Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thoughts on Discussing Health Care Policy with Those Who Favor ObamaCare

An interesting, brief conversation today with a relative who supports the PPACA (a.k.a. ObamaCare.) This individual also happens to be a physician, and someone I admire for his great compassion for others.

One of his concerns was that prior to the law, people with pre-existing conditions were unable to get insurance.

I don't do very well in short, on-the-spot conversations (how can I briefly explain that our current system of pre-payment for medical care by third party payers is not actually insurance?) but I do think about them later so if the issue ever rises again, I will be better prepared to respond. Here's a bit of retrospective my thinking.

If someone supports ObamaCare because of a sense of concern about the disadvantaged, a key point for me to make is that being compassionate is also a value for me-- BUT, I do not view coercion as compassionate. One of my primary goals is that we as a nation or a community find solutions to life's challenges that preserve a standard of voluntary interaction and that never condone any initiation of force.

In regards to pre-existing conditions and insurance, I wish I had said: you can not and will not help people who are sick by destroying the insurance industry, which is what the legal requirement to cover pre-existing conditions will do.

Coercion is not compassionate
The good is destroyed when you abandon voluntary interactions in favor of force.


Who'll Really Benefit from Net Neutrality Regulation?

Back in 1913, President Woodrow Wilson noted: "If the government is to tell big business men how to run their business, then don't you see that big business men have to get closer to the government even than they are now? Don't you see that they must capture the government, in order not to be restrained too much by it?"

In other words, all the wishful thinking in the world isn't going to change the fact that any government agency or process big enough to control a major sector of our economy will be prone to influence by those most affected by it. ..
These men understood that consumer welfare was better served by innovative, competitive markets than by captured regulators, who talked a big game about serving "the public interest" but who were typically busy stifling innovation and market entry.

So where are "these men" who can understand that this also holds true for health care, especially the new ACO's, insurance and pharmaceutical companies, etc.

Read more in "Who'll Really Benefit from Net Neutrality Regulation?" by by Adam Thierer, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

HT Paul Hsieh on FB.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

2094 of the reasons the US is broke.

410Department of Health and Human Services
226Department of Agriculture
217Department of the Interior
170Department of Education
125Department of Justice

Last updated December 22, 2010

CFDA contains detailed program descriptions for 2,094 Federal assistance programs. The above chart shows the program distribution for the top five issuing agencies.

Is a man capable of sustaining his own life?

The Federal Government and all those who have supported these programs don't seem to think so. That's why there are now 2094 federal government assistance programs.

I won't take the time to type in all the programs as I did for the state of California. If you are interested, you can access the full list here.


HT Small thoughts for a Complex World

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Mandate Must GO

Quote of the Day:

or as Robert Tracinski put it in TIA Daily:

The vicious irony of the Commerce Clause is that it is invoked, not to "regulate commerce" but to wipe it out, to replace it with its antithesis, coercion.

That is particularly true of the individual mandate, which uses "commerce" as a rationalization to require an action that is pure coercion, an act that would not happen at all if it were not forced. This is not "commerce" any more than getting mugged on a street corner is "commerce."


Friday, December 17, 2010

Tax/Pork Bill Passes

Ryan makes a great point: It's not their damn money!
The government needs to cut spending and let us keep our own money. An "unintended side effect" of recognizing our fundamental right to our own property is that this action will also "grow the economy"--but the primary point is still: it's not their damn money!

The idea of letting taxes go up even for a few weeks is nauseating, but in spite of Ryan's good arguments, it probably would have been better to wait until January when a cleaner (e.g. more principled) bill could be written. But, it's too late for that now.

The tax bill "compromise" passed yesterday. Not all Republicans were in favor of this bill--and for very good reasons. This particular bill has LOTS of problems (extends benefits for the unproductive, chock full o' pork, reduces taxes on employees but not employers which may very well cause MORE unemployment, etc.,etc.)

Here's what Jim DeMint had to say in an email before the vote:

For starters, it includes approximately $200 billion in new deficit spending and stimulus gimmicks. That's a lot of money that will have to be borrowed from China and repaid by our children and grandchildren. If we're going to increase spending on new programs, we must reduce other spending to pay for it.

The bill also only extends rates for two years. We don't have a temporary economy so we shouldn't have temporary tax rates. Individuals and businesses make decisions looking at the long-term and we're not going to create jobs without giving people certainty as to what their taxes will be in future.

The bill also fails to extend all of the tax rates. It actually increases the death tax from its current rate of zero percent all the way up to 35 percent. One economic study shows that this tax increase alone will kill over 800,000 jobs over the next ten years.

