Government Shutdown and Obstruction of Justice

Obstruction of justice can include crimes committed by judges, prosecutors, attorneys general, and elected officials in general.

Obstruction of justice is an attempt to interfere with the administration of the courts, the judicial system or law enforcement officers, including threatening witnesses, improper conversations with jurors, hiding evidence, or interfering with an arrest.

This is how Congress is acting. The Affordable Health Care Act was passed into law by the House and Senate and signed by the President. The Supreme Court ruled that the law was constitutional. President Obama was reelected by a large margin in the 2012 election. Those in congress who are trying to block the implementation of the law are obstructing justice and should be treated accordingly. If this is not obstruction of justice what is?

It is time our congress grow up and stop acting like a kid on a school playground. The law was legally passed, the Supreme Court issued an opinion that the law is constitutional and it is time to move on. In our country the government is “of the people, by the people and for the people”. If you don’t like what the government is doing elect a new one. That is how our system works.

The Shackles of Obama

Obama has been evolving, some would say growing, since his election in 2008. I have voted for every President since 1968 and he is the first Democratic Presidential nominee receiving my vote. I did so as much for who the Republicans nominated as I did because I thought Obama would make a good President. I still do not regret voting for him. His evolution was required because of his lack of experience in governing, managing, horse trading and his nature to be reserved.

This inexperience cost us. I really believe after his inauguration in 2009, when Michelle and he went to bed, he turned to her and said, “Damn, what do I do now?” I also believe he was under tremendous pressure from the ghost of Ted Kennedy to get something passed on health care. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid got the same pressure from the same ghost.

The health care agenda cost the country dearly; not in terms of what was eventually passed, but rather in the time, energy and emotions of the country that it sucked up. I believe we needed health care reform, however I would have done it differently by creating more competition in the industry including going across state lines. He should be open to some amendments but his own party would revolt. It would be good if the GOP helped him on this issue by making it part of the grand bargain on debt.

It is time for Obama to take off these shackles and be who he is: a man with a brilliant mind, a good set of morals who knows what he wants to do. Well; JUST DO IT! No more Mr. Nice Guy!!

Health Care And Free Markets

Nobel laureate George J. Stigler discussed how regulation was “…designed and operated primarily for…” the benefit of the industries being regulated. and as a result could use the regulation for their advantage. Stigler’s conclusion was  “Every industry should be either effectively competitive or socialized.” Health care is one of the industries where free markets do not work.

Health care is an industry where the receiver of services, the patient, does not directly pay the provider, the doctor, for services rendered. A third party, an insurance company,  pays for the service and therefore the consumer is not as vigilant as he normally is when making a buying decision . The patient does not aggressively shop for the best care at the most affordable price in the market place because no money is coming directly from his pocket..

A trickle down affect of the disconnect between who is receiving the service and who is paying for it also negatively affects  the cost of drugs and other goods and services used by the doctor to cure the patient. The drug companies are able to buy business from the health care profession by giving lavish vacations and other benefits to members of the medical profession, raise the price of the good or service provided and neither the patient or doctor cares because it is passed on to the insurance company and added to the cost of the insurance premiums….More

Results of Ryan Plan

Although unsaid, and not proven, the Ryan plan anticipates that the cost of health care will be less under his voucher plan because the patient will have skin in the game and use his vouchers more wisely.

The flaw under the voucher system is each individual will need to buy the best insurance he can with the voucher and then we are back in the same boat. What the health industry charges for its services and how often the services are used are back in the hands of the providers, with the cost covered by the insurance companies.

The cost of insurance will then rise faster than the value of the voucher and health will decline.

The Declaration of Independence says “… that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The question is are wealthier Americans deserving of a healthier, longer life than the less wealthy? If we are a nation believing in basic Judeo/Christian values the answer is no.

Update: August 22, 2011: Here is a good comparison of proposed Medicare plans.

Health Insurance And Free Markets

“Why doesn’t the market work here? Ken Arrow explained it all half a century ago. Patients by and large don’t have the information to evaluate medical treatments; in any case, they mainly buy insurance rather than medical care directly; and insurers profit not by providing the most cost-effective care, but by trying to insure people who won’t need care.” Paul Krugman. Ron Wyden, Usefull idiot, New York Times, December 17, 2011

The market does not work because it is not free. In addition, it is not properly regulated. In many states one health insurance company, not always the same one, controls over 80% of the market. This is not a free market. Further, the industry needs better regulating.
Free markets exist to help meet the needs of society. It is not societies responsibility to meet the needs of free markets. Adjust the regulations of the industry to have the same criteria that medicare has to cover their clients. 
Free Markets need to be regulated for the good of society. One regulation not used today is anti-trust laws. This is not happening because the oligopolies controlling some of our markets are buying off our politicians. This must end and here is how to do it.  More: