Posts Tagged ‘health care’

I’ve tried to start this a couple times, and each time I fail miserably.

I read a lot throughout the week, and some of it is often worth sharing with others.

I recently got annoyed with how much time I was wasting on Facebook on my phone, so I went nuclear the other day and uninstalled Facebook, Facebook Pages Manager, and Messenger. Sorry Zuck… Not surprisingly, I found some significant time that allowed me to try and do this again.

You’ll find some of the most thought provoking or important articles I read in the last 7 days. With each article I’ve tried to copy a quote that gives you an idea of what’s there or something that really stood out to me. There may be a few comments prior to the article about why I decided to include it. You’ll find a link to the article after the quote.

I hope you find something below that will challenge your thinking.

Missouri Related

A taxpayer subsidized MLS stadium during a pandemic? Why not? Really bad ideas are all the rage these days… Sigh…

I’m continuously fascinated at how few Missourians know what certificate of need (CON) laws are. I often find that it’s really informed and intelligentt people, too.

You really should because they drive up the cost of health care in our state, and do nothing but benefit existing health care providers.

We simply don’t have anything in Missouri or this country that even remotely resembles a free market health care system, and CON laws are one of the easiest things we could remove that would begin to finally move us in direction of choice. Choice equals more access which equals more competition which equals lower prices.

State Regulations Let Hospitals Literally Veto New Competition. Here’s How To Change That.

“Americans spend more on health care now than ever before, and so-called certificate of need laws (or CON laws) are part of the reason why.”

Certificate-of-Need Laws: Implications for Missouri

“Missouri remains among the 36 states, along with the District of Columbia, that continue to limit entry and expansion within their respective health care markets through certificates of need. On average, states with CON programs regulate 14 different services, devices, and procedures. Missouri’s CON program currently regulates 14 different services, devices, and procedures, the same as the national average. As figure 1 shows, Missouri’s certificate-of-need program ranks the 21st most restrictive in the United States….

…While CON programs were intended to limit the supply of health care services within a state, proponents claim that the limits were necessary to either control costs or increase the amount of charity care being provided. However, 40 years of evidence demonstrate that these programs do not achieve their intended outcomes, but rather decrease the supply and availability of health care services by limiting entry and competition. For policymakers in Missouri, this situation presents an opportunity to reverse course and open the market for greater entry, more competition, and ultimately more options for those seeking care.”

Healthcare related…

We need more companies to just grab the bull by the horns and do something different. Interesting thinking from Walmart.

Walmart’s New Clinics Are a Free Market Experiment in Health Care Reform

Most Americans have no clue what the Federal Reserve is and what it does. That ignorance is hands down the greatest threat to the Republic. Pretty much all of our political problems have roots in economic problems, and the Fed us doing its level best to make those economic problems worse.

This is an outstanding article that lays out what the Fed is doing to all of us no matter our political tribe. And if we don’t wake up, the harm is just going to get worse.

How the Fed Wrecks the Economy

“The bottom line is that we can’t “fix” the economy by electing Republicans or Democrats. We can’t put the country on sound economic footing by tweaking this or that policy in Washington D.C. The only way to put the economy on a sound footing is to deal with the root cause of the problem — the Federal Reserve and its constant meddling. As long as the Fed controls the monetary system, there will never be a “free market” in America. The central bankers always have their fingers on the economic scales.”

And yes, the Fed is making our current situation far worse by enabling terrible politicians to enact even more terrible “solutions”.

Massive Stimulus May Boost Inflation The Wrong Way: Stagflation

It’s hard to really describe this next one, but it’s absolutely brilliant and comes from one of my favorite sites that comments on markets, society, and politics: Epsilon Theory. They look at the market and society through the lens of game theory and narrative.

Trust me, you won’t regret reading it

The Elton/Hootie Line

“When we transform our interactions into Competition Games, it doesn’t just mean that we’re mean and yelling at each other all the time. It also means that optionality disappears. Degrees of freedom disappear. Creativity disappears. Diversity disappears. True risk-taking disappears. More of our decisions are optimized toward cartoons, abstracted versions of reality. More of our information is based on narratives and memes….

…Trump, on the other hand … I think he breaks us. Maybe he already has. He breaks us because he transforms every game we play as a country — from our domestic social games to our international security games — from a Coordination Game to a Competition Game.

You can disagree about whether Donald himself is responsible. You can say he was an inevitable outcome of a prior defection in the Stag Hunt by a now almost entirely left-wing news media and academy. That’s maybe a little bit closer to my personal view. It doesn’t matter now. Whatever the proximate cause, the volume of our political discourse has been cranked to 11….

…What’s important is recognizing that the concepts of volume and the compression are linked. When you turn up the volume and make politics existential, you will ALWAYS limit the range of feasible views. You will ALWAYS end up with more institutional paralysis. You will ALWAYS make policy compromises far more difficult. You will ALWAYS constrain the emergence of good new ideas.

As with music, as with politics, the higher volume environment has created a tendency toward compression. What does that mean in this context? It means that when language becomes more extreme, when society becomes more polarized, narratives take on a more dominant role in defining and framing news coverage...

But in most – not all, but most – of the battles we will fight today and in the future, this is what victory will look like: the creation of a sustainable, opt-in world for people who want to be free from a life in which we are obliged to invest our passion, treasure and energy in cartoons. In other words: epistemic communities.

I’m not religious at all, and I often find religious history fascinating. This is an interesting one…

Big Gods Came After the Rise of Civilizations, Not Before, Finds Study Using Huge Historical Database

“One of the earliest questions we’re testing is whether morally concerned deities drove the rise of complex societies. We analysed data on 414 societies from 30 world regions, using 51 measures of social complexity and four measures of supernatural enforcement of moral norms to get to the bottom of the matter. New research we’ve published in the journal Naturereveals that moralising gods come later than many people thought, well after the sharpest rises in social complexity in world history. In other words, gods who care about whether we are good or bad did not drive the initial rise of civilisations – but came later.”