Finally, the bill now includes dozens of earmarks for special interests, including ethanol subsidies, tax breaks for film and television producers, give aways for Puerto Rican rum manufacturers, favors for auto racing track owners, and a hand out for businesses in American Samoa

Let's hope in January congress has the votes (and the cojones) to reverse some of these provisions--and then get serious about spending cuts.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Proper Meaning of "Stakeholder"

Another excellent video clip posted on Ideas Matter---only Max Border's response to this clip was different than mine. He comments on how the excellent concept of "stakeholder" has been perverted into including special interest groups and rent seekers rather than remaining limited to those legitimately involved in private, voluntary economic transactions.

When I viewed this clip, my response was: what an excellent explanation of the harmony of self-interests which is the essence of free enterprise.

What's your response?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Art of Persuasion

I came across this video at Ideas Matter.

The video in and of itself is great.

And then I read the rest of the post which is on the art of persuasion.

Sometimes you have to prime someone's heart to increase the odds that their mind will let in your idea.

Short. Sweet. Things to think about for those of us interested in making changes in this world.


Friday, December 10, 2010

More on California

One businessman's rational response to the California welfare state:

I Opt-out of California

The Legislative Analyst's Office says California will have an additional $6.1 billion shortfall in the current fiscal year reaching $25.4 billion next year. Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor says the state faces deficits of $20 billion each year through 2015.

"Unless plans are put in place to begin tackling the ongoing budget problem, it will continue to be difficult for the state to address fundamental public-sector goals -- such as rebuilding aging infrastructure, addressing massive retirement liabilities, maintaining service levels of high-priority government programs and improving the state's tax system," the report said.

How did California voters respond to this fiscal irresponsibility in November? They rewarded the Democratic Party with every elected office from Governor to Insurance Commissioner, and returned Barbara Boxer to the US Senate.

And he's not alone:

California Companies Moving Away or Shifting Work Out Reaches New Record: 158
(for 2010 alone)

Or if you like pictures:

More can be found here.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

519 Reasons Why California is Broke


* California Academic Performance Index (API)

* California Access for Infants and Mothers

* California Acupuncture Board

* California Administrative Office of the Courts

* California Adoptions Branch

* California African American Museum

* California Agricultural Export Program

* California Agricultural Labor Relations Board

* California Agricultural Statistics Service

* California Air Resources Board (CARB)

* California Allocation Board

* California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority

* California Animal Health and Food Safety Services

* California Anti-Terrorism Information Center

* California Apprenticeship Council

* California Arbitration Certification Program

* California Architects Board

* California Area VI Developmental Disabilities Board

* California Arts Council

* California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus

* California Assembly Democratic Caucus

* California Assembly Republican Caucus

* California Athletic Commission

* California Attorney General

* California Bay Conservation and Development Commission

* California Bay-Delta Authority

* California Bay-Delta Office

* California Biodiversity Council

* California Board for Geologists and Geophysicists

* California Board for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors

* California Board of Accountancy

* California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology

* California Board of Behavioral Sciences

* California Board of Chiropractic Examiners

* California Board of Equalization (BOE)

* California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection

* California Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind

* California Board of Occupational Therapy

* California Board of Optometry

* California Board of Pharmacy

* California Board of Podiatric Medicine

* California Board of Prison Terms

* California Board of Psychology

* California Board of Registered Nursing

* California Board of Trustees

* California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians

* California Braille and Talking Book Library

* California Building Standards Commission

* California Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education

* California Bureau of Automotive Repair

* California Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair

* California Bureau of Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation

* California Bureau of Naturopathic Medicine

* California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services

* California Bureau of State Audits

* California Business Agency

* California Business Investment Services (CalBIS)

* California Business Permit Information (CalGOLD)

* California Business Portal

* California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency

* California Cal Grants

* California CalJOBS

* California Cal-Learn Program

* California CalVet Home Loan Program

* California Career Resource Network

* California Cemetery and Funeral Bureau

* California Center for Analytical Chemistry

* California Center for Distributed Learning

* California Center for Teaching Careers (Teach California)

* California Chancellors Office

* California Charter Schools

* California Children and Families Commission

* California Children and Family Services Division

* California Citizens Compensation Commission

* California Civil Rights Bureau

* California Coastal Commission

* California Coastal Conservancy

* California Code of Regulations

* California Collaborative Projects with UC Davis

* California Commission for Jobs and Economic Growth

* California Commission on Aging

* California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers Compensation

