By Michael Hoexter
The electoral competition between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney seems to be largely over and barring an “October Surprise” for Mr. Obama, the attention now shifts to how he and the newly elected Congress will manage the US federal government. The composition of that Congress matters somewhat though there is surprising unity between the two major parties on the goal of neutering the federal government’s ability to help state governments and the larger economy through pro-active fiscal policy. Mr. Obama’s listless first debate performance has added suspense but so many factors seem to be now weighing in his favor that it would require substantial efforts at self-sabotage or a sharp pre-election slump in the economy for Mr. Obama to lose. Recent favorable job numbers suggest that the latter will not happen and the former is up to Mr. Obama and his own determination to be President for a second term or not.
By Robert E. Prasch
Over the past couple of years there has been considerable back-and-forth over what has been accomplished by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA). While a short post cannot survey the entirety of this multifaceted law, several elementary confusions have been repeated in public discussions and should be addressed in the interest of clarification. The most urgent of these is to point out that, despite the Act’s (deliberately misleading?) title, it addresses neither the practice of medicine nor its cost. At most a government-sponsored institute has been authorized to find and make suggestions. The Act, then, is not about making health care affordable, but an effort to make health-care insurance affordable – a related but separate topic. To understand the implications of this, we must consider the business of health insurance.
By June Carbone
Mitt Romney has been going around telling newspaper editorial boards that the Affordable Care Act is redundant, that – to quote him in the Central Ohio Dispatch – “you go to the hospital, you get treated, you get care; and it’s paid for, either by charity, the government or by the hospital.” (10/11/12 Ohio Dispatch) Over the last few days, Paul Krugman and Nick Kristof have pointed out that limiting health care to emergency room visits already means that people die unnecessarily. It’s just that when they are not the Harvard roommates of New York Times columnists no one except their families notices. Continue reading