It’s Time To Return To Single-Issue Bills

Yesterday Townhall posted an article about some of the items included in the coronavirus relief bill proposed by the Democrats. The bill is 591 pages long, and needless to say, is not all relevant to coronavirus relief.

The article lists some of the items:

The 591-page document includes another round of stimulus checks. Individuals making less than $75,000 will receive a $1,400 check. Couples earning less than $150,000 will receive a combined $2,800. As an individual or couple’s income increases, their stimulus amount decreases.

Of the $1.9 trillion, $350 billion will go towards states and local governments. Unemployment benefits will provide Americans with $400 a week on top of their state-issued benefits.

Under this bill, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is replenished with $7 billion in additional funding. The Emergency Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program will also receive $15 billion.

In addition, the bill ups the child tax credit to $3,600 for children six and under. That credit drops to $3,000 for kids ages seven to 17.

There are, however, a number of questionable liberal wishlist items in the bill. If passed and signed into law, the federal minimum wage – which currently sits at $7.25-an-hour – would increase to $15-an-hour over the next five years.

…Democrats set aside $50 million for “family planning.” As of now, the Hyde Amendment is in place, which bars taxpayer funds from being used for abortion. This, however, could set the stage for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment down the road. If this bill is passed and Congress later repeals Hyde, money that was funded in this relief bill could theoretically be used for abortion.

…Although higher education has teetered because of the virus, Howard University is the only higher education facility that would be given money to recoup funds lost during the pandemic. Gallaudet University is listed in the bill, but it’s a specialized university for students who are hard of hearing.

It is important to note that Vice President Kamala Harris is an alumna of Howard University, which is an unlikely coincidence.

…Another $135 million would be allocated for the arts and humanities, likely museums that received funding during the CARES ACT.

It is time to bring back legislation that deals with one issue at a time. Some of the items in this bill will actually do damage rather than solve problems. For instance, the $15 a hour minimum wage is likely to result in the closure of any small business that was not closed by the government shutdowns. This relief bill is looking like the Obamacare bill which became law in 2010. That law cost the Democrats their majorities in Congress. If this relief bill is passed without Republican votes, the result will probably be the same.

 

We’ve Seen This Play Before

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article about the plans the Biden administration has to get immigration reform through Congress. This is not common-sense immigration reform, which would be welcomed by both parties–this is reform that will seriously hurt Americans economically.

The article reports:

Beware… it is likely the JoeBama amnesty plan will pass through the Senate in exactly the same way as Obamacare.  Through manipulation of the budgetary reconciliation process.

According to numerous outlets the JoeBama amnesty legislation has been created by the White House for congressional approval.

The House will likely pass such a proposal along party lines, just like ObamaCare; and then it goes to the Senate where Chuck Schumer will likely do the same reconciliation process to pass amnesty with a simple majority.

By stripping out a budget bill of substance, or using a COVID relief bill, the Senate amnesty bill will be inserted. It will pass along party lines and then be reconciled with the same amnesty bill from the House. The conniving leftists will do anything regardless of public support.

Watch carefully for them to move the execution of this up right after the House sends the impeachment article to the Senate. They will use the period between receiving the article and the February 8th trial to pull-off this amnesty scheme when everyone is distracted. It’s how they roll. Remember, at the time Harry Reid passed Obamacare (Dec ’09 reconciled in 2010) it was opposed by 74% of the voting electorate. They did it anyway… Expect the same here.

The bill is the US Citizenship Act of 2021. It is summarized in four pages (here). Some of the highlights include such things as creating a roadmap to citizenship for illegal aliens, making it easier for foreign graduates of American universities that have advanced STEM degrees to stay in the country, and keeping families together (while expanding the definition of family in order to make it more hospitable to LGBTQ+ families). The summary of the bill sounds very benign, but I suspect that as the details come out, that may not be the case. The fact that the Democrats feel the need to jam it through without any Republican votes is very telling. Republicans are much more likely to support bad laws written by Democrats than Democrats are likely to support bad laws written by Republicans.