* California Commission on Judicial Performance

* California Commission on State Mandates

* California Commission on Status of Women

* California Commission on Teacher Credentialing

* California Commission on the Status of Women

* California Committee on Dental Auxiliaries

* California Community Colleges Chancellors Office, Junior Colleges

* California Community Colleges Chancellors Office

* California Complaint Mediation Program

* California Conservation Corps

* California Constitution Revision Commission

* California Consumer Hotline

* California Consumer Information Center

* California Consumer Information

* California Consumer Services Division

* California Consumers and Families Agency

* California Contractors State License Board

* California Corrections Standards Authority

* California Council for the Humanities

* California Council on Criminal Justice

* California Council on Developmental Disabilities

* California Court Reporters Board

* California Courts of Appeal

* California Crime and Violence Prevention Center

* California Criminal Justice Statistics Center

* California Criminalist Institute Forensic Library

* California CSGnet Network Management

* California Cultural and Historical Endowment

* California Cultural Resources Division

* California Curriculum and Instructional Leadership Branch

* California Data Exchange Center

* California Data Management Division

* California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission

* California Delta Protection Commission

* California Democratic Caucus

* California Demographic Research Unit

* California Dental Auxiliaries

* California Department of Aging

* California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs

* California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Appeals Board

* California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control

* California Department of Boating and Waterways (Cal Boating)

* California Department of Child Support Services (CDCSS)

* California Department of Community Services and Development

* California Department of Conservation

* California Department of Consumer Affairs

* California Department of Corporations

* California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

* California Department of Developmental Services

* California Department of Education

* California Department of Fair Employment and Housing

* California Department of Finance

* California Department of Financial Institutions

* California Department of Fish and Game

* California Department of Food and Agriculture

* California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF)

* California Department of General Services

* California Department of General Services,

* Office of State Publishing

* California Department of Health Care Services

* California Department of Housing and Community Development

* California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR)

* California Department of Insurance

* California Department of Justice Firearms Division

* California Department of Justice Opinion Unit

* California Department of Justice, Consumer Information, Public Inquiry Unit

* California Department of Justice

* California Department of Managed Health Care

* California Department of Mental Health

* California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)

* California Department of Personnel Administration

* California Department of Pesticide Regulation

* California Department of Public Health

* California Department of Real Estate

* California Department of Rehabilitation

* California Department of Social Services Adoptions Branch

* California Department of Social Services

* California Department of Technology Services Training Center (DTSTC)

* California Department of Technology Services (DTS)

* California Department of Toxic Substances Control

* California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)

* California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVets)

* California Department of Water Resources

* California Departmento de Vehiculos Motorizados

* California Digital Library

* California Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Certification Program

* California Division of Apprenticeship Standards

* California Division of Codes and Standards

* California Division of Communicable Disease Control

* California Division of Engineering

* California Division of Environmental and Occupational Disease Control

* California Division of Gambling Control

* California Division of Housing Policy Development

* California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement

* California Division of Labor Statistics and Research

* California Division of Land and Right of Way

* California Division of Land Resource Protection

* California Division of Law Enforcement General Library

* California Division of Measurement Standards

* California Division of Mines and Geology

* California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA)

* California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources

* California Division of Planning and Local Assistance

* California Division of Recycling

* California Division of Safety of Dams

* California Division of the State Architect

* California Division of Tourism

* California Division of Workers Compensation Medical Unit

* California Division of Workers Compensation

* California Economic Assistance, Business and Community Resources

* California Economic Strategy Panel

* California Education and Training Agency

* California Education Audit Appeals Panel

* California Educational Facilities Authority

* California Elections Division

* California Electricity Oversight Board

* California Emergency Management Agency

* California Emergency Medical Services Authority

* California Employment Development Department (EDD)

* California Employment Information State Jobs

* California Employment Training Panel

* California Energy Commission

* California Environment and Natural Resources Agency

* California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA)

* California Environmental Resources Evaluation System (CERES)

* California Executive Office

* California Export Laboratory Services

* California Exposition and State Fair (Cal Expo)

* California Fair Political Practices Commission

* California Fairs and Expositions Division

* California Film Commission

* California Fire and Resource Assessment Program

* California Firearms Division

* California Fiscal Services

* California Fish and Game Commission

* California Fisheries Program Branch

* California Floodplain Management

* California Foster Youth Help

* California Franchise Tax Board (FTB)

* California Fraud Division

* California Gambling Control Commission

* California Geographic Information Systems Council (GIS)

