Vermont will not push forward with its plan to launch a state-based single payer health care system…
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Citing Costs, Vermont Shelves Single Payer Health System

Vermont will not push forward with its plan to launch a state-based single payer health care system in 2017, reports the Daily Caller.

Democratic Governor Peter Shumlin made the announcement on Wednesday, citing several factors.

Among the most important were changes in financing assumptions. Vermont had been counting on infusions of federal funding to buoy the program, but confirmed that it overshot its estimates by a whopping $311 million. Without the expected seed money of federal tax dollars there’s not enough start-up capital needed to get the project going.

The other blow to Vermont’s single payer scheme – to be called Green Mountain Care – is its lack of financial sustainability. In order to make the enterprise successful, Vermont would need to levy tax hikes like an…[more]

December 18, 2014 • 11:06 am

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Obama Realizing the Presidency Isn’t a Videogame Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, June 24 2010
For months now, America’s weaker-than-expected cyclical rebound has reflected the uncertainty created by the Obama-Reid-Pelosi federal government. This week, however, two troubling new items sounded a new alarm: rising health insurance premiums and the coming demise of free checking.

“The fundamental principles of economics are not hard to understand but they are easy to forget, especially amid the heady rhetoric of politics and the media.” 

~Thomas Sowell, Basic Economics 

Liberals and Barack Obama scapegoat “deregulation” for every real or perceived malady.  Lately, however, they’re awakening to the destructive realities of their own hyper-regulatory alternative. 

The laws of economics, it turns out, cannot be wished away any more than the physical laws of gravity, even for a president who believes he walks on water.  Or, as suggested by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, one who prefers to live in a virtual world rather than the real world. 

For months now, America’s weaker-than-expected cyclical rebound has reflected the uncertainty created by the Obama-Reid-Pelosi federal government.  This week, however, two troubling new items sounded a new alarm:  rising health insurance premiums and the coming demise of free checking. 

On the healthcare front, Obama appears to believe that insurance premiums reflect nothing more than numbers culled by CEOs from thin air. 

Following a meeting with thirteen health insurance executives this week, Obama warned them to refrain from what he arbitrarily considers “unreasonable” rate increases caused by his own healthcare legislation.  He might as well admonish the sun to rise on the western horizon. 

In response, health industry leaders pointed out that rate hikes are simply an unavoidable consequence of ObamaCare.  Those executives referenced the simple economic reality that one cannot impose costly new coverage mandates without triggering higher charges to pay for those sudden burdens.  For instance, ObamaCare requires insurers to cover “children” on their parents’ policies until age 26.  New regulations also forbid lifetime coverage caps and annual limits under $750,000, and impose such price busters as higher taxes upon medical device manufacturers.  As Aetna chief executive Ron Williams observed, ObamaCare “does increase costs, and that cost is going to show up in the premium increases.” 

In other words, Obama wants to impose new obligations, but somehow insists that prices not change to accommodate them. 

This may cohere in your virtual world, Mr. President, but not in the real world. 

Meanwhile, Obama’s Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius joined the chorus by warning Medicare insurers not to increase copayments or premiums next year.  This despite the fact that the federal government has frozen its 2011 repayment rate while healthcare costs are expected to rise over 6%.  By the end of the decade, government repayments will be reduced by an estimated $136 billion. 

Somebody must pay those costs, Ms. Sebelius.  There’s no such thing as a free lunch. 

Recent news from the banking sector provides another suggestion that the Obama White House considers itself immune from Economics 101.  Several banks, including Bank of America, are planning to end the practice of free checking and impose a variety of other banking service fees on customers. 

And whom can we thank for the end of free checking to which we’ve become accustomed for more than a decade? 

The federal government.  People like Barack Obama or Barney Frank may again scapegoat CEO greed, but the reality is that the end of free checking and other services reflect costly new federal banking regulations. 

Other federal rules announced earlier this year for credit cards and other banking transactions threaten to cost banks billions of dollars in revenue, and Congress is rushing to pass even more legislation prior to the November elections, including the elimination of fees that banks can charge retailers for debit card purchases.  That threatens to reduce bank service fees by 20%, according to Sandler O’Neill & Partners, which translates to $2.2 billion in costs to Bank of America alone. 

Just as with healthcare, this week’s unwelcome news from the banking sector reflects the stale fruit of Obama’s regulatory tree. 

For whatever reason, Obama still seems to think that he can command the economic tides by mere pronouncement from behind a teleprompter.  The real world, however, is sending a different signal.  Perhaps only this November’s elections may finally make that loud and clear to the White House. 

Question of the Week   
Which one of the following Americans was the first to successfully fly a self-propelled, heavier-than-air aircraft?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"In recent months, the outlook for the Castro regime in Cuba was growing steadily darker. The modest reforms it adopted in recent years to improve abysmal economic conditions had stalled, due to the regime'€™s refusal to allow Cubans greater freedoms. Worse, the accelerating economic collapse of Venezuela meant that the huge subsidies that have kept the Castros afloat for the past decade were in…[more]
 
 
—The Editors, The Washington Post
— The Editors, The Washington Post
 
Liberty Poll   

Do you approve or disapprove of the so-called “Cromnibus” bill that funds most of the federal government through September 2015, but only funds the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees immigration, through February 2015.