Two Years Ago Today


How’s Obamacare workin’ out for you?

Homeopathic Economics

Originally posted on 30 July, 2012

Homeopathy is a form of quackery that bases medical treatment on the idea that stuff which makes well people sick will make sick people well. Obamacare is, among its many faults, a form of homeopathic economics.

Consider the effect of the Medical Device Excise Tax on unemployment. It’s a basic principle of economics that if you tax something, you’ll get less of it. That’s one of the justifications for the taxes on tobacco products. So if we tax medical devices, we should expect that the demand for them will go down (to the extent that it is elastic) or that manufacturing will contract because of the increase cost (to the extent that demand is inelastic) creating shortages. Either way, the costs to consumers go up and the need for employees at device manufacturers goes down.

Only an economic homeopath would think that doing something that kills jobs in a good economy will expand employment in a weak economy.

Oh, and the tax has the effect of raising the cost to consumers for medical devices. Again, only an economic homeopath would believe that increasing the cost of goods saves money.

Is it November yet?

Ebola


Tom Clancy wrote a novel about ebola used as a biological warfare weapon. As Mary Katherine Ham writes, we may be on the verge of seeing what happens if the virus moves into a densely populated area. Lagos, a city with more than 20 million people, has now had a case.

Dr. Kent Brantly is an American physician who has contracted ebola while treating patients in Africa. He is there working with Samaritan’s Purse.

VA Healthcare


John Fund takes a look at government run healthcare as typified by the VA and other single-payer systems.

The veterans’ hospital scandals now in the news in the United States show just how bad things can get when the pressure of patient demand and waiting lists affects bureaucratic behavior.

The efficiency of the Post Office and the bedside manner of the IRS maybe a best-case scenario for Obamacare.

Read the whole thing.

It’s the Economy, Stupid


The latest polls show that just under half of the public sees the economy as the number one issue in the country. Some leftwing pundits are trying to seize on that as proof that Obamacare will fade as an issue as the election draws near.

Sure. Obamacare has had no effect on anyone’s having hours cut back to less than 30 per week. It’s had no effect on any small business deciding not to hire a 50th employee. And no one has had to replace the healthcare they liked with something more expensive. Or drop coverage because it was no longer affordable. Yep. Those definitely aren’t economic issues.

Let it burn.

Obamacare Website Security NOT


Reuters is reporting that the government has failed to implement critical security fixes on the healthcare dot gov website.

David Kennedy, head of computer security consulting firm TrustedSec LLC, told Reuters that the government has yet to plug more than 20 vulnerabilities that he and other security experts reported to the government shortly after HealthCare.gov went live on October 1.

Hackers could steal personal information, modify data or attack the personal computers of the website’s users, he said. They could also damage the infrastructure of the site, according to Kennedy, who is scheduled to describe his security concerns in testimony on Thursday before the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.

Read the whole thing, and let it burn.

Walmart or Obamacare?


The Washington Examiner has a post up comparing the heath plans offered by Walmart to its employees to what’s available under Obamacare. A Walmart employee gets a much better deal.

Both plans require high deductibles, but Walmart’s is less than half Obamacare’s, and the difference between premiums and services offered is staggering. Under the Walmart plan, a family of four pays $160 a month compared to around $1,000 for Obamacare. That cheaper premium buys access to hospitals like the Mayo Clinic or the Cleveland Clinic that don’t participate in Obamacare. It buys access to specialists who don’t participate in Obamacare. For example, in the Chicago there are 28 hospitals who will take Obamacare patients and 54 who accept the Walmart plan; there are just under 10,000 doctors available under Obamacare and over 24,000 who work with the Walmart plan.

Remember, the promise was better services at lower cost.

Let it burn.

Having a Baby on Obamacare


The pregnancy and delivery seem to be covered, but the new child isn’t. The insurance company is supposed to add the child to the policy, but …

Your family is now larger, so your premium goes up. But your subsidy might go up also. You’ll have to report the change to the government, but the system isn’t set up to process such changes.

Oh, if you move to another state or county, everything may change too. But the system isn’t set up to process changes.

Changing jobs? You’ll need to report that too, but the system isn’t set up to process changes.

Lost your job and now on unemployment? You’ll need to report that, but …

Let it burn.

Last Year’s Top Medical Stories


Here are the two top medical stories that Hogewash! talked about in 2013—

2. The Obamacare Website Will Be Managed by a Microsoft Executive What could go wrong? (20 December)

Your Healthcare Personal Assistant

Obamacare_Clippy.001Sigh.

