No Runny Eggs

The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.

Archive for October 23rd, 2009

No Free Lunch

by @ 11:18. Filed under Health Care Reform, Politics - National.

The folks pushing Placebocare are wanting us to believe that other than the $800 Billion or higher increase in the deficit, Placebocare won’t cost anyone another penny to provide all of its wonders.  On it’s face, this doesn’t pass the smell test.  How do you add tens of millions of additional users to a system without increasing costs?  How to you accept all health conditions without increasing costs?  How do you dramatically reduce the ability to rate differently for different health situations without increasing costs…at least on someone?  How, how, how?

The Politico is reporting that another set of Placebocare studies have been done by WellPoint.  While not received directly from WellPoint, Ben Smith has the studies posted on his blog.  Want to see the potential impact of Placebocare on your health insurance premiums?  From the studies posted on Smith’s site:

HEalth costs

Note that these are projections of the increase in health insurance premiums. While they do assume that new taxes on things like hearing aids etc. are passed on via increased health care premiums, it does not include increases in your taxes that will be required to offset the significant increase in the deficit Placebocare will cause.

So, what do we see here?  Well, we see some very basic economic principles being reflected. 

In regular insurance analysis, the amount of risk assumed directly impacts the fees charged to assume that risk.  This principle is why in today’s health insurance, we see young, healthy people being charged significantly less for insurance than older, less healthy people.  Placebocare, like so many other government programs, does not treat people as groups of similarly situated individuals but rather, attempts to treat everyone the same.  The result is clear in the information provided from these studies.

Looking at the result of the studies we see several things.  First, the people or groups who are closest to the blended average of all have the least increase in their insurance costs.  Second, those who typically pay the least amount for their insurance will see dramatic increases in their rates so as to bring them closer to the “norm”.  Finally, we see that those who today, pay the higher premiums, will actually see some reduction in premiums.  Of course in this last case, the reduction in premiums will also come with a reduction in the overall services they receive as this will be the group that feels the required effects of reducing the provision of health care in an attempt to keep Placebocare from completely bankrupting the nation.

Folks, none of this is suprising.  There has never been a government run social program that hasn’t cost dramatically more than budgeted and resulted in increased deficits or costs over time.  Does anyone really think Obama and his acolytes have found a way to break this trend?  If they have, why don’t they focus that pixie dust on Social Security which is the number one problem for long term budget deficits.  Better yet, why don’t they fix Medicare and Medicaid, places where they already have near complete control on benefits and reimbursements?

Through Divine insight or shear luck, the Founding Fathers did not allow for the government to be involved in social programs.  If through insight, perhaps we can learn as every time the government wades into the social economic programs, they become a bigger mess than had it been left alone.  When government gets involved with social economic programs it does not create a “Free Lunch” but it sure as heck will create less liberty and an increase in taxes!

Does A Party Toady Dither In The Media?

That should be answer that replaces “does a bear shit in the woods” as the response to all obvious answers.

In case you haven’t been watching, there is an interesting race shaping up in NY-23.  Dede Scozzafava is the Republican backed candidate, Bill Owens is backed by the Democrats.  Doug Hoffman is running under the banner of the Conservative Party.

While the Republicans have backed, and are providing significant financial support for Scozzafava, there is significant concern not just whether Scozzafava is a conservative but, as the The Jawa Report lays out, wether she shouldn’t actually be running as a Democrat.  On the other hand, there is no doubt about Hoffman’s conservative credentials. 

In a move I’m afraid we will see even more in 2010, the Republican establishment chose to support Scozzafava, the person they believe is “more electable,” than the person, Hoffman, who clearly supports Republican principles.  Who the party is supporting has become so contorted that you have

Fred Thompson, Club for Growth and Bill Kristol on one side, Newt Gingrich, Daily Kos and Michael Steele on another side, and Bill Clinton and Barack Obama on yet another side

One of the things that has been interesting in watching the race is that as it bits conservatives against “the establishment,” non of the purported Presidential hopefuls had taken a position or supported a candidate in this race.  That is they didn’t until yesterday.

Yesterday, Sarah Palin came out in support of Hoffman.  Her reasoning was clear and sound:

Our nation is at a crossroads, and this is once again a “time for choosing.”

Doug Hoffman is committed to ending the reckless spending in Washington, D.C. and the massive increase in the size and scope of the federal government. He is also fully committed to supporting our men and women in uniform as they seek to honorably complete their missions overseas.

Palin goes on to point out the problems with the establishment within the Republican party:

Political parties must stand for something. When Republicans were in the wilderness in the late 1970s, Ronald Reagan knew that the doctrine of “blurring the lines” between parties was not an appropriate way to win elections. Unfortunately, the Republican Party today has decided to choose a candidate who more than blurs the lines, and there is no real difference between the Democrat and the Republican in this race. This is why Doug Hoffman is running on the Conservative Party’s ticket.

Republicans and conservatives around the country are sending an important message to the Republican establishment in their outstanding grassroots support for Doug Hoffman: no more politics as usual.