* California Geological Survey

* California Government Claims and Victim Compensation Board

* California Governors Committee for Employment of Disabled Persons

* California Governors Mentoring Partnership

* California Governors Office of Emergency Services

* California Governors Office of Homeland Security

* California Governors Office of Planning and Research

* California Governors Office

* California Grant and Enterprise Zone Programs HCD Loan

* California Health and Human Services Agency

* California Health and Safety Agency

* California Healthy Families Program

* California Hearing Aid Dispensers Bureau

* California High-Speed Rail Authority

* California Highway Patrol (CHP)

* California History and Culture Agency

* California Horse Racing Board

* California Housing Finance Agency

* California Indoor Air Quality Program

* California Industrial Development Financing Advisory Commission

* California Industrial Welfare Commission

* California InFoPeople

* California Information Center for the Environment

* California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (I-Bank)

* California Inspection Services

* California Institute for County Government

* California Institute for Education Reform

* California Integrated Waste Management Board

* California Interagency Ecological Program

* California Job Service

* California Junta Estatal de Personal

* California Labor and Employment Agency

* California Labor and Workforce Development Agency

* California Labor Market Information Division

* California Land Use Planning Information Network (LUPIN)

* California Lands Commission

* California Landscape Architects Technical Committee

* California Latino Legislative Caucus

* California Law Enforcement Branch

* California Law Enforcement General Library

* California Law Revision Commission

* California Legislative Analyst's Office

* California Legislative Black Caucus

* California Legislative Counsel

* California Legislative Division

* California Legislative Information

* California Legislative Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Caucus

* California Legislature Internet Caucus

* California Library Development Services

* California License and Revenue Branch

* California Major Risk Medical Insurance Program

* California Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board

* California Maritime Academy

* California Marketing Services

* California Measurement Standards

* California Medical Assistance Commission

* California Medical Care Services

* California Military Department

* California Mining and Geology Board

* California Museum for History, Women, and the Arts

* California Museum Resource Center

* California National Guard

* California Native American Heritage Commission

* California Natural Community Conservation Planning Program

* California New Motor Vehicle Board

* California Nursing Home Administrator Program

* California Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board

* California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board

* California Ocean Resources Management Program

* California Office of Administrative Hearings

* California Office of Administrative Law

* California Office of AIDS

* California Office of Binational Border Health

* California Office of Child Abuse Prevention

* California Office of Deaf Access

* California Office of Emergency Services (OES)

* California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment

* California Office of Fiscal Services

* California Office of Fleet Administration

* California Office of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Implementation (CalOHI)

* California Office of Historic Preservation

* California Office of Homeland Security

* California Office of Human Resources

* California Office of Legal Services

* California Office of Legislation

* California Office of Lieutenant Governor

* California Office of Military and Aerospace Support

* California Office of Mine Reclamation

* California Office of Natural Resource Education

* California Office of Privacy Protection

* California Office of Public School Construction

* California Office of Real Estate Appraisers

* California Office of Risk and Insurance Management

* California Office of Services to the Blind

* California Office of Spill Prevention and Response

* California Office of State Publishing (OSP)

* California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development

* California Office of Systems Integration

* California Office of the Inspector General

* California Office of the Ombudsman

* California Office of the Patient Advocate

* California Office of the President

* California Office of the Secretary for Education

* California Office of the State Fire Marshal

* California Office of the State Public Defender

* California Office of Traffic Safety

* California Office of Vital Records

* California Online Directory

* California Operations Control Office

* California Opinion Unit

* California Outreach and Technical Assistance Network (OTAN)

* California Park and Recreation Commission

* California Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST)

* California Performance Review (CPR)

* California Permit Information for Business (CalGOLD)

* California Physical Therapy Board

* California Physician Assistant Committee

* California Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services

* California Policy and Evaluation Division

*California Political Reform Division

* California Pollution Control Financing Authority

* California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

* California Postsecondary Education Commission

* California Prevention Services

* California Primary Care and Family Health

* California Prison Industry Authority

* California Procurement Division

* California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS)

* California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB)

* California Public Utilities Commission (PUC)

* California Real Estate Services Division

* California Refugee Programs Branch

* California Regional Water Quality Control Boards

* California Registered Veterinary Technician Committee

* California Registrar of Charitable Trusts

* California Republican Caucus

* California Research and Development Division

* California Research Bureau

* California Resources Agency

* California Respiratory Care Board

* California Rivers Assessment

* California Rural Health Policy Council

* California Safe Schools

* California San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission

* California San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy

* California San Joaquin River Conservancy

* California School to Career

* California Science Center

* California Scripps Institution of Oceanography

* California Secretary of State Business Portal

* California Secretary of State

* California Seismic Safety Commission

* California Self Insurance Plans (SIP)