 

 

Where Your Tax Money Goes

Just the News posted an article today about ‘improper payments’ made by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in 2019.

The article reports:

The Golden Horseshoe is a weekly designation from Just the News intended to highlight egregious examples of wasteful taxpayer spending by the government. The award is named for the horseshoe-shaped toilet seats for military airplanes that cost the Pentagon a whopping $640 each back in the 1980s. 

This week, our award goes to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for spending $106.7 billion on improper payments during 2019.

Improper payments are defined under federal law as “payments made by the government to the wrong person, in the wrong amount, or for the wrong reason.”

The article continues:

According to a new report from Open the Books, improper payments from the Medicaid and Medicare programs have increased significantly in the past decade, in part due to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act — also called Obamacare. In 2011, when the act was signed into law, Congress declared it would help pay for the expensive plan by rooting out waste, fraud and corrupt spending within the Medicare and Medicaid sections of the agency.

Health and Human Services is the leading source of improper payments in the entire U.S. government, dwarfing by a magnitude of multiples the second-worst offender, which in 2019 was the Department of Treasury.

You would think that if they realized that they were ‘improper payments’, they would be able to get the money back. You would be wrong, but you might think that.

The article explains:

Once the taxpayer money is mistakenly spent, it is very hard for the government to claw it back. Of the $106.7 billion HHS squandered on improper payments in fiscal year 2019, it has been able to identify for recovery only $14.1 billion, or about 13.2% of the total. Of that $14.1 billion, the department has been able to “recapture” about $12.1 billion.

We need to put a bunch of accountants in charge of our government. Maybe they could straighten this mess out.

 

Critiquing The Debate

On Friday, Breitbart posted a list of the eleven biggest lies Joe Biden told during his debate with President Trump. I am simply posting the list. Please follow the link to the article to read the details.

The list:

  1. No One Lost Their Insurance Under ObamaCare
  2. America was Cozy with Hitler
  3. I Never Opposed Fracking
  4. I Didn’t Oppose Trump’s China Travel Ban
  5. Illegal Aliens Show Up For Asylum Hearings After Being Caught and Released
  6. Raising the Minimum Wage Does Not Hurt Anyone
  7. No One Brought Up Biden’s Troubling Ukraine Conflicts of Interest During Impeachment
  8. Trump Never Told Putin to Stop Meddling in American Elections
  9. Hunter’s Emails are Part of a “Russian Plan”
  10. Trump Refused to Take ‘Responsibility’ for the Coronavirus
  11. Trump Has Alienated ‘All’ Our Allies

Politicians need to remember that in the age of the Internet, it is very easy to compare current comments and policy positions with past comments and policy positions. Some of these lies can be researched easily with a quick Internet search. Some of these lies simply go against common sense. At any rate, the truth seemed to elude Joe Biden during the debate.

 

The Misuse Of The Hearings

Yesterday CNS News posted an article about a statement by Senator Dick Durbin on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.

The article reports:

“Take a look at the composition, the Republican composition, on the Senate Judiciary Committee,” Durbin said on Sunday:

Let’s start with Texas. Senator Cornyn is in a very tight race for re-election. He’s also in a state where there are 1.7 million people who will lose their health insurance when Amy Coney Barrett votes to eliminate that program, another 12 million who have pre-existing conditions.

Now you just go down the table there. I should have started with the Chairman, Lindsey Graham, in the state of South Carolina. He has 242,000 who will lose their insurance if Amy Coney Barrett eliminates the Affordable Care Act and 2 million who have pre-existing conditions.

Iowa, Joni Ernst, 187,000 will lose their insurance. North Carolina (Sen. Tillis), 500,000 will lose their insurance.

So you want to know the point we’re going to make? We’re making a point that this not only has an impact on the lives of so many innocent Americans, it could impact the members of this committee.

