Category Archives: Health

The Senate Health Plan

It appears to be ObamaCare Lite:

At a fundamental level, the Senate plan accepts Obamacare’s premises about the nature of health insurance and the individual market. It works from the assumption that the only way to make expensive health insurance cheaper is to subsidize it through the federal government. It is a plan that subsidizes, and therefore disguises, unaffordability, rather than attempting to bring down costs directly.

Republicans are useless.

[Update a few minutes later]

Bob Zubrin has a more radical plan:

…the problem that we face is not that there are too many people who lack health insurance, but that there are too many people who have it. If we want to get health-care costs under control, we need a system where the majority of medical expenses are paid for by informed individuals who shop for value and are free to choose what they want to buy accordingly.

So what should Congress do? The most effective action the government could take would be to simply ban health insurance and enact transparency laws forcing medical providers to clearly advertise their prices for services rendered. This would crash health-care costs overnight.

Unfortunately, things are not so simple. Health-care costs differ from grocery costs in one key respect: They are unpredictable, which means that for most people catastrophic health insurance would still be warranted. What’s more, there would still be indigent Americans unable to pay for health care even at the greatly reduced rates such a system would provide. Such people, however, could be given medical stamps, analogous to food stamps, to help cover all or part of their medical bills.

The recently failed Trump-Ryan health-care bill was useless, because it simply perpetuated the current nonsensical system in slightly altered form. To truly fix health care, we would need to build a new system from scratch with two cornerstones: the free market and a safety net — the former to drive down costs, and the latter to protect the most vulnerable.

Yup. The whole system is a disaster, and has been for decades, ever since employee-insurance and union demands completely warped the very concept of health insurance.

[Mid-morning update]

Well, here’s a different opinion:

Our Decades-Long Diet Experiment

We were all guinea pigs. Well, most of us, anyway. I gave it up in the nineties.

“The change in dietary advice to promote low-fat foods is perhaps the biggest mistake in modern medical history.”

And they still won’t fess up to it, and they’re still doing it with that disastrous school-lunch program. Betsy Devos should be doing something about that.

[Update a few minutes later]

Related, sort of: Did feminism cause the obesity epidemic? The fact that people aren’t cooking as much is certainly a factor, but I think the low-fat craze is probably more responsible.