Friday, March 25, 2011

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

One Year Later: The ACA is still wrong and must be repealed

One year ago, the PPACA was signed into law. The problems with this law continue to multiply: continued rising health care costs, soaring national debt, replacement of Rule by Law with arbitrary Rule by Regulatory Rules and Waivers--just to name a few.

The Independent Women's Voice held a video contest to help alert people to the destructive effects of the law. My entry is below. Though not as professionally done as the winners, the message is crucial to the fight for our health care freedom.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Vilifying Dr. Berwick — for the Wrong Reasons

My op-ed was published on today's PJ Media:

If you don’t like ObamaCare, you probably really don’t like Donald Berwick, the current administrative head of Medicare and Medicaid.

You know him. He’s the one who’s “in love” with the Britain’s National Health Service, the guy who insists that we “must — must — redistribute wealth,” and tells us that, since rationing is unavoidable, we’d best do it “with our eyes open.”

But in regards to government-funded health care — including Medicare and Medicaid — Dr. Berwick is right, so it does no good to shoot the messenger.

Medicare, Medicaid, and all collectivized medical care require rationing for the simple reason that allscarce resources must be rationed.

You can read the rest here.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Public Choice made Entertaining

An economics student at San Jose State University makes economics understandable and entertaining.

If you like this one, be sure to check out his earlier productions here.

Shorthand Politics on Public Choice

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Free Market: not just the most effective, but also the most moral solution to poverty

Milton Friedman is right as far as he takes it. The free market is the most effective system the world has known for producing wealth and reducing poverty. What he doesn't say in this video clip is that the free market, because it is limited to voluntary exchange, is also the most moral system for reducing poverty. A system which employs the initiation of force will not be as effective--it can only redistribute wealth not create it--but even more importantly, it entails in its methods the destruction of civil society.

(HT Ideas Matter)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Perverse Incentives of the PPACA

Health policy analyst, Dr. John Goodman, testified yesterday before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health. Below is is 5 minute opening statement. He quickly goes through several o fteh perverse incentives written into the structure of the law which will make health care more expensive and still fail to solve the problem of access. You can read the written statement here.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Entrepreneurs Could Solve the HeathCare Crisis....if we would let them get rich

In any other field, Jeffrey Brenner would be a millionaire. But because he’s in health care, he doesn’t know how he’s going to make ends meet. Like entrepreneurs in every market, Brenner thought outside the box. He discovered an ingenious way of lowering health care costs: focus on the “hot spots” of medicine — the high-utilizing, high spending patients — and solve their problems with unconventional care...So how much does Medicare reward Dr. Brenner for all the savings he creates for our nation’s largest health plan? Zip. Zero. Nada. How much does Medicaid pay for all the savings it realizes? Zilch. Zippo. Not a penny...

No one knows if Brenner’s techniques can be replicated (any more than we know if the medical practices of the Mayo Clinic or the Cleveland Clinic can be replicated). But there’s one way to find out: let Brenner become rich. Rich? Yes, rich...

[Gawande] actually believes that ObamaCare is going to liberate Brenner and people like him.

When is the last time you heard Barack Obama say he wants entrepreneurs to get rich solving the nation’s most pressing health care problems? When is the last time you heard him say he wants anyone to get rich doing anything? When is the last time you heard him say even a kind word about people who get rich?

No? Never? Not even once? Case closed.

Read the rest of the story from John Goodman. It's both inspiring, and infuriating.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Message to The Forgotten Man

I am receiving feeds through a blog I have been following called The Forgotten Man which now takes me to a page titled "I'm Just left behind."
To the author of the recent posts:
Just want to let you know I am reading your posts, but there is no way for me to respond.

Judge Vinson Rules! (again)

Today, Judge Vinson released his response to the Government's request for a "clarification" of his ruling in Florida v. HHS. If you have been closely following the court cases for the constitutionality of the individual mandate, this order reads like the rise to the climax of a great suspense drama. In it, the government lawyers are thoroughly spanked for misbehaving---and then, in the interests of moving things forward as quickly as possible towards a Supreme Court ruling, Judge Vinson grants the government a stay it did not officially request.