College is growing more worthless by the year, and I thought more people were figuring that out before Covid. I have two college degrees, but in hindsight they were mostly worthless, really expensive societal stamps. I did what every good child of the 80s and 90s was supposed to have done, take out a bunch of loans and waste 4+ years of my life finding myself. At least I finally found myself, years after my college experience.

Personally, I hope Covid causes irreparable harm to the way colleges currently operate and deliver content. There has been more harm done to our society by “educated” elites, and it just gets worse by the day. It also wouldn’t be a bad thing some of them went broke and laid off a few social justice warrior professors.

And it looks like my hopes may become reality…

After Coronavirus, Colleges Worry: Will Students Come Back?

“In mid-March, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the outlook for higher education from stable to negative, predicting that institutions with strong endowments and cash flow, like Harvard or Stanford, would weather the virus, while smaller ones would not.”

I have wide reading interests. One of my favorite writers is an economist/investment analyst named John Mauldin. I try to stay up on his email newsletter as much as possible. If you want some brain candy, I highly suggest you subscribe. Anyway, I thought this few paragraph excerpt from one of his emails was worth your reading. The world is going to significantly change, and it is my opinion that the average TV watching, sports-loving, debt is just part of life person is going to be in for changes that I don’t think they are ready for.

The first transformational theme that I see is the emerging failure of multiple major governments around the world to fulfill the promises they have made to their citizens. We have seen these failures at various times in recent years in “developed countries”; and while they may not have impacted the whole world, they were quite traumatic for the citizens involved. I’m thinking, for instance, of Canada and Sweden in the early ’90s. Both ran up enormous debts and had to restructure their social commitments. Talk to people who were involved in making those changes happen, and you can still see some 20 years later how painful that process was. When there are no good choices, someone has to make the hard ones.

I think similar challenges are already developing throughout Europe and in Japan and China, and will probably hit the United States by the end of this decade. While each country will deal with its own crisis differently, these crises are going to severely impact social structures and economies not just nationally but globally. Taken together, I think these emerging developments will be bigger in scope and impact than the credit crisis of 2008.

While each country’s crisis may seemingly have a different cause, the problems stem largely from the inability of governments to pay for promised retirement and health benefits while meeting all the other obligations of government. Whether that inability is due to demographic problems, fiscal irresponsibility, unduly high tax burdens, sclerotic labor laws, or a lack of growth due to bureaucratic restraints, the results will be the same. Debts are going to have to be “rationalized” (an economic euphemism for default), and promises are going to have to be painfully adjusted. The adjustments will not seem fair and will give rise to a great deal of societal Sturm und Drang, but at the end of the process I believe the world will be much better off. Going through the coming period is, however, going to be challenging.

“How did you go bankrupt?” asked Hemingway’s protagonist. “Gradually,” was the answer, “and then all at once.” European governments are going bankrupt gradually, and then we will have that infamous Bang! moment when it seems to happen all at once. Bond markets will rebel, interest rates will skyrocket, and governments will be unable to meet their obligations. Japan is trying to forestall their moment with the most breathtaking quantitative easing scheme in the history of the world, electing to devalue their currency as the primary way to cope. The US has a window of time in which it will still be possible to deal with its problems (and I am hopeful that we can), but without structural reform of our entitlement programs we will go the way of Europe and numerous other countries before us.

The actual path that any of the countries will take (with the exception of Japan, whose path is now clear) is open for boisterous debate, but the longer there is inaction, the more disastrous the remaining available choices will be. If you think the Greek problem is solved (or the Spanish or the Italian or the Portuguese one), you are not paying attention. Greece will clearly default again. The “solutions” have so far produced outright depressions in these countries. What happens when France and Germany are forced to reconcile their own internal and joint imbalances? The adjustment will change consumption patterns and seriously impact the flow of capital and the global flow of goods.

This breaking wave of economic changes will not be the end of the world, of course – one way or another we’ll survive. But how you, your family, and your businesses are positioned to deal with the crisis will have a great deal to do with the manner in which you survive. We are not just cogs in a vast machine turning to powers we cannot control. If we properly prepare, we can do more than merely “survive.” But achieving that means you’re going to have to rely more on your own resources and ingenuity and less on governments. If you find yourself in a position where you are dependent upon the government for your personal situation, you might not be happy. This is not something that is going to happen all of a sudden next week, but it is going to unfold through various stages in various countries; and given the global nature of commerce and finance, as the song says, “There is no place to run and no place to hide.” You will be for ced to adjust, either in a thoughtful and premeditated way or in a panicked and frustrated one. You choose.


Read the whole piece over at Mauldin Economics.

Is the IRS targeting Tea Parties?

From that extreme right-wing news organization the New York Times: Obama is using the Espionage Act ‘to silence and prosecute federal workers.’

The Obama administration, which promised during its transition to power that it would enhance “whistle-blower laws to protect federal workers,” has been more prone than any administration in history in trying to silence and prosecute federal workers.

Obama administration will cut health care benefits for active and retired US military.

3 prominent economists warn of economic 9/11. It’s not a bad idea to consider disaster preparedness. You don’t have to go crazy, but some small amount of food storage, guns, ammo, water, etc. does not hurt you.

NY-26 Democrat Representative Kathy Hochul demonstrates that she cares nothing about the constitution.


Internal Homeland Security memo says that the Occupy movement might get violent. Gee, you think?

Gallup: 72% think the individual mandate is unconstitutional.