Archive for October 7th, 2009

Insurance mandates revisited

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

We have been trying to come up with a method to compel private health insurance without screwing up the free market. If the Government follows a plan of setting a fine (in some form or another) of a fixed amount for failure to have health insurance, that amount will become the new minimum for premiums. For example, if the amount is fixed at $3600 per annum, people who currently do not feel a need to have insurance would not pay more than $300/month for insurance because that is the fixed minimum to pay. The insurance companies could charge less to gain market share, but there is little incentive to go much below because they know everyone will have to spend $300/month if they don’t get insurance at all. In this situation, even HSA’s could see a dramatic increase in premiums. Tying the penalty to income makes much more sense. Setting the penalty to something like 7.5% of AGI means that insurance companies would not have a fixed minimum premium. For example, if a person earns $50,000/year (AGI), they would pay $3750 for failure to have insurance. For that individual, the $312.50/month is competitive with insurance that would provide benefits (unlike a fine). On the lower end of the scale, people with less income would not be forced to purchase expensive policies that they cannot afford. The $126.25/month for a $25,000/year earner would buy a catastrophic coverage plan and still put money into the risk pool. On the upper end, affluent people could save money (although they typically carry insurance now). The dollars from the penalties would be used to purchase insurance for the person from an insurance provider of the Government’s choice. Although there is the potential for favoritism, only idiots would pay to have the government choose their provider. While we are not fans of government over-regulation of private industry, at this point it is political reality that something is going to change. While they are disallowing exemptions for pre-existing conditions, disallow income based premiums. Insurance companies do not use income as a factor now, so that limitation would not be burdensome. Additionally, subsequent violations would  increase the penalties for failure to obtain insurance. An annual increase of 2% would soon make it unreasonable not to get insurance on their own and the additional dollars would pay for the poor. The government purchased minimal insurance savings as well as the additional money from increasing fines would help pay for insurance food stamps for the poor.

AX

Secret tape released

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

In a rare occurrence, President Obama was actually doing his job as called out in the Constitution. General McChrystal flew to Denmark to meet with the Commander in Chief while the President was there to campaign. apologize for America. make treaties. secure locations for missile defense. bid for the Olympics. Obama didn’t like the news reporting that he hadn’t spoken with the commander of the troops in what Obama called a “war of necessity.”  So, he had the General meet him for a whole 25 minuets inside Air Force One before Obama left Copenhagen. We found a tape that reveals the details of that meeting.

Obama: What’s your problem, boy?

McChrystal: Sir?

Obama: You can’t go to London and speak your mind like you did yesterday.

McChrystal: Sir, we need more troops in Afghanistan to prevent terrorist organizations from taking over.

Obama: No, we don’t. Just like I said about Iraq, we don’t need more troops to secure the country.

McChrystal: But it worked in Iraq and now we are drawing down troop levels just as predicted by supporters of that surge.

Obama: Let me be clear; I don’t like you. I don’t like the Army. I don’t like what you people do.

McChrystal: Sir, I just think we should have a plan.

Obama: We have a plan. By we, I mean Joe Biden. And by plan, I mean law enforcement.

McChrystal: With all due respect, Joe Biden is an idiot. Besides, didn’t you just stop all prosecutions of suspected terrorists?

Obama: So. I mean, no. Not stopped, just not happening now. Anyway, I inherited this problem from the previous administration.

McChrystal: What problem, sir?

Obama: All of them.

McChrystal: And you signed an Executive Order closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay.

Obama: Yeah, like that’s gonna happen. Let me be clear, this isn’t about me; it’s about you. If I thought you were important, I would spend hours with you drinking beer. The truth is; I would disband the entire military if I thought I could get away with it. We don’t need it. We could just have a massive civilian national security force. I can just talk to the other leaders in the world and convince them that they love me. Look how well that strategy is working in Iran.

McChrystal: Sir, Iran just started testing missiles that could send nuclear weapons into Israel.

Obama: I inherited that.

McChrystal: And you shut down strategic missile defense projects.

Obama: I can fire you just like I fired your predecessor Afghanistan.

McChrystal: With all due respect, I am very good at commanding troops.

Obama: Well, I’m pretty good at throwing people around me under the bus. You’re lucky Congress keeps funding the war, because I wouldn’t.

McChrystal: What do you want me to do, sir?

Obama: Let me put my finger to in the air and see which way the political winds are blowing.

McChrystal: Does that really work?

Obama: Not so much. But that’s not important now. What is important is that I get back to campaigning. working for ACORN. giving people that need pacemakers pain killers. running an auto company. spending time in the White House. getting competition in the insurance marketplace. talking to the Dalia Lama. fulfilling my promise to cut the deficit in half. celebrating my 15th wedding anniversary. replacing the White House lawyer. stuff, you know Presidential things. Now, get out of my airplane.

AX