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Healthcare

Pouncing on vaping is an awful move by the White House

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Reactions to vaping deaths are good for media bad for lawmakers

When something controversial emerges freshly in the news, it’s good for the media to “pounce.” We see both sides accusing the other of doing this often, and in most cases it’s true. It’s the job of the media to be reactionary, fast-moving, and as accurate as possible along the way.

Government should not work this way. Our founders designed the Constitution in a way to make government move methodically and with long-debated purpose. It was never meant to be reactionary except in times of crisis. When Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, it was good to react quickly, especially considering how much attention had been paid to the possibility of entering the war before the event. This was a moment when a quick and unambiguous response was necessary.

The recently emerging vaping-death “epidemic” is definitely not an example of something that needs the government to pounce.

“The Trump Administration is making it clear that we intend to clear the market of flavored e-cigarettes to reverse the deeply concerning epidemic of youth e-cigarette use that is impacting children, families, schools and communities,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement. “We will not stand idly by as these products become an on-ramp to combustible cigarettes or nicotine addiction for a generation of youth.”

As Americans, we have the freedom (at least we should have it) to make choices about our lives and the lives of our families. The caveat for regulations comes into play when an action by an individual adversely affects others. This is why we have laws against drunk driving, for example. It is not simply a personal choice to get behind the wheel of an automobile while intoxicated because the risk to others’ lives and property are great.

Vaping is not harmful to others. It may be harmful in some cases to individuals, which is why it’s incumbent on the vaping industry to take responsibility for wrongful deaths and to fix the problem that has led to several deaths in recent weeks. But that does NOT mean government needs to step in and get involved, other than to inform if necessary. If they want to slap on warning labels, so be it, though that in itself would be overreach at this early stage in vaping research. But calls to ban flavored e-Cigarettes is ludicrous.

This may be inconsequential to most, but it’s a nanny-state move by a Republican White House. It’s straight from the authoritarian playbook to tell people they must be protected from their own choices. I don’t vape, but this is fundamentally disappointing.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Democrats

‘Lite’ versions of Medicare-for-All are no better – and possibly worse – than the real thing

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Lite versions of Medicare-for-All are no better - and possibly worse - than the real thing

How do Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, and other Democratic candidates plan on sinking Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders? By highlighting how their radical Medicare-for-All proposals are several steps too far to the left for America and by offering “lighter” versions of their semi-popular healthcare plans. But there’s a problem with their proposals. All of them will lead to the same conclusion – single-payer healthcare – and all of them may actually be more damaging to the economy along the way.

This is saying a lot since the $32 trillion Medicare-for-All is an absolute existential threat to the United States economy. How could these lighter versions be worse?

Before we answer that, let’s look at what would happen if Buttigieg’s Medicare-for-All-Who-Wants-It, Biden’s Obamacare 2.0, or Harris’s Medicare-for-All plus private supplements ever become law in America. They all come at it from different angles, but what they’re describing is a public option for health insurance that would be taxpayer-funded and remove the out-of-pocket expenses from those who choose to take it instead of a private healthcare plan. This sounds reasonable to many Americans who want health insurance available to everyone, even those who cannot afford it, but who do not want to lose their own health insurance.

But what nobody’s mentioning is that the holes in a public option create problems for everyone, including:

  • Dichotomous healthcare services. There will be “good” healthcare offered to those with private insurance and “bad” healthcare offered to those taking the public option. We see this in action with the VA, which was intended to offer superior services to veterans. But the opposite has been proven to be the case. When government injects itself as an option against the private market, invariably the solutions they present are unambiguously inferior to the private variations. Americans will not be told of this dichotomy. Instead, they will find out when it’s too late that the healthcare they’re receiving is horrible compared to what they would have received under the private market option.
  • Increased costs across the board. What does a public option mean for the private market? Fewer customers. Fewer businesses enticing employees with health insurance benefits. Fewer healthy people paying for healthcare while higher-cost participants make private insurance more expensive for everyone. As for those on the public option, their acceptance of taxpayer-funded health insurance will, of course, drive up taxes for nearly everyone, including the middle class that nobody seems to want to admit will get hit with these taxes.
  • An eventual shift towards single-payerAs private health insurance becomes less lucrative and eventually becomes a money-loser, companies will start pulling out. We already saw this without the public option in Obamacare. Throw in a public option and it eventually becomes cost-prohibitive to offer anything other than supplemental insurance for uncovered procedures such as cosmetic surgery. The public option will become single payer by default within 3-5 years after it’s launched.

Nobody outside of the health insurance industry likes the health insurance industry, but over a hundred million Americans rely on this industry to keep themselves and their families from paying the extremely high costs for medical care. The combination of health insurance driving medical expenses and a government driving the health insurance industry has resulted in diapers costing $20 each after birth. They know most American will not care about the details as long as they’re not paying for it out of pocket, so they can encourage hospitals and doctors to charge outrageous rates. This all changes for the worst once single-payer is in place.

