For over two weeks now, failed retransmission negotiations between AT&T and Nexstar Media Group…
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TV Blackouts Reconfirm Need for Free Market Regulatory Reform

For over two weeks now, failed retransmission negotiations between AT&T and Nexstar Media Group have deprived customers across the United States of 120 Nexstar television stations in 97 markets.

That's unfortunately something to which far too many Americans have become accustomed recently, as 2019 has already witnessed more TV blackouts than any year in history.  And the news only gets worse:  CBS is now warning that stations in numerous major markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas and others, could be blacked out as this week concludes.

Here's the overarching problem.  Current laws dating all the way back to 1992 empower the federal government to pick TV market winners and losers by tipping the scales during negotiations.  Those laws governing what…[more]

July 18, 2019 • 08:58 pm

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ObamaCare’s Higher Premiums, Deductibles Act as Massive Wealth Transfers Print
By Ashton Ellis
Thursday, October 17 2013
At the state level, the health law’s mix of mandates is forcing consumers to pay higher premiums, higher deductibles or both.

With health insurance premiums and deductibles spiraling out of control, ObamaCare is looking more and more like a vehicle for massive wealth redistribution.

It hasn’t been a fun two weeks to be Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Shoddy work by foreign contractors rendered Healthcare.gov, the federal ObamaCare exchange, mostly inoperable since it went online October 1. Error messages and frequent crashes kept the vast majority of users from even creating an account, much less shop for health insurance.

At the state level, the health law’s mix of mandates is forcing consumers to pay higher premiums, higher deductibles or both.

In North Carolina, one family’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield monthly premium went from $380 to $1,124.50, reports the Christian Science Monitor. Adding to the financial squeeze, the plan’s $11,000 deductible remains unchanged.

An analysis by the Chicago Tribune revealed that “21 of the 22 lowest-priced plans offered on the Illinois health insurance exchange for Cook County have annual deductibles of more than $4,000 for an individual and $8,000 for family coverage.”

California’s second-lowest tier of ObamaCare plans comes with a $2,000 annual deductible, according to Bloomberg.com.

For reference, the Internal Revenue Service considers an individual plan to have a high deductible if it is $1,250 or more a year.

Higher deductibles mean higher out-of-pocket spending for policy holders before insurance kicks in. One way ObamaCare supporters have tried to claim victory is to focus attention on the smattering of lower-than-expected premiums in some plans, while ignoring the spike in deductibles across-the-board. But taken as a whole, the appearance of lower premiums in a few plans is dwarfed by the reality that private health insurance is going to be considerably more expensive under ObamaCare.

None of this is surprising given that ObamaCare’s central policy aim is to increase the number of people with health insurance. It does this by mandating young and healthy individuals to participate in the same risk pools as older and sicker people. The benefits of the system flow to the latter group by paying for services the former does not need.

On the other hand, the price spikes are a surprise to many people who believed President Barack Obama when he said – often – that they could keep their doctors and insurance plans, if they wanted to, after ObamaCare was implemented.

Fiscal reality is also causing some to rethink their support for a law they didn’t think they would have to fund.

“I was laughing at [House Speaker John] Boehner,” Californian Tom Waschura told the San Jose Mercury-News, “until the mail came today.” Waschura’s insurance company had sent a letter informing him that his family’s insurance policy would rise by $10,000 a year under ObamaCare.

Waschura continued, “When you take $10,000 out of my family’s pocket each year, that’s otherwise disposable income or retirement savings that will not be going to our local economy.”

Then again, that’s debatable since that extra ten grand is going to help pay for the medical expenses of other people in Waschura’s expanded risk pool. Who is to say that someone in Waschura’s community won’t directly benefit from Waschura’s forced subsidy? Shouldn’t that make Waschura feel more like his money is going to a government-directed charity rather than picked from his pocket?

In the same article, another Golden State resident puts the matter even more simply. “Of course, I want people to have health care,” said Cindy Vinson. “I just didn’t realize I would be the one who was going to pay for it personally.”

As ObamaCare’s costs continue to escalate dramatically across the health insurance industry, millions of Americans will discover that this is precisely how wealth redistribution works.

Question of the Week   
On July 20, 1969, the first man to walk on the Moon was Neil Armstrong, making “one giant leap for Mankind.” Who was the last person to walk on the Moon?
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"Sen. Bernie Sanders is one of the many faces that make up the progressive left within the Democratic Party. He's an unapologetic democratic socialist. He has an economic agenda that would cost us trillions of dollars. And he's staunchly pro-labor union. That is until his campaign staff starts making demands for better pay, right? Yeah, it seems so. The Sanders campaign has unionized and is demanding…[more]
 
 
—Matt Vespa, Townhall.com Senior Editor
— Matt Vespa, Townhall.com Senior Editor
 
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