Behind the HealthCare.gov fiasco

We are learning that the problems with HealthCare.gov, the website that is the portal to Obamacare health insurance, are not just due to the large number of people trying to sign on.  It turns out that the website is symptomatic of government incompetence on an epic scale. [Read more…]

ObamaCare and the end of nonprofit hospitals?

Nonprofit hospitals are defined as those that devote at least 3% (or in some states 4%) of their revenue to treat patients who cannot pay for treatment.  Well, if Obamacare works to insure everybody, those requirements might be hard to meet, forcing the 60% of the nation’s hospitals that are non-profit to lose that status and the tax advantages that go with it.

Notice that patients without insurance WERE getting treated, and that hospitals had a strong financial incentive to treat them.  (Did you know about that?  Why hasn’t the charitable dimension of the old system been discussed?  Might that have been improved as an alternative to changing our whole health care system for everyone?)  This is another unintentional revolutionary consequence of Obamacare.  After the jump, read the story from Forbes. [Read more…]

How government funding hurts the arts

Conservatives usually complain about government funding of the arts because they see taxpayer money going for art they consider objectionable. That’s not really the point, argues dramatist David Marcus.  The real problem with government funding is that it hurts the arts. [Read more…]

Congress stops default & ends shutdown

Cutting it close as usual, on the day before the government would run out of money, Congress agreed to raise the debt ceiling and end the 16-day partial government shutdown.  Basically, both sides dropped their demands and kicked the can down the road.  The government will be funded until January 15, and the debt limit will rise until February 7.  In the meantime, a commission will be appointed to try to resolve the controversies. [Read more…]

Democrats up the ante on default bill

It looked like Congress was close to an agreement on funding the government and avoiding default on Thursday, but negotiations fell apart yesterday.  And as Republicans abandoned their insistence on defunding Obamacare, Democrats made demands of their own, insisting that Republicans agree to end the sequester, the across-the-board cuts from last time we were about to go over the fiscal cliff that have actually worked to curb government spending. [Read more…]

Punitive Liberalism

If you watch old movies, read books from the first half of the 20th century, and are old enough to remember the early 1960s, you will recall that New Deal liberalism was a cheerful, optimistic creed, pro-American and working for economic prosperity.  After all, liberals from Franklin Roosevelt through Hubert Humphrey were progressives, which gave them confidence that things were getting better and better.  But after a certain point, liberals began to be filled with gloom and doom.  America must be punished for its sins; our neglect of the environment will incur apocalyptic judgment; economic prosperity weakens our moral fiber.  Conservatives used to sound that way, and did, before the sunny optimism of Ronald Reagan.

George Will discusses the shift to a “punitive liberalism” in a discussion of a book that sees the tipping point as  the assassination of John F. Kennedy, even though Lee Harvey Oswald was a Communist.  (I think the tipping point was the Vietnam War, but still. . . .) [Read more…]


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