What does all this mean?

At the end of January, Judge Vinson ruled that the individual mandate was unconstitutional, and the because the mandate is an integral part of the legislation, it can not be severed without fatally undermining the greater regulatory intent of the law. For these reasons, the entire law was struck down. Judge Vinson granted declaratory relief, but not injunctive relief, to the plaintiff because "the "declaratory judgement was expected to be treated as the "practical" and "functional equivalent of an injunction"--based on a "long standing presumption that the defendants [i.e. the government] themselves identified and agreed to be bound by." (see today's order, page 14.) Judge Vinson explained today that he expected the government to promptly respond to his ruling with a request for a stay pending appeal--not for the government to completely ignore his ruling, and then file a belated request for a "clarification" of a ruling which was perfectly clear. Vinson indicated that the game-playing delay tactics by the government lawyers are recognized for what they are and will NOT be tolerated.

So after having previously ruled that implementation of the PPACA should halt, why the apparent turn-around by granting a stay of execution of his previous ruling?

Judge Vinson recognizes the complexity of the case, and that it will not be resolved until the Supreme Court finalizes its interpretation. Although the plaintiffs are suffering injury under continuation of the law, given the mixed current rulings (see below) and the uncertainty of the final ruling, the disruption will be greater if the law is halted while under appeal.

The 20 page "Order" is interesting and fun to read--even if you haven't had time to read the eloquent legal discussion in Vinson's original ruling.

The stakes are high here. Nothing less than the nature of our government: is it all-powerful, or limited? If limited, what are the boundaries?

I strongly recommend reading Vinson's original ruling. He provides a well written synopsis of the evolution of Commerce Clause interpretation. For an interesting alternative analysis, read Randy Barnett's amicus curiae, or his longer article "Commandeering the People: Why the individual Mandate is Unconstitutional." If you really get into it, there are the rest of the current court rulings and a few of the relevant landmark Supreme court cases listed below.

(If you want just a few choice quotes from today's order, you'll find some here.)

Happy reading.

Current Individual Mandate law suit rulings

Case #1 – individual mandate ruled constitutional

Thomas Moore Law Center v. Obama 10-07-10

Randy Barnett amicus curiae – very worthwhile reading.

Case #2 – individual mandate ruled constitutional

Liberty University v. Geithner 11-30-10

Case #3 – individual mandate ruled unconstitutional, and severable

Virginia v. Sebelius 12-13-10

Case #4 – individual mandate ruled unconstitutional and nonseverable, declaratory relief granted; injunctive relief denied as unnecessary because declartory relief is sufficient

Florida v. HHS 01-31-11

Case #5 – individual mandate ruled constitutional

Mead v. Holder 02-22-11

Case #4 – Order 03-03-11

Judge Vinson “clarifies” that he had clearly ruled the PPACA unconstitutional and expected the Government to either quickly file appeal or cease implementing the law.

A stay of his declaratory injunction is granted provided the Government files a notice for an expedited appeal within seven days.

Key Landmark Supreme Court Cases on the Commerce Clause

Wickard v. Filburn (1942)

U.S. v. Lopez (1995)

U.S. v. Morrison (2000)

Gonzales v. Raich (2004)

1,968 New Regulatory Powers for HHS Secretary

The Center for Health Transformation has created a wall chart of the 1,968 new regulatory powers which the PPACA bestows upon the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Rule by regulation is rule by men. The more discretion given to regulatory agents, the further we move away from Rule by Law. This is one of the fatal flaws of central planning. Laws are too rigid and too slow to accomplish the tasks required for efficient use of resources--so attempts are made to provide flexibility by delegating decision-making power to regulatory agencies. But this very flexibility means arbitrary power in the hands of government bureaucrats--the exact opposite of Rule by Law. (Witness the more than 900 waivers already granted by Sec. Sebelius allowing a privileged few to escape some of the destructive consequences of the PPACA)

These facts alone are reason enough to repeal the law.