Friday, February 28, 2020

Will it be Orange Clown vs. Pink Clown

I'm with Bernie on the war in Iraq (though he did authorize Bush to go into Afghanistan with a pretty open ended bill and that was bad see 1 below), but he seems to have some Marxists ideas that I do not like. 

He talks about jailing bankers, compares drug co. executives to murders, calls for criminally prosecuting fossil fuel co. executives etc. which is #MoreLikeTheUSSRThanDenmark. And national rent control which is #MoreLikeVenezulaThanDenmark.  

Also he talks about rights to healthcare rather than providing healthcare being the charitable thing to do. Rights that require the labor of others are not really rights. The danger of such rhetoric is, rights are defended with violence.  On top of that, what level of healthcare (more than half or the expensive stuff doesn't work)? (See: herehere and here: ). In his mind, do I have any right at all to the money I acquired if I earned it honesty through free exchange?
He also heaped praise on the USSR and Venezuela, which indicates a level naivete.  

I'm afraid that the election will be between the Orange Clown (Trump) and the Pink clown (Bernie).

(1) Sanders supported Bill Clinton’s war on Serbia, voted for the 2001 Authorization Unilateral Military Force Against Terrorists (AUMF), which pretty much allowed Bush to wage war wherever he wanted, backed Obama’s Libyan debacle and supports an expanded US role in the Syrian Civil War.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Healthcare Compromise Updated Again

This is my new compromise between advocates of government provided health insurance and those against. My earlier version may have had a flaw incentive wise so I am changing it. This version moves close to that put out by the Niskanen Center see here.

The state would provide insurance to all Americans but the annual deductible would be equal to 60% of each family’s trailing year adjusted income minus the poverty line income (say $25,000 for a family of 4) + $300. 
Why 60%? Because some research by the Democrats has shown tax revenues are maximized at 70%, meaning most people will not hugely cut back at working at up to a 70% marginal tax and the current top rate in some states is about 50% already. I took the mid point between the two at 60%.
So a family of 4 with a trailing year adjusted income of $30,000 would have a deductible of $5,300 * .6 or $3,180. 
A family of 4 with a trailing year adjusted income of $80,000 would have a deductible of $33,180. 
Middle class and rich people could fill the gap with private supplemental insurance but this should be full taxed. This would encourage the middle class and rich, who are generally capable people, to demand prices from medical providers and might force down costs. They could opt to pay for most health-care out of pocket while the poor often less capable would be protected. 
It is not a perfect plan but it might help. Some deregulation of health-care would also help the poor gain access. The gauntlet that Doctors have to run these days to get to practice seems like an anachronism in today’s world. Let smart people get to practice medicine after on the job training. Let the medical businesses decide who is qualified to practice medicine. 12 years of training to tell if my child has an ear infection is overkill and reduces access to health-care for the poor. It appears that medical care could much cheaper than it is, see here.

Another benefit of my plan is that it would encourage capable Americans (the rich and middle class) to be a counter weight politically against the providers.
Also it seems worthwhile to me to maintain flexibility in the system. Our slightly more freedom oriented medical  systen looks not so great right now because we spend more than the other developed countries but things are still changing and our more flexibility may start to pay off at some point. 
Here are some possible avenues for that flexibility to pay off:
One, all or none of these things might workout and others not mentioned but it is worth maintaining some level flexibility and freedom.   

Here is an article that makes a strong case for a system similar to the one that I propose.  His plan suggests a  insurance for catastrophic events that cost more than, $50,000 combined with a large health savings account.

In addition since Government provided health insurance is paternalism it should provide insurance that experts would recommend and that means among other things insurance that only pays for care that shows a significant margin of cost benefit. So it should not cover procedures that the UK's NHS does not cover. There would be huge savings there.