…And what we’re trying to drive home to the American people is this makes a difference in your life as to whether or not you have health insurance, whether or not, with a preexisting condition you can afford health insurance.

And we believe that, once the Republican voters across this country wake up to the reality of the strategy, many of them are going to say to their senators, listen, this is not what we bargained for. We may be conservative, but we’re not crazy. Our family needs health insurance protection,” Durbin said.

I mean, it’s understandable people are skeptical of the Republican message and are fearful of what’s going to happen if this Supreme Court nominee goes through and threatens their very health insurance.

There are a few problems with these statements. First of all, if the Supreme Court is making laws, then the legislative branch has neglected its responsibilities. Secondly, a confirmation hearing is not the appropriate place to grandstand and play politics. Senators have a job to do. They need to do it without a lot of political posturing. Thirdly, the confirmation hearing for a Supreme Court justice should not be about specific issues–it needs to be about the qualifications of the nominee.

Just for the record, there is a replacement for ObamaCare. It includes taking care of people with pre-existing conditions.

Just a note about the Affordable Care Act that the Democrats seem so intent on defending. In 2017 Forbes reported:

The data allow us to break down the pre- and post-ACA changes by age, individual vs. family, and plan type. Overall, Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) premiums actually decreased 4.6% in the four years before the ACA reforms came into effect (that is, from 2009 to 2013), but increased 46.4% in the first four years under the ACA. Point-of-Service (POS) premiums decreased 14.9% before the ACA, and increased a whopping 66.2% afterwards. Premiums for the more common Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans increased 15% in the four years before the ACA, and 66.2% afterwards.

Why in the world would we want to continue that?

 

President Trump And Health Care

Yesterday Dr. Ben Carson posted an opinion piece at Fox News about President Trump’s policies regarding healthcare.

Dr. Carson notes:

The Trump administration has an impressive story to tell on health care. For nearly four years, President Trump has championed policies that brought desperately needed reforms to American health care.

Despite the media’s refusal to attribute proper credit, the president has delivered tangible health care results on behalf of the American people – resulting in better care, more choice, and lower costs.

The historic Tax Cuts and Jobs Act removed the widely unpopular individual mandate tax penalty in ObamaCare. The ObamaCare mandate forced Americans into buying health insurance.

Unfortunately, this mandate disproportionately harmed middle-class and lower-income Americans for years, coercing those individuals into purchasing care that they did not want.

As a result of President Trump’s substantial reforms to ObamaCare, premiums declined over the last two years for the first time since the flawed law was enacted.

A staple of President Trump’s approach to health care reform is rooted in returning the choice to individuals as opposed to government bureaucrats.

One of the prime examples of this is President Trump expanding health care options for terminal patients. Every year more than 1 million Americans die from a terminal illness.

In 2018, President Trump signed “Right to Try” legislation, allowing certain experimental drugs to be administered to the terminally ill who exhausted all other options. President Trump moved the government out of the way and gave Americans who had seemingly no hope a chance to survive.

Over the summer, President Trump worked to solve a problem that had sadly proved too difficult for his predecessors – lowering prescription drug prices. The president signed an executive order ensuring the United States pays the lowest price available in economically advanced countries for Medicare Part B drugs.

This order is finally reducing the inflated prices that so many Americans pay for Part B medications. Even before that specific action, prescription drugs saw their largest price decrease in over a half century in 2018 thanks to President Trump’s commonsense approach – his executive order will only bolster that progress. Where previous administrations ran into the same old obstacles, President Trump cleared them out of the way and delivered for the American people.

Obamacare did not work. If you liked our doctor or our insurance plan, you couldn’t keep them, despite what President Obama promised. Heath insurance premiums skyrocketed. The penalty for not having health insurance hurt people financially. The worse part of ObamaCare was requiring people to pay for healthcare options they neither needed nor would use–young men in their twenties were paying for pediatric dental care and women in their sixties were paying for pre-natal care. The only people who profited were the insurance companies  who helped write the bill (their numbers would go up because everyone would be required to have insurance). Obamacare was a failure, and President Trump is beginning to repair some of the damage it caused. Look for Joe Biden to praise Obamacare at the debate tonight.

