12 October 2009

09 October 2009

So's how's Healthcare reform working for Massachusetts

Short answer - not good.

A few highlights - but read the whole thing:
 Massachusetts has all the goodies in the Baucus bill:  subsidies, guaranteed issue, community rating, an individual mandate, and employer penalties.  Indeed, the Massachusetts program is probably to the left of where we're going to end up, on things like empowering the exchanges to negotiate with insurance companies and the size of the penalties for failing to procure insurance, two measures which are supposed to be critical for holding costs down.

And health-care costs have continued to grow rapidly. According to a Rand Corporation study this year, the growth now exceeds state GDP by 8%. The Boston Globe recently reported that state health-insurance commissioners are now worried that medical spending could push both employers and patients into bankruptcy, and may even threaten the system's continued existence. 

But why can't we be like Europe?
It's no good saying that well, we should try to be more like the Netherlands--you can't build a system on the assumption that you will, suddenly and for no apparent reason, be able to import someone else's political culture. 

and finally:
Progressives are watching the whole health care legislative process with utter dismay as it produces a monster of a bill that not even its mother could love--and trying to love it anyway, on the grounds that it's a start.  But this ridiculous hodgepodge, this hypertrophied Rube Goldberg apparatus, is not some startling aberration of the political process, induced by some Republican dark magic.  This is the kind of thing the American political system produces.  This is why all of our programs have a substantial element of the inexplicable and bizarre. 

02 October 2009

Hard to argue with this

We've got the worst political class in American history, and its rottenness is pretty thoroughly bipartisan.

01 October 2009

Why aren't we researching ways to remove excess CO2?

That makes more sense to me than trying to reconfigure the entire world energy structure ...
Governments are doing practically nothing to study the removal of carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere, but this technology could be a much cheaper form of climate protection than photovoltaic cells and other approaches getting lavish support, according to an article published today in Science.