’t surprising that Gov. Dayton didn’t hesitate in signing the requirement’s repeal.
The message that sends to teachers is that competence isn’t required, that a union card is what’s important. That cheats students by telling parents, students and teachers alike that union membership is more important than high quality teachers.
Friedman also explains why increasing the minimum wage hurts minorities. Mitch Berg’s post highlights why increasing the minimum wage is actually keeping unemployment high:
The inevitable result of across-the-board minimum wage hikes? Fewer minimum wage jobs.
Case in point; as minimum wages around the country rose during the 2000s, McDonalds started pre-cooking its hamburger patties, so they’d only need to be reheated in the stores. This got rid of most of the traditional “burger-flipper” jobs, the ones that liberals sneered at but provided hundreds of thousands of opportunities for teens and others entering and re-entering the workforce to learn how to show up for work on time and do a good job at something.
Democrats will argue that increasing the minimum wage doesn’t affect hiring. They’re wrong. It’s accurate to say that increasing the minimum wage doesn’t always affect unemployment. Democrats think businesses owe it to society to hire people. That’s wrongheaded thinking. Entrepreneurs hire people if they think it’ll makes them money. Period.
If hiring a person at minimum wage will hurt profits, businesses won’t hire people. It’s that simple. The benefit must exceed the expense. If it doesn’t, unemployment is the result. It’s that simple regardless of what Rep. Winkler and other Democrats say.
The move is designed to boost efficiency and make ordering more convenient for customers. In an interview with the Financial Times, McDonald’s Europe President Steve Easterbrook notes that the new system will also open up a goldmine of data. McDonald’s could potentially track every Big Mac, McNugget, and large shake you order. A calorie account tally at the end of the year could be a real shocker.
The touch screens will only accept debit or credit cards, adding to the slow death knell of cash and coins. This all goes along with an overall revamp of McDonald’s restaurants worldwide aimed at projecting a modern image as opposed to the old-fashioned golden arches…
While it’d be pushing it to say that McDonalds is installing these touch-screen ordering kiosks because of the minimum wage, it isn’t a stretch to say that installing those kiosks will help McDonalds avoid dealing with minimum wage employees. Rep. Winkler isn’t interested in increasing the minimum wage to help the working poor. He’s interested in it because many union wages are based on the minimum wage.
Limiting government’s size and influence isn’t just an ideology. It’s a time-tested method for ushering in lengthy periods of prosperity. Capitalism is still the greatest weapon in fighting poverty and creating upward mobility.
Tags: Milton Friedman, Free Market Capitalism, Charter Schools, Upward Mobility, Prosperity, Conservatism, Minimum Wage, Ryan Winkler, Government Schools, Rubber Room, Union Protection, Waiting For Superman, DC Opportunity Scholarships, Liberalism
When it comes to intellectual foolishness, it’s difficult to beat the St. Cloud Times Editorial Board. This editorial is laced with that intellectual foolishness. Here’s a prime example:
Sure, his desire to beat Bachmann is implied in most every speech, news release and public appearance. However, the words he speaks (and writes) literally list priorities that go well beyond who isn’t in office. Here are two very recent examples:
“… I’m running to work with both sides to find ways to balance the budget, keep our promises to seniors, create jobs and strengthen the middle class,” closes out a “Why I’m Running” explanation on his website.
“… As a businessman who has balanced budgets and created jobs, I’m running to work with both sides to find ways to balance the budget, keep our promises to seniors, create jobs and strengthen the middle class,” is the final quote he issued in announcing April 12 his candidacy for the 6th District seat in the 2014 elections.
So was that all just lip service?
It’s amazing that a supposedly high profile newspaper didn’t notice that Jim Graves’ platform was all about him not being Michele Bachmann. Either they didn’t notice or they’re pretending that they didn’t notice that that’s Graves’ motivation.
The foolishness continues:
Another big reason for disappointment is the stark reality that, contrary to Graves’ belief, Minnesota’s Republican Party, foundering amid an internal ideological war and massive debt, could very well end up nominating a candidate similar to Bachmann.
And to be even more honest, who is to say the DFL Party, emboldened by its dominance at the state level, might not just find an extreme DFLer to put on its ticket?