Who Is Writing The Democrat Party Platform?

Bernie Sanders is not the Democrat presidential candidate. He might have been, but the Democrat political establishment has blocked his nomination twice with backroom deals. However, the proposed party platform seems to have a lot of his ideas included. The Democrats blocked his nomination because they felt that his ideas were too far out of the mainstream for him to be elected, so now they are sneaking his ideas into a platform that very few people will actually read. Yesterday Breitbart posted an article about that platform.

The article reports:

The proposed Democrat platform would expand asylum for migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, freeing them into the interior of the nation while they await their hearings. Gallup research from 2018 finds that nearly 160 million migrants around the world would move to the U.S. if given the opportunity — five million of which are located in Central America.

Likewise, the plan ends construction of the border wall, halts deportations for illegal aliens, ends all travel bans on national security-risk nations, China, Europe, Brazil, and Iran, ends agreements between the U.S. and Central America to reduce illegal immigration, and ends most federal detention of illegal aliens.

The plan also calls for:

    • Restarting DACA for young illegal aliens
    • Restraining DAPA for the illegal parents of DACA illegal aliens
    • Rescinding Trump’s “national emergency” at the border
    • Increasing refugee resettlement
    • Gives Obamacare to DACA illegal aliens
    • Forces Americans to subsidize welfare-dependent legal immigration
    • Expands the scandal-plagued U visa program
    • Restarts employment-based green card system

The massive expansion of illegal and legal immigration — in addition to the hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens and more than 2.5 million legal immigrants and foreign workers added to the U.S. population every year — would come as more than 35 million Americans are unemployed or underemployed.

This is not a recipe for American success. This is a recipe for creating a permanent underclass of people who will be forever dependent on the government and eventually bankrupt the country (see Cloward-Piven Strategy). Every illegal alien that enters the country depresses the wages of Americans in low-skilled jobs. A country needs to have control of its borders in order to protect the rights and futures of those who live there.

Who is writing the Democratic Party platform, and what is their goal?

This Decision Does Not Protect Women

Yesterday The National Review posted an article about the recent Supreme Court decision regarding Louisiana’s law regarding doctors at abortion clinics. The law in question required doctors at abortion clinics to have hospital admitting privileges. Because women can die from legal abortions, hospital admitting privileges are important. The Supreme Court struck down this requirement, putting the lives of women at risk. Chief Justice Roberts was the deciding vote on the issue, disappointing many Americans who expected him to be a conservative voice on the Court.

The article reports:

The conservative legal establishment has long been particularly enamored of this ideal: the umpire calmly calling balls and strikes. It is a very important virtue. But it is not the first virtue. An umpire who can be cowed by the crowd will not call the same strike zone for both teams. Without courage, good ideas about the law are just empty words on a page. Without courage, even the clearest-written rights are empty promises, the plainest limitations on power are easily overwhelmed, and the entire project of rule by written law becomes just another hollow formality.

Two of today’s Supreme Court decisions, on abortion and separation of powers, are further evidence of this. Chief Justice John Roberts has yet again shown the absence of courage that has so often undermined his Court. Roberts’s repeated demonstrations of lack of courage are rapidly becoming a threat to the Court itself, and to the conservative legal project.

First up, we have June Medical Services L.L.C. v. Russo, which by a 5–4 vote struck down a Louisiana abortion-clinic regulation challenged by the clinics. Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, and Neil Gorsuch would have upheld the Louisiana law, but Chief Justice Roberts sided with the Court’s four liberals, claiming that his hands were tied by precedent.

