This Is What Democrats Do

Obama’s latest budget is a joke and an insult to the American people. If Harry Reid allows it to reach the floor it will be voted down like last year: 97-0.

Republicans in the House are passing budgets and bills.

Obama is passing the buck.

He’d raise tax rates and cut defense spending while expanding spending in every other area. This is a broken record.

The recent flap involving the Catholic Church and contraception etc. shows exactly what Obamacare is all about. We all lose our freedom when we hand over the health care and insurance business to bureaucrats. Now we are being told that pregnancy is a preventable illness. Do they read their own press releases? The Democrats simply run around declaring that one thing or another will be free of cost. There is no such thing. This is childish and ignorant.

The free market isn’t a bunch of “greedy capitalists” ripping us off without repercussions. The free market is about OUR freedom to choose. In that system businesses compete for our money — just like Apple and Microsoft compete for our computer and technology business. Things get better and cheaper for us while the corporations make money. There are profits and jobs — not subsidies and scandals like Solyndra.

The GOP needs a coordinated message that explains that to the voters and shows how Republicans will be distinctly different than the incompetents in charge now.

Obama and the Democrats are attempting the same controlled-economy nonsense that has failed every single time it has been forced on a population. The Soviet Union is only the most infamous example.

We are at a point where we need strong leadership to push bold policies that repeal and reverse most of this. We’ve been sliding toward socialism since FDR and the main difference now is that quicker pace. We’re at multiple tipping points. We’re broke and facing a real economic catastrophe.

If Mitt Romney wants to win the election he needs to understand that the President is not the CEO of America. You cannot micro-manage the economy–you can only set it free.

Pat Duggan

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Unhappy Anniversary

So here we are a year after they “passed” the Obamacare bill; a giant leap toward a socialist health care system in the US. Now that we “know what’s in it”, 55% favor repeal. A year ago the same Rasmussen poll had 53% favoring repeal-so we haven’t significantly moved the needle. This is unacceptable; an utter failure of Republican leadership.

Where should we be? The past year should have been used to educate the electorate. It is not too late. How should we shape the debate? Here’s some key points that need to be hammered home. It’s worth noting that Mitt Romney is NOT the right messenger to deliver this message.

Health care is not a right. If a politician doesn’t understand this they need to study their Constitution. Health care is a combination of goods and services produced by hard working people in a market. No one has a right to someone else’s labor-or the fruits thereof. Only with that clarification can we move on to an intelligent discussion on how to put incentives in place to increase the supply of these goods and services, thereby meeting demand and driving down price. Eliminating the FDA would be a good place to start.

Insurance is a risk management tool for managing unplanned events. It works well for insuring against car accidents, home fires, burglaries and floods etc. The government, through the tax code and myriad mandates, began distorting the health insurance market decades ago to the point that it is no longer functioning. A few simple steps backwards and we can restore sanity. People will come to understand that just like food and housing, health care-especially maintenance-is a basic necessity, and one they need to budget for. There is no free lunch.

The GOP needs to be the party that admits that government does not make things cheaper. There is a very obvious reason that everyone has a cell phone in their pocket, when just a few years ago they were big and expensive-but not everyone has health insurance. If we unleash the same free-market forces that drive innovation in technology markets we can fix this mess.

Pat Duggan

Published in: on March 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm  Comments (3)  
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GOP Can Bring REAL Health Care Reform

The Republicans have a golden opportunity to take command of the health care debate right now. The news is full of announcements from companies large and small that they will not be offering health insurance anymore. LINK

These are the first symptoms of Obamacare syndrome.

This was the transparent plan all along. Insurance companies were enticed to support the bill via the notion that we’d all be forced to buy insurance. Phase two was when it became so expensive that paying the small fine became preferable. Now they are being given exemptions.  I am still shocked that an industry based on mathematical calculations could be tricked so easily. Do Insurance executives even read the Wall Street Journal?

This is the perfect time to launch legislation designed to bring portability to the health insurance market. One of the key problems in America is that our health insurance is tied to our jobs. This began decades ago as a way to reward employees while avoiding draconian tax policies.It also began the process of converting routine medical maintenance into insurance issues, thus blurring the lines between health care and health insurance.

Job based insurance leads to situations where the status of our health insurance is as uncertain as our employment-no small thing when the unemployment rate hovers near an official 10%, and certainly higher by other more accurate measures.

We need to enter into longer-term insurance contracts. The longer you’ve been in your plan the less likely it is that you will have to fight over a “pre-existing condition.” I am all for enforcing contracts when already-insured people get sick. Insurance companies cannot be allowed to drop you because you make a claim-but when the argument shifts to forcing insurance companies to accept people that are already sick then we need to stop and restore sanity.

