The U.S. travel technology firm Sabre may not ring an immediate bell, and perhaps you’ve not yet heard…
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On Sabre/Farelogix Merger, DOJ Mustn’t Undertake a Misguided Antitrust Boondoggle

The U.S. travel technology firm Sabre may not ring an immediate bell, and perhaps you’ve not yet heard of its proposed acquisition of Farelogix, but it looms as one of the most important antitrust cases to approach trial since AT&T/Time-Warner. The transaction’s most significant aspect is the way in which it offers a perfect illustration of overzealous bureaucratic antitrust enforcement, and the way that can delay and also punish American consumers. Specifically, the transaction enhances rather than inhibits market competition, and will benefit both travelers and the travel industry by accelerating innovation.  That’s in part because Sabre and Farelogix aren’t head-to-head market competitors, but rather complementary businesses.  While Sabre serves customers throughout the…[more]

January 13, 2020 • 03:53 pm

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New ObamaCare Fissures Emerge, as Stunned Labor Unions Chafe at Higher Costs Print
By Ashton Ellis
Thursday, May 29 2014
With increasing frequency, unions negotiating new contracts across the country are suddenly bristling at the prospect of healthcare costs rising between 5% and 12.5% due to ObamaCare-related mandates...

Pop some popcorn, grab a cold one, sit back and enjoy this emerging spectacle. 

Labor unions were among the strongest and earliest supporters of ObamaCare, and foolishly accepted Nancy Pelosi’s admonition to embrace the law before finding out what was in it.  Now they’re beginning to pay the price. 

With increasing frequency, unions negotiating new contracts across the country are suddenly bristling at the prospect of healthcare costs rising between 5% and 12.5% due to ObamaCare-related mandates such as “Cadillac taxes” levied on generous union healthcare plans, mandatory coverage for “children” up to age 26 and price controls.  Consequently, the question of who will pay those new costs is creating alarm and even more tension in labor/management negotiations.  In Las Vegas alone, the union representing service workers at 90% of the city’s casinos plans to strike on June 1 if outstanding disagreements remain unresolved, with union leaders identifying ObamaCare cost increases as the most prominent among them. 

“It’s been a challenge for even some of the stronger unions to maintain the quality health plans that they have offered over the years,” labor attorney Daniel Murphy told The Wall Street Journal.  “When we first supported the calls for healthcare reform, we thought it was going to bring costs down,” said union attorney Jim Ray.  And United Commercial Food Workers spokeswoman Jill Cashen added, “On a broad level, the biggest challenge facing all our negotiations is certain provisions the Affordable Care Act is demanding on plans.” 

Speaking of schadenfreude as it relates to government-run healthcare, liberals’ favorite New York Times columnist Paul Krugman – or, as columnist James Taranto likes to call him, Former Enron Advisor Paul Krugman – maintains his .000 batting average on contemporary policy debates. 

On several occasions over the years, Krugman has offered the Veterans Administration hospital system as an exemplar of the glorious promise of government-run healthcare.  “Farsighted thinkers,” Krugman proclaimed, “are already suggesting that the Veterans Health Administration … represents the true future of American health care.”  He added: 

“I know about a health care system that has been highly successful in containing costs, yet provides excellent care.  And the story of this system’s success provides a helpful corrective to anti-government ideology.  For the government doesn’t just pay the bills in this system – it runs the hospitals and clinics. 

"No, I’m not talking about some faraway country.  The system in question is our very own Veterans Health Administration, whose success story is one of the best-kept secrets in the American policy debate.” 

Well, there were certainly some well-kept secrets in the VA system.  But as usual, Paul Krugman whiffed with his usual unseemly flourish. 

Meanwhile, other new ObamaCare failures continue to accumulate. 

One of ObamaCare proponents’ most frequent predictions was that the law would cut healthcare costs by reducing hospital emergency room visits by the uninsured.  According to their logic, patients with routine or chronic ailments would instead visit primary care physicians and engage in preventive care. 

But like so many other aspects of ObamaCare, reality is already deviating from their expectations.  A new study from the American College of Emergency Physicians reveals that nearly half of emergency room doctors have faced an increased patient load since ObamaCare provisions became effective on January 1 of this year, with another quarter of doctors reporting that their volume has remained the same.  That compares with just 23% who said that their patient volume has decreased.  Moreover, fully 86% of emergency room physicians said they expect patient burdens to increase over the upcoming three years, not decrease. 

That new study confirms previous studies conducted in Oregon and Massachusetts, where emergency room visits increased up to 40% after coverage was expanded. 

And in other bad news for ObamaCare this week, USA Today is reporting that fully 59% of employers intend to hit employees with higher health insurance premiums and co-payments this year.  Elsewhere, large insurers have begun announcing that despite the current era of genetic discovery and increasingly individualized treatments, oncologists will be pushed to follow strict standardized treatment guidelines. 

Welcome to the brave new world of ObamaCare. 

Question of the Week   
Which one of the following was the first African-American soloist to appear at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City?
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Quote of the Day   
"If there were such egregious misconduct that the public was convinced of the need to remove Trump, such that two-thirds of the Senate would ignore partisan ties and do just that, there would be no partisan stunts. Democratic leaders would have worked cooperatively with their GOP counterparts, as was done in prior impeachments. They would have told the president: 'Sure, you can have your lawyers here…[more]
—Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review
— Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review
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