In the 2016 case Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the Court ruled 5–3 against a Texas abortion law that required abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. States routinely impose such requirements on the practice of medicine, especially invasive or surgical procedures. As Justice Gorsuch observed, the Louisiana law “tracks longstanding state laws governing physicians who perform relatively low-risk procedures like colonoscopies, Lasik eye surgeries, and steroid injections at ambulatory surgical centers.” The Court in both Whole Woman’s Health and June Medical ruled that “unnecessary health regulations that have the purpose or effect of presenting a substantial obstacle to a woman seeking an abortion impose an undue burden on the right” to an abortion. Yet what the Court defines as an “unnecessary” requirement would be uncontroversially legal for any other medical procedure under the sun, and the “constitutional right” itself is, of course, nowhere even vaguely mentioned in the actual Constitution.

Chief Justice Roberts has been a disappointment almost from the beginning. His ruling on Obamacare was questionable at best. Please follow the link to the article to read further details regarding the contradictions between the decision on the Louisiana law and the previous opinion written by Chief Justice Roberts

Rewriting History One Campaign Stop At A Time

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article about a recent statement by former Vice-President Joe Biden.

The article reports:

Former Vice President inaccurately claimed on Saturday that he helped convince Republicans to vote in favor of the Affordable Care Act.

Biden, who has a history of embellishing his political accomplishments, made the claim while boasting about his ability to forge bipartisan consensus during a campaign rally in San Antonio, Texas.

Evidently he was not all that great at forging bipartisan consensus–no Republicans voted for the Affordable Care Act! In fact, Scott Brown, after winning a special election in Massachusetts, somehow was delayed in taking his seat while waiting for the Massachusetts authority to certify the election. Instead of newly-elected Senator Brown being able to vote on the Affordable Care Act, a Democrat appointed by a Democrat state governor was able to cast his vote. I guess the former vice-president forgot all that..

The article notes:

The former vice president said:

The fight ahead of us is not about just what we have planned, its about … whose going to take on and get these things passed. We need someone with proven ability to bring people together and do the hard work of getting legislation passed. I’ve done that, I’ve done that before. Finding Republican votes for … Obamacare.

Stay tuned. I am sure there will be more to come.

We Need To Celebrate This

Issues & Insights posted an article today about the change in the number of Americans dependent on Government since President Trump took office.

The article includes a chart showing the change:

Here are some of the highlights listed in the article:

Disability. The number of workers on Social Security’s Disability Insurance program has sharply declined as well. It went from 88 million in January 2017 to 84.9 million as of May. That’s the lowest it’s been since August 2011.

…Medicaid. Enrollment in Medicaid also has dropped sharply since Trump took office — despite the fact that Virginia decided to expand its program under Obamacare, which added some 300,000 to its Medicaid rolls over those years.

As of this March, the total number of people on Medicaid and CHIP — the health insurance program for children — was down by 2.5 million.

Obamacare. The number enrolled in Obamacare has declined every year since Trump took office as well, and is now 1 million below where it was at the end of 2016.

Welfare. The number of those collecting welfare — either on the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or what are called “separate state programs” — has dropped by more than 800,000 under Trump.

The article concludes:

In a less biased news media world, the decline in government dependency would be front-page news.

Instead, when they’re acknowledged at all, these enrollment drops are treated as bad news by the Left, which treats any declining benefit programs as a problem that needs to be fixed — usually by expanding these programs. Thus, you have every Democratic candidate for president talking about trillions upon trillions of new benefit programs, which are designed to ensnare as many as possible in the net of government dependency.

They have it exactly backward. The goal should be to have zero people collecting government benefits — because they are gainfully employed and don’t need them. Anything else should be treated as a failure.

One of the reasons that it is so difficult to shrink government programs is that in addition to the people they serve, they provide employment for government workers. These workers understand that if assistance programs shrink drastically, then there will be fewer staff members needed to oversee the programs. It is definitely a reverse incentive to cut dependence on the government.

We Need To Get Healthcare Right

Yesterday Issues and Insights posted an article about ObamaCare 10 years out.