1. Globalpharma Dot Biz Goes Dark The website on an overseas server that supported several websites associated with Brett Kimberlin and that offered commonly abused prescription drugs such as Ambien without a prescription closed down after a series of posts on Hogewash!. (18 October)

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

The Gentle Readers who have been following The Saga of The Dread Pirate Kimberlin lo these many months may remember posts about a website called globalpharma dot biz. This was a site for a company that appeared to have a physical presence in Arizona but whose website was hosted in Holland on the same server as the Kimberlin-related off-shore sites. It’s name server was unmaskedhosting dot com, a domain apparently owned or controlled by Brett Kimberlin. globalpharma dot biz offered to sell me Schedule IV prescription drugs for sale with no prescriptions required.

When I checked yesterday afternoon, the website was missing.globalpharma_miaA bit of digging turned up this interesting information about the domain’s name server history.

globalphama_ns

Change of ownership?

Hmmmmm.

UPDATE—Here’s a couple of interesting thoughts that popped up while reviewing The Dread Pirate Kimberlin’s RICO suit against me. Neither it nor the state lawsuit he has filed mention any of my writing about globalpharma dot biz.

Also, there’s an interesting coincidence in the timing of globalpharma dot biz going dark. It happened around the time the RICO suit was being drafted and filed. I wonder if a review of 18 USC 1961 had anything to do with the site going down?

As used in this chapter—

(1) “racketeering activity” means (A) any act or threat involving murder, kidnapping, gambling, arson, robbery, bribery, extortion, dealing in obscene matter, or dealing in a controlled substance or listed chemical (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act), which is chargeable under State law and punishable by imprisonment for more than one year; … (D) any offense involving fraud connected with a case under title 11 (except a case under section 157 of this title), fraud in the sale of securities, or the felonious manufacture, importation, receiving, concealment, buying, selling, or otherwise dealing in a controlled substance or listed chemical (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act), punishable under any law of the United States …

HHS, Obamacare, and PR


James Taranto takes note of the Department of Health and Human Services discovering that it has a PR problem and that its internal staff can’t seem to keep the big bosses informed about what the public is saying about them.

So the agency that presumes to control your medical care isn’t even competent enough to read the newspapers and summarize their content–and they’re turning to the private sector for help. Oh well, it could be worse. With this crowd, it’s a wonder they’re not calling on Congress to enact “comprehensive media reform.”

Let it burn.

Schadenfreude


More rubes self-identify.

Money quote:

It is not lost on many of the professionals that they are exactly the sort of people — liberal, concerned with social justice — who supported the Obama health plan in the first place. Ms. Meinwald, the lawyer, said she was a lifelong Democrat who still supported better health care for all, but had she known what was in store for her, she would have voted for Mitt Romney.

Let it burn.

TANSTAASFL!


That’s the First Law of Thermodynamics—There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch!

Of late, I’m seeing more references to the Obama Administration as “lawless,” and it certainly has a record of disobeying its own signature law as it tries to implement Obamacare. But no matter how hard they try to bend or break the fundamental Laws of Nature, there ain’t no such thing as free healthcare either.

Someone has to pay: hence, the various redistributive schemes to try to finance the program. Jonathan Cohn has a piece over at TNR titled Yes, Obamacare is Redistribution—But Republicans Are Wrong About Who Pays. He tries to show how the money to fund the scheme (more than $2 trillion over the next decade) will be raised. Most of the sources make little real-world economic sense. For example, Medicare providers will summarily be short-changed $415 billion on their compensation for the goods and service they provide. The logic behind this is that it gives providers with an incentive to become more efficient by being paid less rather than deciding to get a better paying job or start a more profitable business. Yeah, that’ll work.

The truly stupid ideas in the Obamacare financing scheme are the fees to be imposed on the healthcare industry such as the medical device tax. This adds a violation of Second Law of Thermodynamics which says that every system operates with some increase in entropy. The $165 billion dollars of increased cost to the system will never be recovered when the real world results of the program are viewed as a whole. Even an economy as large as ours won’t be able to hide the loss.

If your think healthcare is expensive now, just wait till it’s “free.”

Let it burn.

Potemkin Healthcare


Potemkin Websites All The Way Down is the headline on Ed Driscoll’s post at PJ Media about the Obamacare IT disaster.

I’m not sure that’s accurate. If enough layers are shoveled away, we may find something more like the Battleship Potemkin with a crew that refuses to eat the rotten meat.

Let it burn.