Euthanasia for kids

Belgium is considering a law that would extend “the right to euthanasia” to children, so that they could request their own deaths.  The Washington Post story about this, excerpted after the jump, gives a grisly survey of existing euthanasia laws.  It also quotes an Archbishop who, of course, opposes the proposed law, but on the grounds that it is unnecessary:  Doctors can instead use “palliative sedation,” in which patients are drugged unconscious, whereupon they can be allowed to starve to death.

Palliative sedation?  Why is this not euthanasia?  How can this be a pro-life alternative? [Read more...]

Millions of health insurance cancellations

Millions of Americans already have individual health insurance plans.  They chose their plans based on the services and coverage they needed or didn’t need and what they could afford.  But now most of those already-insured Americans–maybe as many as 75% of them–are getting cancellation notices.  Their existing policies don’t have all of the mandates required by Obamacare.  So the insurance companies aren’t allowed to offer them.  And the new Obamacare policies are lots more expensive. [Read more...]

Madisonian politics

George Will has found something that President Obama and the Tea Party have in common:  Both disdain Madisonian politics; that is, the checks and balances that require the different factions to compromise with each other, as built into the very structure of Constitutional governance. [Read more...]

States fare differently under Obamacare

More quirks in Obamacare:  The same policy from the same insurer with the same coverage costs $1,800 per month in Virginia, but it costs only $285 in adjoining Maryland.  This is because Maryland mandated that all policies cover, among other things, gastric by-pass surgery for obesity.  Virginia did not, requiring those interested in that surgery to pay extra for that coverage.

Presumably, insurance companies–which are not allowed to charge extra for the $15,000 operation in Maryland–are having to make up the difference when selling policies elsewhere.   I suspect that liberal states will be more generous in mandating coverage, with conservative states requiring fewer services unless consumers pay for them.  That will mean people in liberal states will get more comprehensive health care coverage at a lower cost than those in conservative states, which will also have to foot the bill for the liberals’ generosity! [Read more...]

Self-interest vs. ideology

Is it better in the realm of politics to stand on principle or to pursue self-interest?  Most of us would probably say the former.  But Robert J. Samuelson argues that self-interest is superior, even morally, to following an ideology, which breeds conflict, governmental paralysis, and the demonization of opponents.

Mr. Samuelson shows that the left and the right are both fixated on ideology and that their rhetoric and tactics are pretty much identical to each other.  After the jump, you can see how he makes his case. [Read more...]

The government is shut down

Lawmakers were unable to come up with a compromise to keep the federal government open, so it’s shut down.  “Essential” government functions, such as those affecting national security, will continue.  (I know, I know. . . Why is the government doing things that aren’t essential?)  But lots more offices will shut their doors.  Most discussion has to do with the number of federal employees who won’t get paid.  But there are also the considerable number of private companies that the government owes money to who are going to get stiffed.  Since the federal government is the nation’s biggest employer and biggest spender, the economy is going to take a hit.  After the jump, a list of what stays open and what gets shut down.

What do you think will happen now?  How long will this last?  How can it be resolved without either side giving in?  Might the general public support a government shutdown this time?

[Read more...]