The article reports:

Based on polling data, Obamacare has been a miserable failure, and Obama will be far from the last president to grapple with this issue.

The most recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds that health care is at the top of the nation’s priority list, with 24 percent of respondents listing it as their top priority for the federal government. Next on the list is immigration, at 18 percent, and after that, economic growth at 14 percent. 

The poll also found that 42 percent list health care as either their first or second choice on the priority list.

Back in June 2008, when Obama was running for president, only 8 percent rated health care as a top priority, just 20 percent as their first or second priority. Of course, the economy was in a recession and the country at war with Iraq, both of which weighed heavily on the public’s mind at the time.

But even in earlier years when the economy was doing well, health care ranked far lower on the list of priorities than it does today. In June 2006, only 14 percent ranked it as No. 1 on their list. A year later, 15 percent said it was their top priority.

The public has not been impressed with ObamaCare:

An ongoing Gallup survey finds that the public was actually more satisfied with their own coverage and quality of health care in 2007 than they were in 2018. Other surveys find cost remains a major complaint.

The article lists a few problems with ObamaCare:

It has done nothing to slow, much less reverse, the rising cost of health care. In fact, Obamacare itself caused premiums in the individual market to more than double in its first four years.

…National health spending, which was 16.3 percent of GDP in 2008, is now 17.9 percent and is slated to hit 19.4 percent by 2027. Per-capita spending on healthcare jumped from $7,898 to $10,739 over those years.

Far from driving the deficit down, Obamacare is pushing federal red ink up. The Congressional Budget Office has calculated that repealing Obamacare would cut the deficit by some $473 billion in the first 10 years

Rather than admit failure, the Democrats simply want to throw more money at it.

The article concludes:

Naturally, because of these failures, the Democrats’ answer is to dump even more taxpayer money into government-run health care programs, with most now favoring a $32 trillion plan developed by socialist Bernie Sanders to have the government nationalize the entire health insurance industry.

Only in government, and only among fans of big government, are massive failures like Obamacare rewarded with still more government. 

Games The Media Is Playing

The media’s job is to report events, investigate questionable actions by those in power, and inform Americans about what their government is doing. It is not to follow Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals number 13. That rule states, “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” That rule is currently controlling the American media, and their target is Donald Trump. If you want to know what is actually causing the division in this country, look no further than the media. They have the power to bring us together. They have chosen not to do that.

Yesterday Newsbusters posted an article about how The Washington Post has put its finger on the scale in the way it fact checks the President.

The article names five ways The Washington Post skews the results of its fact checking:

1. Bias by target selection. Did the Post have a database of President Obama’s false or misleading claims? No. Would the Post have a database of President Hillary’s false or misleading claims if she had won? Don’t be ridiculous. These people parse every sentence in Trump speeches, interviews, and tweets. They’re not doing that for anyone else, especially the Democratic candidates now running for president.

2. Nitpicking. Are they checking facts, or spin? Kessler & Co. fuss that Trump can’t say they’re building a wall at the border. Trump tweeted a picture of a wall being built. It’s clearly a border wall under construction. But Kessler says the money (and the plans) came before Trump, so it’s not “his” wall.  Kessler also cried False when Trump said he had “nothing to hide” from the Russia probe “but refused to testify under oath.” Kessler is spinning, not fact-checking.

3. Bias by multiplying nitpicking times 100. Once the Post throws a Pinocchio rating like the border-wall squabble, every time Trump says “we’re building the wall,” it’s counted as a false statement (160 times). Kessler repeatedly threw the False flag when Trump said there was “no collusion” with Russia. Which side was False on that one?

4. Lack of transparency. The Posties have dramatically increased the rate of the “false claims” they are finding. In announcing their 10,000 number, they claimed the president “racked up 171 false or misleading claims in just three days,” April 25 to 27.  They admit that’s a bigger number than they used to find in a month.