First, there isn’t another person who is as steadfast in her belief in the right things as Michele Bachmann. Her charisma, her policy chops and her love of limited government gave people a reason to vote for her.
Next, the DFL has nominated extremists before to run against Michele. Graves’ talk about being a new Democrat was a fallacy. Barney Frank, one of the most extremist, hateful Democrats in DC, hosted a fundraiser for him. Graves told me that the PPACA was a free market solution to the health care crisis. The truth is that it’s a government-centered program.
As this board noted last fall, the appeal of Graves is his moderate viewpoints. He was an island of common sense and potential compromise amid a sea of political extremism.
On the issues, Graves sounded more moderate than he really was. More importantly, his policies wouldn’t solve America’s problems. The PPACA won’t lower health care costs. In fact, health insurance premiums are rising rapidly. There will be almost as many uninsured with the PPACA in place as before. Graves the politician didn’t see the need for uprooting the PPACA.
Graves the politician never talked about the crippling effects of the federal government’s overregulation. Michele Bachmann fought against the federal government’s overregulation every minute she was in DC. America’s economy can’t grow with the regulators running wild. Graves didn’t have a plan for that. That’s because it wasn’t a priority for him.
If you don’t reduce the federal government’s overregulation, we can’t achieve energy independence. Jim Graves didn’t speak about the need for achieving energy independence. Michele frequently spoke about reducing regulations and achieving energy independence.
For all the Times talk about Graves the moderate, they’ve never spoken about his policies or his problem-solving abilities. They seemed to think that being a compromiser was the chief qualification for being a congressman. That type of wrong-headed thinking is what’s gotten America in the trouble it’s in.
We don’t need compromisers as much as we need people who get policies right. Michele Bachmann made some indefensible statements. That said, she’s been right on the issues, from energy independence to health care to taxes to regulations. I’d love it if the Times got rid of their irrational hatred of Michele. If they’d paid attention to the issues, they might’ve appreciated what Michele brought to the table.
Instead, they got a tingle up their leg for any DFL politician who criticized Michele. What a pathetic excuse for a newspaper.
Now that Jim Graves has officially announced that he’s running against Michele Bachmann, people wonder if he can defeat her. John Stossel’s article highlights Graves’ weakness:
Most Americans, even those who are legislators, know very little about the details of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, so-called Obamacare. Next year, when it goes into effect, we will learn the hard way.
Many people lazily assume that the law will do roughly what it promises: give insurance to the uninsured and lower the cost of health care by limiting spending on dubious procedures.
Don’t count on it.
Consider just the complexity: The act itself is more than 906 pages long, and again and again in those 906 pages are the words, “the Secretary shall promulgate regulations …”
“Secretary” refers to Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. Her minions have been busy. They’ve already added 20,000 pages of rules. They form a stack 7 feet high, and more are to come.
A couple of weeks after announcing his candidacy last time, Graves made an appearance at a weekly gathering at a St. Cloud bar to visit with conservatives. During that visit, he stopped past my table, at which time I asked him if he supported the PPACA. Though he stopped short of endorsing that specific legislation, he did attempt to sell the ACA as market-driven health insurance reform. More on that later.
The thing is that legislators don’t vote on sweeping principles. Legislators vote on specific legislation. Since there’s no chance that Graves would’ve been one of the legislators shaping the legislation, he would’ve been forced to vote yea or nay on the ACA.
Thanks to Graves’ insistence on not getting pinned down to anything, we don’t know if he would’ve voted for the PPACA. What we know, though, is that he’s attempting to not talk about the ACA. His issues page includes this line:
But today, too many Minnesotan families are struggling under the weight of rising home mortgage payments, skyrocketing health care costs and increasing college tuition.
The only other reference to health care on Jim Graves’ issues page is about the Medicare Part D doughnut hole. I don’t blame Graves for evading the issue. If I were a Democrat, I’d want to evade talking about health care. Stossel’s article provides the reason why the PPACA is a touchy subject for Democrats:
Government likes to think regulations can account for every possibility. Injured at a chicken coop? The code for that will be Y9272. Fall at an art gallery? That means you are a Y92250. There are three different codes for walking into a lamppost — depending on how often you’ve walked into lampposts. This is supposed to give government a more precise way to reimburse doctors for treating people and alert us to surges in injuries that might inspire further regulation.
