Sunday, April 28, 2013

Steyn On A Roll

No, it's not a new offering from the Carnegie Deli.

Mark's latest NRO article, covering the twin topics of the Boston bombings and the Kermit Gosnell case.

And two pieces in the May 6 National Review, one an essay on Michael Bloomberg and the other, Steyn's (very funny) biweekly Happy Warrior column on the Canadian Museum For Human Rights - a new institution which has various ethnic groups vying for space in what has become a showcase of dueling genocides. (Sorry, no links).

All good stuff.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Medication Without Representation

Kevin Williamson (NRO) examines the District of Columbia's Obamacare regulators decision to designate smoking "a pre-existing condition".

There are many ways to implement a bad idea. For instance, Congress might have passed a law requiring that all U.S. insurance companies no longer charge smokers more for their coverage. The state of Connecticut might have passed a similar law. New York City might have passed that law. But in each case, voters who saw that stupidity for what it is would have somebody to vote against. Obamacare eliminates the option for democratic response. Instead, it creates a body of political appointees immune from being held accountable at the ballot box. And who are those appointees? In the case of D.C., you will find few surprises: The SEIU has a man on the board, along with a lot of time-serving political types, a fellow from the Brookings Institution, a lobbyist, etc. Don’t like their boneheaded decisions? Too bad.   
...The notion of insuring a preexisting condition is an oxymoron; insurance is by nature concerned with that which may happen in the future rather than with that which already has happened. In very large groups, human health outcomes are predictable with a fair degree of precision: Given 10 million people, actuaries can make pretty accurate predictions about how many people are going to get lung cancer and how many are going to be in car accidents. Some factors are relevant to some conditions: Being 17 years old and getting in a car accident, for example, or smoking and heart disease, emphysema, cancer, etc. Insurance, which places a price on calculated risks, will take some of those factors into account. But you cannot in any meaningful sense insure somebody against cancer when they already have cancer.
Obamacare is designed to destroy the insurance market. Markets do not function without prices, and Obamacare ensures that prices will not be allowed to emerge. There is a medical price associated with smoking, but the District of Columbia has decided to suppress that price by law. Pretending that smoking has no relationship with health-care costs does not make it so - it is only a way to push costs around in a way that is agreeable to the likes of Barack Obama, converting a system that prices risk into a system of entitlements.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Conservative Health Care Reform

Leftists interested in learning of conservative alternatives to Obamacare (I know there must be one or two of you out there) should read the following NRO article written by Ramesh Ponnuru and Yuval Levin.

For more detailed discussions, follow the authors' embedded links. Particularly edifying is this piece on how to cover pre-existing conditions.