They claimed it was literally a falsehood a minute. They counted 45 in a 45-minute Sean Hannity interview, 17 falsehoods in a 19-minute Mark Levin interview, and 61 false claims in the president’s Saturday night rally in Green Bay.  But they don’t list them individually, so you can check their work.

5. Pinocchio forgiveness. Kessler also has a weird habit of skipping Pinocchios for Democrats when they call him on the phone and admit they fudged it. They just found Kamala Harris wrongly stated in a CNN town hall that a majority of women earn the minimum wage. Kessler concluded “Regular readers know that we generally do not award Pinocchios when politicians admit error, and we certainly give an allowance for a slip of the tongue during a live event. We don’t play gotcha at The Fact Checker.”

Unless you’re Trump. Then you get 10,000 Gotchas.

Where were these people when President Obama told us that if we liked our doctor we could keep him and that the cost of health insurance would go down under ObamaCare?

Good News On Healthcare

The Daily Signal posted an article today about President Trump’s plan to reform healthcare (which obviously starts with the removal of ObamaCare).

The article reports:

A look at his fiscal year 2020 budget shows that the president has a plan to reduce costs and increase health care choices. His plan would achieve this by redirecting federal premium subsidies and Medicaid expansion money into grants to states. States would be required to use the money to establish consumer-centered programs that make health insurance affordable regardless of income or medical condition.

The president’s proposal is buttressed by a growing body of evidence that relaxing federal regulations and freeing the states to innovate makes health care more affordable for families and small businesses.

Ed Haislmaier and I last year published an analysis of waivers that have so far enabled seven states to significantly reduce individual health insurance premiums. These states fund “invisible high risk pools” and reinsurance arrangements largely by repurposing federal money that would otherwise have been spent on Obamacare premium subsidies, directing them instead to those in greatest medical need.

By financing care for those with the biggest medical bills, these states have substantially reduced premiums for individual policies. Before Maryland obtained its waiver, insurers in the state filed requests for 2019 premium hikes averaging 30 percent. After the federal government approved the waiver, final 2019 premiums averaged 13 percent lower than in 2018—a 43 percent swing.

The article explains that the President’s plan is similar to another proposed plan:

It closely parallels the Health Care Choices Proposal, the product of ongoing work by national and state think tanks, grassroots organizations, policy analysts, and others in the conservative community. A study by the Center for Health and the Economy, commissioned by The Heritage Foundation, found that the proposal would reduce premiums for individual health insurance by up to 32 percent and cover virtually the same number of people as under Obamacare.

It also would give consumers more freedom to choose the coverage they think best for themselves and their families. Unlike current law, states could include direct primary care; health-sharing ministries; short-term, limited-duration plans; and other arrangements among the options available through their programs.

Those expanded choices would extend to low-income people. The proposal would require states to let those receiving assistance through the block grants, Medicaid, and other public assistance programs apply the value of their subsidy to the plan of their choice, instead of being herded into government-contracted health maintenance organizations.

We can do better at healthcare. Either one of these proposals would be a great start.

Better Late Than Never

Yesterday The Hill reported that the Justice Department has announced that it has found the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional.

The article reports:

The DOJ previously argued in court that the law’s pre-existing condition protections should be struck down. Now, the administration argues the entire law should be invalidated.

U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor ruled in December that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate is unconstitutional and that the rest of law is therefore invalid.

The DOJ said Monday that it agrees the decision should stand as the case works its way through the appeals process in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit.

“The Department of Justice has determined that the district court’s judgment should be affirmed,” the department said in a short letter to the appeals court.

The article concludes:

Many legal experts in both parties think the lawsuit, which was brought by 20 GOP-led states, will not ultimately succeed. The district judge who ruled against the law in December is known as a staunch conservative.

The case centers on the argument that since Congress repealed the tax penalty in the law’s mandate for everyone to have insurance in 2017, the mandate can no longer be ruled constitutional under Congress’s power to tax. The challengers then argue that all of ObamaCare should be invalidated because the mandate is unconstitutional.