On Government-Planned World, this makes sense. But it will be no more successful than Soviet central planning.
Compare all that to a tiny part of American medicine that is still free-market: Lasik eye surgery.
Its quality has improved, while costs dropped 25 percent. Lasik (and cosmetic surgery) are specialties that provide a better consumer experience because they are a market. Patients pay directly, so doctors innovate constantly to please them. Lasik doctors even give patients their cellphone numbers.
Mr. Graves isn’t foolish. He knows what constitutes a free market. He knows that the ACA is the opposite of a free market solution.
Michele Bachmann has been right about this issue from the outset. She submitted the first bill to repeal the ACA and replace it with a specific plan. Michele’s plan included eliminating the preferential tax treatment for corporations buying health insurance by giving individuals the same tax treatment that multinational corporations get. As a result of that provision, Michele’s plan made health care portable, which is a huge liberating force for employees.
While we don’t know what Graves’ solution to health care is, we know with certainty that Michele got it right with health insurance reform the first time. When Democrats are in the minority, talk immediately focuses on compromise. Minnesotans in the Sixth District have the choice of voting for an evasive man or voting for someone who got health care reform right the first time.
With health insurance premiums skyrocketing since enacting the PPACA, why would Minnesotans vote for someone who dodges the issue? Why wouldn’t they vote for the candidate who got it right the first time?
Today, Jim Graves made it official today by announcing that he’s running against Michele Bachmann again:
In a statement, the AmericInn Hotel chain founder took a veiled jab at his opponent’s national reputation as a lightning rod. “These days, Congress is all about scoring political points rather than actually solving problems, and Minnesota’s 6th District, my home, is losing out because of that more than anywhere,” he said. ”I’m not interested in celebrity, only in solutions.”
That last statement is rather rich considering the fact that Graves told me that he thinks the PPACA is a free market solution to our health care problem. The PPACA is a one-size-fits-all disaster. First, it isn’t a solution. Second, it’s an expensive disaster that’s getting worse with each new onslaught of regulations.
If Graves can’t even identify a disastrous policy like the PPACA, then he’s worthless. Getting the biggest things badly wrong isn’t a virtue. His happy talk about being a new Democrat is BS. New Democrats don’t attend fundraisers hosted by Barney Frank, one of the men who caused the housing bubble to burst. New Democrats don’t defend the PPACA, which Graves tried doing with me.
Graves’ schtick is spin. That doesn’t mean people should take him lightly. He came close to defeating Michele in 2012. Then again, that’s largely because of high voter turnout durning a presidential election and because Michele focused a bunch of attention on her presidential campaign.
Since getting re-elected, Michele Bachmann has focused on solving major problems in the district, including working on widening the I-94 and Highway 10 corridors, not to mention her work in getting the Stillwater Bridge rebuilt.
Another big question awaiting is whether Nancy Pelosi will let Jim Graves be a centrist. She’ll let him talk like a centrist during the campaign. The question is how long that’d last if he’s elected. If he’s elected, Pelosi would likely have a slim majority in the House, meaning she’ll need every Democrat’s vote on the big issue.
Graves will run another dishonest campaign this cycle because that’s his only shot at winning. Make no mistake: Jim Graves won’t hesitate in hitting below the belt if that’s what’s needed. We know that because it’s what he’s done in the past. Graves got a bunch of union workers to lie for him during a campaign ad. These displaced union workers accused Michele of political grandstanding and not giving a damn about them. KSTP ran Graves’ ad through their Truth Test:
Bachmann was in the district on Memorial Day weekend in Stillwater attending events when the explosion happened but didn’t go to the scene. However, a Bachmann staff member was there within an hour.
I know the Bachmann staffer who got to the Verson site within an hour of the explosion happening. Jim Graves didn’t care about this extraordinary performance. He had his sights set on winning an election. If he had to accuse Michele of not giving a damn, that’s what he’d do. If that meant ignoring the facts on the ground, New Democrat Jim Graves wasn’t about to hesitate in putting that disgusting, dishonest ad together.
Tags: Jim Graves, Smear Campaign, Barney Frank, Housing Bubble, Nancy Pelosi, PPACA, Regulations, New Democrat, Michele Bachmann, I-94, Highway 10, Stillwater Bridge, Transportation, MNGOP, Election 2014