In the Greeley Tribune, Linda Gorman writes:
Some Colorado legislators have shown impeccable timing in seeking to exacerbate the problem. Sen. Irene Aguilar, D-Denver, and Rep. Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City, have introduced Senate Bill 016, which would force the closure of already existing freestanding emergency rooms unless they are owned by a hospital. SB 016 provides an exemption for emergency rooms more than 25 miles from a licensed hospital. Given the geographic structure of the Front Range corridor, however, the practical effect of the bill would be to give hospitals monopoly control of all emergency facilities. …
Colorado’s hospitals are big businesses. As the bill to close competitive emergency rooms shows, they would rather outlaw competitors than outproduce them. Colorado legislators need to remember that handing hospitals a monopoly over freestanding emergency rooms does not serve the best interests of their constituents. It will increase health care costs while reducing health care access, and increase the pain for ordinary citizens already suffering from Obamacare cost increases.
More: Gorman: Senate Bill 016 a boost to health care cronyism in Colorado | GreeleyTribune.com.
Thomas Sowell writes:
One of the problems with so many discussions of income and wealth is that the intelligentsia are so obsessed with the money that people receive that they give little or no attention to what causes money to be paid to them in the first place. …
Yet when the intelligentsia discuss such things as the historic fortunes of people like John D. Rockefeller, they usually pay little — if any — attention to what it was that caused so many millions of people to voluntarily turn their individually modest sums of money over to Rockefeller, adding up to his vast fortune.
What Rockefeller did first to earn their money was find ways to bring down the cost of producing and distributing kerosene to a fraction of what it had been before his innovations. This profoundly changed the lives of millions of working people.
More: The Inequality Bogeyman | National Review Online.
More by Sowell on income & wealth inequality.
John R. Graham writes:
This result is important for anticipating the consequences of ObamaCare. About half of the 30-plus million people expected to get health insurance under ObamaCare will be enrolled in Medicaid, not private health insurance. Already, the Administration asserts that four million new Medicaid enrollees have signed up via ObamaCare (but this estimate has been questioned).
Nobody should be surprised: Despite politicians’ assertion that Medicaid coverage increases the likelihood of using primary care, rather than an ER, the evidence points clearly to the contrary. For example, in Massachusetts, ER use soared by 17 percent two years after Gov. Romney’s law mandating insurance coverage came into effect.
Read more: Least Surprising Health Research Result Ever
See also “Medicaid Expansion Drives up Visits to ER,” Wall Street Journal, January 2, 2014.
Peter Suderman at Reason:
At this point, the White House has backed off so many of its own definitions of success that it’s not clear what would constitute a failure. The administration seems to be defining Obamacare success if it continues to exist.
More: The Administration’s Continually Shifting Standards for Obamacare’s Success – Hit & Run : Reason.com.
From an excellent post by John C. Goodman:
After John Templeton renounced his citizenship and moved to Nassau where there is no income tax, the federal government imposed penalties — to discourage other wealthy people from doing the same thing. That was because the government wants to tax them. But when a wealthy person expatriates, the distribution of income and wealth becomes more equal. Should we reverse course and encourage the John Templetons of this world to get out of town. If equality is a serious goal, we should at least relax the penalties.
Read more: In Defense of Inequality | John Goodman’s Health Policy Blog | NCPA.org.
From the Wall Street Journal:
In many states, an elderly person may own a home valued at $802,000, plus home furnishings, jewelry and an automobile of uncapped value while receiving long-term Medicaid support. In addition, they are allowed to have various life-insurance policies, retirement accounts with unlimited assets, $115,920 in assets for a spouse, income from Social Security, and a defined-benefit pension plan. By most standards, such a household would be considered wealthy.
via Mark Warshawsky: Millionaires on Medicaid – WSJ.com.
via the National Center for Policy Analysis
From the Wall Street Journal:
Thousands of people are cramming in tests, elective procedures and specialist visits before year’s end, seeking out top research hospitals and physician groups that will be left out of some 2014 insurance plans under the new health law, health-care providers say.
Many insurers offering plans under the law are slimming down their networks of doctors and hospitals in a bid to lower the cost of policies, which begin coverage Wednesday.
Health insurers are especially focused on paring academic teaching and research hospitals from their networks because they generally charge more than community hospitals for similar services. …
Some 70% of new plans under the health law offer relatively narrow networks compared with many current plans, according to a recent McKinsey & Co. report.