Another Presidential hopeful was asked yesterday, what his position on NY-23 was.  While he does have positions on the VA and NJ Gubernatorial races, Tim Pawlenty claimed to be unaware of a race that has become an icon for the future of the Republican party:

“You know I haven’t been following that, I haven’t studied the race at all,” he said. “It’s not that I would or wouldn’t, I just don’t know anything about it. I haven’t taken the time to study their positions, their records, so I haven’t taken a position on it.”

Yeah, right, Tim. 

Mark Tim’s response in your note book for the 2012 Presidential campaign.  For all the talk about a Pawlenty Presidential run, it really should be that, just talk.  Pawlenty has been successful in his vow to keep taxes down.  However, on the social side, think George Bush’s passionate conservatism. 

It should be clear to all Republican politicians that the political landscape has shifted.  Running a party under the header of “we’re not the other guys,” is a strategy that will not work in 2012.  A significant portion of what has traditionally been the Republican base are asking for representation that is specifically and concretely committed to the principles of smaller government.  We (I’m one of them) believe that much of the problem with the last few election cycles is that allowing the “electability” factor to outweigh the “principle” factor has brought us a party that is rapidly and consistently brought us to our current state of “Democrat Lite.”

For Pawlenty to miss this opportunity to firmly endorse the candidate who clearly represents the “government = bad” part of the Republican platform, should show to all that he is too beholden to the “status quo” of the Republican machine to be considered a serious candidate for 2012.  

I don’t hold out much hope for a 2012 Presidential run by Pawlenty.  While he’s my Governor and I appreciate his ability to out fox the Democrats and keep a lid on taxes, there are too many times where he has shown that he is just another “Compassionate Conservative.”  If Pawlenty wants to change this image he will need to find sound, principled reasons to vocally buck “the machine.”  If he doesn’t, he’ll end up behind Huckabee and Romney in the “next in line” and behind Palin or someone else as the “True Conservative” on the ballot

The Kenseths come to Oak Creek

by @ 7:23. Filed under Sports.

Author’s note; this is adapted from my two-part report over on the Matt Kenseth Fan Club boards, done at the “request” of the board’s Crew Chief Rae.

Since I am a Matt Kenseth fan, and Matt, his father Roy and his son Ross decided to come down to Oak Creek to help celebrate the re-opening of the Oak Creek Farm and Fleet store (helped by the fact F&F is Ross’ main sponsor), I decided to brave the rain and the traffic to meet them and get an autograph and a few pictures. The pics from the “good” camera are up on my Flickr account, while the early ones from the “smart”phone went up on Twitpic.

Even though I live a few minutes from the Farm and Fleet, I got there late thanks to the same traffic that held up the Kenseths. The parking lot was completely full, and I ended up parking on a side street a few-minute walk in the rain from the store. That rain also limited the outdoor display to the hauler and the DeWalt show car.

Because I was late, I didn’t get a ticket, at least initially. However, I got extremely lucky when somebody who somehow had an extra ticket had his cell phone die on him, and he asked me to message him a pic. Because it is easier for me to send it via e-mail, I did that instead (and it also allowed me to let him know about the full set).

Since that extra ticket was in the last few of the 400 to get tickets, I decided to grab a couple of crowd-related shots. The shot of the night was a young fan up on the table between Matt and Ross. Everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY with a camera was taking pictures of that.

Matt and Ross with a young fan
Do click on the pic for the standard Flickr sizing options, including the gonzo-sized one

One of the hardest shots to get was Ross’ trophy collection. The line to get autographs went right past it. Something I did leave out of the MKFC report was the spotty cell coverage; the indoor coverage from AT&T ranged from the Edge network to no data coverage at all, which isn’t good when trying to upload 600K-sized pics.

Eventually, my number group got called, so I got into line. I ran into somebody who drove in from Iowa and also got in a bit too late to get a ticket. He heard from one of the Farm and Fleet employees that even though Matt and Ross were a bit late in getting in, they would try to stay a bit later after all 400 ticket-holders were taken care of to sign some more autographs.

I got all the way in and handed my hat, which I picked up at the Miller Lite Nationals this year to ward off the rain, to Roy. He found the one part that isn’t black and signed it. He then passed it to Ross, who found a silver Sharpie and put his signature on it. Meanwhile, I handed my 2007 Carhartt race-won diecast to Matt to sign. Ross, forgetting that there was a one-item-per-driver limit, handed my hat to Matt, and he also signed that.

I briefly talked to Matt about what might have been had he had more cars like the Charlotte one a couple months earlier, and he’s looking forward to getting a win or two out of the rest of the season. I had to head to a meeting to which I was already rather late, so I don’t know whether the gentleman from Iowa who got in a bit late was able to get something signed. Before I left, however, I decided to give DeWalt one last plug with the signed souvenirs since Farm and Fleet was so kind to have a DeWalt display.

The night's booty
Again, click on the pic for the standard Flickr range of sizes.

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