July 31, 2018

Medicare for All

We're officially on Insta! Did I throw on a blazer at 5 am for all you lovely people? You bet I did!

, requiring historic tax hikes, says a study released Monday by a university-based libertarian policy center.” (AP News)

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The left is encouraged by the study, emphasizing that “while the price tag for the federal government would increase, the total cost of healthcare would go down while also providing healthcare to more than 30 million uninsured Americans.”

Business Insider

“It only seems expensive if you look at its effect on the federal budget alone. Families are already paying money through their insurance premiums. Wouldn’t it be better if there weren’t premiums, and families paid some portion of that money as taxes instead? Then the federal government could use its power to keep health care costs down, which would, in the end, save the families and businesses money, and ensure coverage for all.”

Slate

“Medicare currently covers the most expensive part of the population, seniors and Americans with disabilities. Adding younger people to Medicare would strengthen the system by creating a larger and healthier insurance pool. Furthermore... the plans add dental, vision, and hearing coverage, as well as other important benefit improvements.”

Salon

“The real way single-payer systems save money... [is] through cutting reimbursements to doctors, hospitals, drug companies, and device companies...


Vox

Regarding the deployment of an aircraft carrier and bombers, many note that the US “has a long history of provoking, instigating, or launching wars based on dubious, flimsy, or manufactured threats… The most egregious case was the U.S. invasion of Iraq, in 2003, which was based on bad intelligence that Baghdad had active weapons-of-mass-destruction programs. The repercussions are still playing out sixteen years (and more than four thousand American deaths) later… The sense of foreboding is tangible.”
Robin Wright, The New Yorker

Trump's “goal, it seems, is to put so much pressure on Tehran that it has no choice but to completely change its behavior — but he could end up leading the countries to the brink of war in the process… Now is typically the time when cooler heads prevail, but it’s unclear if there are cooler heads around… It’s hard to overstate how avoidable this situation was.”
Alex Ward, Vox

“In theory, there’s no reason why a bad businessman can’t go on to become a good president. But a commander-in-chief whose signature legislative achievement expanded tax loopholes that he himself describes as grossly unfair is pretty much a bad president, by definition.”
Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

The right sees the study as confirmation that single-payer healthcare would be far too expensive.

The right sees the study as confirmation that single-payer healthcare would be far too expensive.

“The federal government could double individual and corporate income tax revenues and they still wouldn’t have enough to fund Medicare for All on top of the rest of government expenses... The idea sounds good, but the math just doesn’t work. Democrats don’t have a good answer as to why.”

Washington Examiner

“Sanders has been pushing this in the national spotlight for at least three years, and he hasn’t even attempted a serious calculation of its cost? How would he know, then, that Mercatus’ estimate is too high, or even too low? This is what Democratic Socialism requires — demanding government control of economic sectors without knowing what it costs or how it will impact delivery.”

Hot Air

Furthermore, “Mercatus’s methods are actually cautious in a key way, taking at face value the idea that providers will accept Medicare reimbursement rates that are often below the cost of care.” But “it's not clear that this would be sustainable if hospitals could only count on Medicare-level payments. Regardless, hospitals are politically powerful and well-positioned to resist threats to their bottom line in Congress.”

National Review, Newsmax

“Demand for healthcare is pretty much unlimited. Something has to be the limitation upon it. In [Britain], it’s treatment delays... Sweden, that democratic socialist delight, insists upon a copay to see your general practitioner. Near all other systems are some combination of insurance and government subsidies to the poor... Entirely tax-financed, no-copay, excellent, speedy, healthcare for all doesn’t exist anywhere.”

Washington Examiner

Some argue, “It stands to reason that if Kim is willing to starve his own people, deprive his economy of any growth, and pour billions of dollars into missile tech, he will, at some point, develop weapons America and its allies mastered decades ago. And short of an invasion or a diplomatic agreement, under the present circumstances, there is very little we can do to stop him… Taking a hardline approach—what many call the ‘big deal’—or only granting sanctions relief after full denuclearization and the end of Kim’s missile programs is completely impractical and something North Korea would never agree to… only a step-by-step process of disarming Pyongyang, where each side gets a benefit for making a concession, will work.”
Harry J. Kazianis, The American Conservative

Others posit that “the reason Kim is developing missiles that can strike Seattle or LA is that 28,000 U.S. troops are in South Korea… If we cannot persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons in return for a lifting of sanctions, perhaps we should pull U.S. forces off the peninsula and let China deal with the possible acquisition of their own nuclear weapons by Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan…

“After an exhausting two weeks [between North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, and others], one is tempted to ask: How many quarrels, clashes and conflicts can even a superpower manage at one time? And is it not the time for the United States, preoccupied with so many crises, to begin asking, ‘Why is this our problem?’”
Pat Buchanan, Townhall

Counterpoint: “after the War of 1812, President Madison… enacted the Tariff of 1816 to price British textiles out of competition, so Americans would build the new factories and capture the booming U.S. market. It worked. Tariffs [also] financed Mr. Lincoln’s War. The Tariff of 1890 bears the name of Ohio Congressman and future President William McKinley, who said that a foreign manufacturer ‘has no right or claim to equality with our own… He pays no taxes. He performs no civil duties’… [A tariff’s] purpose is not just to raise revenue but to make a nation economically independent of others, and to bring its citizens to rely upon each other rather than foreign entities.”
Patrick J. Buchanan, The American Conservative

A libertarian's take

“The scoop reflects poorly on Trump, who willfully misled the public for a decade in hopes of fraudulently representing himself as a man with a Midas touch. But he could not have succeeded without the assistance of many Americans, some mercenary, others over-credulous, who helped to spread the deceit and deception, generating countless newspaper articles, magazine stories, and TV segments that misinformed the public about the publicity hound’s record in business. New evidence of his staggering losses in that decade therefore provides an apt occasion to reflect on the media’s complicity in Trump’s brazen deceit and deception… Let [this] be a lesson for today’s tabloids, gossip columnists, over-credulous or mercenary journalists, and reality-television producers.”
Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic

On the bright side...

Campaign aims to change borders of Turkish province to Batman logo.

Hürriyet Daily News

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