There are lots of inaccurate analogies but the “buying car insurance after the accident” comparison is accurate. When Republicans state that the one facet of Obamacare they want to keep is the forcing of insurance companies to accept already sick people it becomes clear that they too do not understand very basic issues of economics. This doesn’t help anyone. In fact it makes it harder to fix something that really does need to be fixed.

If we can bring about portability by making it easier for individuals to buy their own insurance-and make repairs to the tax code at the same time-we win. If we can bring about some tort reform and open up competition across state lines we can actually start to bring prices down. If we can expand the use of Health Savings Accounts (HSA’s), we can reduce the bureaucracy that increases costs and wastes time. These alternatives have already been tested and proven to work by companies such as Whole Foods.

This is the way to switch from the “party of no” to the party with reality-based solutions to problems created through years of market distortions brought about by misguided government interference.

Pat Duggan

Published in: on October 27, 2010 at 8:46 am  Leave a Comment  
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The GOP’s Missed Opportunity

The election is a week away and the GOP is poised to grab a whole lot of seats. They will almost certainly seize a majority in the House and will draw close in the Senate. It would take a minor miracle to pull that off, but you never know.

So it appears that they have done well with a basic “We’re not them / we voted against Obamacare” strategy but what did they miss?

They missed a chance to set America straight on what really caused the market disruptions and the key role that liberal housing policy played. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and CRA are all scandals that need attention still. And yes, I wish they’d start quick enough to throw a wrench in the gears of the Rahm Emanuel campaign.

Will they take on this mission after the mid-terms? I suggest they do. If we don’t clarify the causes we will not be able to prevent more of the same.

Pat Duggan

The Health Care Debate Continues

The holiday is over and our great country has survived another year. How many more will depend on our ability to reign in our out-of-control government and get our fiscal house in order. Social Security and Medicare have combined unfunded liabilities of more that ONE HUNDRED TRILLION DOLLARS. Before we can even begin to deal with those numbers it is essential that we acknowledge how these monsters got this big and then stop adding to the problem by expanding the government’s reach into the health care markets. Willful ignorance of basic math is a continuing problem for voters and politicians alike.

Debt clock link

It has been my goal with this blog to advance debate among the left, right and middle of the political spectrum. To get anywhere on this we must admit when the opposing view is supported by hard facts. At a holiday BBQ  I found myself once again discussing politics with a left-of-center friend. Health care was mentioned. My friend tossed out a liberal buzzword commonly invoked here: “for-profit insurance companies.”  Now I had a choice to make. Did I get sidelined on a new topic and go into the benefits of profits and their absolute necessity in all industries-or why he expected those in the  medical profession to forgo profits while he was allowed generate them in his construction business-or focus on health care? I chose to attack a core misconception that has made coming to agreement impossible. I mentioned that the profit margins of the top health care insurance companies was between 3% and 4%. Remove their profits and we still have a big cost problem.

This is covered here: LINK and here: LINK

My friend refused to accept these figures so I refused to discuss it further. He can read this blog or look for the figures himself.  This is a big problem that seems common to many on the left. They are unable to deal with facts that contradict their world view. When confronted with figures that dispute their global warming theories they just retort that they must be propaganda from “big oil”.

I don’t expect anyone to accept my claims blindly but if you are going to argue a point then you should be willing to back it up and be ready to concede if you realize you are wrong. These can be uncomfortable moments-or truly liberating. A big part of my political awakening was driven by the discovery that much of what I’d been told was just false. As I embraced new ideas the energy flowed as things that had made no sense started clicking into place. Economics is like that.

Obamacare was shoved through without bipartisan or popular support. It was and is a convoluted bill that will drive the cost of care up while making rationing a certainty. It will cause a large number of doctors to leave medicine earlier than they had planned and force many future doctors to reconsider that field due to the mismatch of current education costs and expected future compensation. It did not address some of the core causes of rising costs like tort reform, defensive medicine,  insurance mandates and Medicare fraud. The list goes on.

Here’s a breakdown of what the bill will do if not repealed:

LINK

There is an underlying sense of inevitability when congress passes laws-or when the Supreme Court rules. But laws are repealed and even the Supreme Court has reversed itself recently on McCain Feingold and Kelo vs. New London, albeit too late to prevent real damage to personal property and freedom.

It is up to us and a new GOP or third party to hammer home these basic facts and save our health care system from socialized destruction.

Pat Duggan

Published in: on July 6, 2010 at 3:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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