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The US Military and Climate Change

The military are serious professionals. They care about doing their job well. And when your naval base ends up underwater (Norfolk, VA) that really harms military readiness. The last place you want people ignoring reality is the military. And the military doesn’t ignore reality. They’ve been assessing the impacts of climate change for years, and building it into all their short and long range planning. This is...

RIP

What to call the Ryan health plan? How about Republican Insurance Plan, or RIP for short. Because that is their plan for you if you get sick – RIP. But at least they saved $660 billion to “give back” to people making over $200,000 per year! It’s all about priorities. The Ryan plan takes care of “our people” alright. $660 billion in tax cuts for the wealthy. The 24 million people kicked off...

Kasich on bipartisanship

Today John Kasich published an editorial in the New York Times urging Republicans to reach out to Democrats to fix health insurance, and Democrats to pitch in. It upset a lot of people for the serious spin on history. My comment: This is the kind of simplistic “kumbaya” article that is all the more cynical for it’s intent. It is designed to get people who aren’t paying attention to think that the only...

The structural problem with heath insurance

So here’s the dirty secret about health insurance companies: They don’t really care what the rules of the marketplace are. They are insurance pools. They will price their policies based on whatever it costs to pay out the claims and have a little left over. (Health insurance companies average about 5% profits, FWIW). Change the rules so the pools are full of sick people, and they will adjust prices upwards...

Rep. Burgess puts ideology over people

Speaking of the health insurance of millions of Americans: “If you ask someone to give up something, there will be resentment,” said Representative Michael C. Burgess, Republican of Texas and chairman of the Energy and Commerce subcommittee on health. But, he added, “If that claims my congressional career, so be it. It will be worth it to me to have effected this change.” (NY Times, 3/11/17) I’m not sure if this is the...

Thoughts on Income Inequality

In an article so blind to the obvious that it might as well be willful, The Wall Street Journal opined, “Americans Are Richer Than Ever, But They Don’t Feel That Way: U.S. household net worth is expected to hit another record, but that won’t mean much to most people”. And not once does the article mention income inequality. Boiling the problem down to the simplest example, let me point out that, between us, Bill Gates and I...

Why the GOP has trouble replacing the ACA

Why is the GOP having such trouble with health care? Simple. They talked themselves into opposing their own best plan for health care. You see, back when Bill and Hillary Clinton had a congressional majority and wanted to fix the whole health care thing, Republicans were worried that Democrats might socialize the entire medical industry. So the conservative Heritage Foundation released the very best plan for a market-based...

Health insurance at iPhone prices

Earlier today Representative Jason Chavetz (R-UT) said on CNN: “Americans have choices, and they’ve got to make a choice. So rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and want to go spend hundreds of dollars on that, maybe they should invest in their own health care.” My first thought, “Where do I sign up for the Chaffetz Plan? You know, comprehensive health care for the cost of an...