* California Senate Office of Research

* California Small Business and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Certification Program

* California Small Business Development Center Program

* California Smart Growth Caucus

* California Smog Check Information Center

* California Spatial Information Library

* California Special Education Division

* California Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Board

* California Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR)

* California Standards and Assessment Division

* California State Administrative Manual (SAM)

* California State Allocation Board

* California State and Consumer Services Agency

* California State Architect

* California State Archives

* California State Assembly

* California State Association of Counties (CSAC)

* California State Board of Education

* California State Board of Food and Agriculture

* California Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO)

* California State Children's Trust Fund

* California State Compensation Insurance Fund

* California State Contracts Register Program

* California State Contracts Register

* California State Controller

* California State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD)

* California State Disability Insurance (SDI)

* California State Fair (Cal Expo)

* California State Jobs Employment Information

* California State Lands Commission

* California State Legislative Portal

* California State Legislature

* California State Library Catalog

* California State Library Services Bureau

* California State Library

* California State Lottery

* California State Mediation and Conciliation Service

* California State Mining and Geology Board

* California State Park and Recreation Commission

* California State Parks

* California State Personnel Board

* California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

* California State Railroad Museum

* California State Science Fair

* California State Senate

* California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science (COSMOS)

* California State Summer School for the Arts

* California State Superintendent of Public Instruction

* California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS)

* California State Treasurer

* California State University Center for Distributed Learning

* California State University, Bakersfield

* California State University, Channel Islands

* California State University, Chico

* California State University, Dominguez Hills

* California State University, East Bay

* California State University, Fresno

* California State University, Fullerton

* California State University, Long Beach

* California State University, Los Angeles

* California State University, Monterey Bay

* California State University, Northridge

* California State University, Sacramento

* California State University, San Bernardino

* California State University, San Marcos

* California State University, Stanislaus

* California State University (CSU)

* California State Water Project Analysis Office

* California State Water Project

* California State Water Resources Control Board

* California Structural Pest Control Board

* California Student Aid Commission

* California Superintendent of Public Instruction

* California Superior Courts

* California Tahoe Conservancy

* California Task Force on Culturally and Linguistically Competent Physicians and Dentists

* California Tax Information Center

* California Technology and Administration Branch Finance

* California Telecommunications Division

* California Telephone Medical Advice Services (TAMS)

* California Transportation Commission

* California Travel and Transportation Agency

* California Unclaimed Property Program

* California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board

* California Unemployment Insurance Program

* California Uniform Construction Cost Accounting Commission

* California Veterans Board * California Veterans Memorial

* California Veterinary Medical Board and Registered Veterinary Technician Examining Committee

* California Veterinary Medical Board

* California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board

* California Volunteers

* California Voter Registration

* California Water Commission

* California Water Environment Association (COWPEA)

* California Water Resources Control Board

* California Welfare to Work Division

* California Wetlands Information System

* California Wildlife and Habitat Data Analysis Branch

* California Wildlife Conservation Board

* California Wildlife Programs Branch

* California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs)

* California Workers Compensation Appeals Board

* California Workforce and Labor Development Agency

* California Workforce Investment Board

* California Youth Authority (CYA)

* Central Valley Flood Protection Board

* Center for California Studies

* Colorado River Board of California

* Counting California

* Dental Board of California

* Health Insurance Plan of California (PacAdvantage)

* Humboldt State University

* Jobs with the State of California

* Judicial Council of California

* Learn California

* Library of California

* Lieutenant Governors Commission for One California

* Little Hoover Commission (on California State Government Organization and Economy)

* Medical Board of California

* Medi-Cal

* Osteopathic Medical Board of California

* Physical Therapy Board of California

* Regents of the University of California

* San Diego State University

* San Francisco State University

* San Jose State University

* Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy

* State Bar of California

* Supreme Court of California

* Teach California

* University of California

* University of California, Berkeley

* University of California, Davis

* University of California, Hastings College of the Law

* University of California, Irvine

* University of California, Los Angeles

* University of California, Merced

* University of California, Riverside

* University of California, San Diego

* University of California, San Francisco

* University of California, Santa Barbara

* University of California, Santa Cruz

* Veterans Home of California

Don't forget to figure in all the pension costs.

(HT Ol' Al via jd on OActivists google group)