Jots with dots 11/17

I have gas: Gassed up this morning at $2.75/gal, and it was under $30 for a tank (I do the smart thing, and drive a car that’s thrifty to operate). Anywho, remarkably cheap these days for everyone, and perhaps worthy of more conversation were it not representative of a failure for the Obama administration. Fair to say when they came into power they at least vaguely wanted to ‘be like Europe’ with their $8/gal gas. Thank you, North Dakota. Thing about North Dakota is hardly none of that land is visually attractive enough to have spurred past administrations into designating it into park land. Very scrubby country, certainly where the oil is.

This is pretty fair

Watched Ferris Bueller this weekend with the kids. Very interesting to watch it with educated, adult eyes. Ben Stein does about a minute on the Laffer curve. That was obviously a bit of wry commentary from both Stein and John Hughes. Not your typical move fare then or now.

Gruber-gate. We’re up to 9, I think. 6, I think, is an acknowledgement by Gruber that with the Cadillac tax pegged to inflation and not medical inflation, it will in the years coming after 2018 be brought to be bear on most everyone who has employer insurance. The predictable result will be that employers reduce the value / expenditure of their health insurance benefits, with no doubt an eye toward eliminating health benefits entirely. Little white lie / lack of transparency that was done to move the ball. Too many recalcitrant stupid people who would object to taking away their employer insurance so they could be thrown onto the exchanges where insurance would generally be diminished vs. their premiums and they would subsidize or be subsidized depending on their incomes. Now, you may believe noble lies are OK or you may not, but I think it’s inarguable that the turd the American people got for this lie doesn’t justify it. As significantly diminished insurance for the middle class to cover a few people, Obamacare wasn’t worth the lie. And ya know, it won’t stand. In the popular narrative, Obamacare is commonly understood as a pack of lies. Cadillac tax won’t ever be imposed. President Obama may not repeal it, but President Rand or President Hillary will. A Democrat president like Hillary in particular will be forced to.


6 thoughts on “Jots with dots 11/17

  1. pm1956

    Regarding your gas…you need to give Obama credit–the price of gas has gone way down under his administration/ I found it at $2.61/gallon today! I credit his Middle East policies for this. This was, of course, something that Romney tried to get Obama for–the rising price of gas (
    how the worm turns…. (and of course, before that, there is always a candidate blaming another candidate for the price of gas–at least when it goes up. No one seems to get much credit when it goes down. The fact that this tactic seems to work show the gullibility of the voters–did I just pull a Gruber? Or was that Romney pulling a Gruber?).

    I saw the article by Reihan, and also thought it was good. Misleading and he left quite a few things out, but a huge improvement over the normal stuff from the right. Nice to see a conservative criticizing Obamacare without foaming at the mouth. But then there was this:

    Which i think goes a long way to making the point that Obamacare is, frankly, working. It is doing what it promised to do, with cost savings, lower health care inflation, etc.

    And, frankly, your final point is wrongheaded. Most employers are going to want to drop employee health insurance. This is something that they offer because they have to offer it–and because they have used it to hoodwink their employees. It served as a form of “glue”, keeping people in their jobs because they needed medical coverage. changing jobs became risky.

    many US corporations that had significant overseas competitors, however, felt that employer provided healthcare was a huge competitive advantage. I had conversations with Big 3 auto company execs who felt that US auto exports dove in the 1980’s beacuse of the cost of health insurance (their overseas competitors didn’t have to pay this–government provided. They estimated that this put them at a 30% price disadvantage).

    bottom line is that the ACA will help the economy, make it more competitive, less distorted, and help to contain health care costs.

    1. W.E. Peterson Post author

      I understand how backwards it is to have employer provided health insurance, but I’m a little peeved the value of this benefit is going to be diminished with no remuneration on the cash / income side, and that the exchange plans are going to be more expensive and pay out less in the name of cost savings. Ya know, almost exactly the opposite the President promised.

      My instinct is very populist here, my sense is the middle class – me and others – are going to get screwed.

      Peeved with that and the lie after lie that was mouthed pass it.

      1. pm1956

        My plan is significantly less than the cost of the plan i had before, and the coverage is identical–and a lower deductible as well! And the cost went down–just got the renewal in the mail the other week.

        Of course, I was already buying my plan “out in the market”. no employer coverage for me. And no, i do not qualify for any subsidies.

        That said, I do think that a large part of the reason my MNSure plan was less expensive was that I was able to go on the website and comparison shop pretty easily–something that was extremely difficult to do before. I think that that prior inability to easily comparison shop was something that the insurers built into the system, and the ACA has imposed some basic standards so that now i can compare apples to apples. Markets only work if consumers can really compare prices, and insurers did everything they could to make that difficult before.

  2. pm1956

    And, what about net neutrality? this is one I don’t know a lot about, although i have to tell you that Comcast is evil.


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