Back to the original premise – these “lighter” options could actually be worse for America than full-blown and immediate Medicare-for-All. With the latter, everything is upfront. They will tax us at extremely high rates to pay for their pet project. It will be horrible. But it will be understood from the beginning. With the half-measures proposed by the “moderates” in the group, the way it all pans out will be in a constant state of radical evolution. Prices will fluctuate so rapidly that changes will need to be made on the fly. It’s like inserting a knife into our backs slowly instead of just plunging it right in. The constant tearing of tissues over time may make us bleed out faster than if they just stabbed us quickly.

The various public option proposals are all single-payer-in-training. They will invariably become Medicare-for-All because private insurance will die a slow death as a result. Meanwhile, our healthcare quality and economy will die much more rapidly.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Democrats

How much longer will Elizabeth Warren dodge the middle-class tax increase question?

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How much longer will Elizabeth Warren dodge the middle-class tax increase question

Senator Elizabeth Warren refuses to acknowledge that her Medicare-for-All plan will require a middle-class tax increase. She implies it in her answer to the question by focusing on “costs will go down,” meaning people will pay less in healthcare expenses that, in her view, should compensate for the tax increases. But she absolutely, positively refuses to admit that taxes will go up, dodging the question clumsily every time she’s asked.

It’s starting to get uncomfortable. Even left-wing entertainer Stephen Colbert pressed her on the issue. He offered her a new way of pushing the message forward, equating the taxes we’d pay for her healthcare plan to the taxes we pay for public education. Even with the friendly host, Warren refused to admit her plan would require a middle-class tax cut. Unfortunately, this bodes ill for all American taxpayers as this refusal to say the words means it’s likely much worse than we can possibly imagine.

Watch her stumble through to not answer the question:

What is she hiding? She knows her plan requires middle-class tax increases and likely a downward extension in the tax bracket that will mean lower-income Americans who currently do not pay taxes will be forced to. But her focus has always been on making “rich corporations and wealthy individuals” pay for it. This message works because it creates an “us versus them” mentality within her base.

What Warren knows is that many in her base are not being crushed under the weight of medical expenses. She knows all of them will see their taxes go up, and unless they’re currently paying a ton out of pocket for their healthcare, their overall “costs” will not go down, as she promises. The burden of high medical costs is not as mainstream as she claims, which is why she refuses to acknowledge taxes will rise dramatically under her plan. She wants them to be focused on “free” medical care even if the “costs” for many if not most of her supporters will actually rise.

When a politician refuses to directly answer questions about their premier policy proposal, be afraid. Bernie Sanders might be a mess, but at least he’s honest about taxes rising across the board. Warren is not being honest at all.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Democrats

Why Republicans should hope Sanders or Warren is the Democratic nominee

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Why Republicans should hope Sanders or Warren is the Democratic nominee

For the record, I am not condoning any activities by Republicans to sway Democrats one way or the other. It’s their nomination to make. But that doesn’t mean we can’t hope for an outcome, and based on a report from… wait for it… CNN, the best candidates for President Trump to beat are Senators Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders.

Both are popular, polling 2nd and 3rd with each flip flopping from day to day with the other. One claims to be a socialist while the other acts like a socialist pretending to not be one. But they have many policy proposals in common, including one that could either of them in the general election.

As it turns out, there are plenty of people who like their health insurance. To make matters worse, there are plenty of people who also do not like the idea of losing their health insurance or being forced to accept whatever concoction the government can spew forth with Medicare-for-All.

Warren and Sanders say Americans don’t like their health insurance. Polls don’t back that up.

A new Kaiser Family Foundation poll finds that when it comes to expanding coverage and lowering health care costs 55% of Democrats and Democratic leaning independents prefer to vote for a candidate who does so by building on the Affordable Care Act. Only 40% want do so by voting for voting for a candidate who replaces the ACA with Medicare for All.

This poll is consistent with previous Kaiser polls on the subject in finding Democrats wanting to vote for someone who builds on the ACA.

This tells us two things many conservatives have known for a long time. First, it tells us Americans like choices. Second, it tells us Americans do not want to be forced onto a government program even if it’s allegedly free… or perhaps especially if it’s allegedly free.

While most polls show former VP Joe Biden would be the toughest for President Trump to beat, I’ve long suspected his gaffes and potentially deteriorating cognitive state would make him the most vulnerable. But this new data seems to say the polls are right, that Biden may be tougher than Sanders or Warren simply because his proposed Obamacare 2.0 with a public option may be the most popular proposal out there, including with moderates.

Single-payer healthcare, which eliminates all choices while taking down the quality of services provided, could be the silver bullet that takes down the two socialist werewolves. The only question is whether Democrats or President Trump will get to use it.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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