Most legal experts say legal precedent shows that even if the mandate is ruled unconstitutional, the rest of ObamaCare should remain unharmed, as that is what Congress voted to do in the 2017 tax law that repealed the mandate’s penalty.

This is another example of the consequences of Congressional inaction. First of all, the government has no business in healthcare or health insurance. It the government wants to make a few minor rules to make sure people can obtain healthcare, that is fine, but other than that, we need to go back to free market healthcare. Our current policies have made insurance more expensive than it should be and care more expensive than it should be. We need to go back to the days of knowing how much things cost and being able to shop around for our care.

When Integrity Dies

I used to like Mitt Romney. He lost me when he penned his editorial about President Trump after President Trump had supported him in his run for Congress. That seemed a little ungrateful and a lot tacky. As of late, Mitt Romney has become a political opportunist seeking favor from the establishment Republicans who hate President Trump. At this point I would like to note that the establishment Republicans gave us ObamaCare, an over-regulated economy under President Obama, open borders, TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) which doubled the national debt, and Dodd Frank, which blamed all of the wrong people for the real estate bubble (see “Burning Down the House” video on YouTube). Well, Romney is still at it.

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article about the ongoing feud between Mitt Romney and President Trump.

The article reports:

Freshman Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) on Tuesday evening said he cannot understand why President Donald Trump would “disparage” the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), whom Romney described as “heroic,” “courageous,” “patriotic,” and “honorable.”

“I can’t understand why the President would, once again, disparage a man as exemplary as my friend John McCain: heroic, courageous, patriotic, honorable, self-effacing, self-sacrificing, empathetic, and driven by duty to family, country, and God,” Romney tweeted.

John McCain was a war hero. He chose to stay in Hanoi with other prisoners rather than return home. That is an act of heroism that can never be taken away from him. His actions after he returned home, however, do not live up to the character he displayed while in Hanoi.

I am not going to go through McCain’s biography. The man is dead, may he rest in peace. However, there are some things that he did in the later years of his life that were questionable at best. He was involved in the whole scam to bring down President Trump with the phony dossier. He also betrayed those who elected him when he refused to vote to repeal ObamaCare. McCain did not always uphold the exemplary values he exhibited while a Prisoner of War. As a Senator, he was vindictive and often petty. I am afraid Mitt Romney may be following his example.

The Real Numbers

On Friday The Daily Signal posted an article about the consequences of winding down ObamaCare. It seems that the press and the Congressional Budget Office lied to Americans about the consequences of repealing ObamaCare.

The article reports:

According to a report by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released Wednesday, the Congressional Budget Office wildly overestimated the number of people who would lose their health insurance with the repeal of the individual mandate penalty.

Initial estimates from the Congressional Budget Office said 14 million would drop off their health insurance coverage due to the elimination of the individual mandate. Then, during the height of the 2017 debate over repeal, progressives touted a leaked number from the Congressional Budget Office claiming that 22 million people would “lose” their insurance if Congress repealed the law.

However, as health care analyst Avik Roy pointed out, what made this number so high was the inflated number of people expected to lose their insurance due to repeal of the mandate—about 73 percent to be exact. So, it wouldn’t be 22 million Americans losing their insurance. Most of those in the projection would simply be choosing to opt out of insurance.

And it turns out even that wasn’t true. A far smaller number of Americans appear to be opting out of insurance since the individual mandate’s repeal. Only 2.5 million more people are expected to go without insurance in 2019 due to its repeal, according to the latest report, and that number is expected to decline in the years ahead.

Putting the government in charge of healthcare is always a bad idea. Economist Milton Friedman once stated, “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.” The government is not responsible for providing healthcare to anyone. Charitable hospitals and charitable organizations are welcome to take on that responsibility, but government healthcare is nowhere to be found in the U.S. Constitution.

The article further states:

Doug Badger, a visiting fellow in domestic policy studies at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal that Congressional Budget Office analysis has been a chronic problem.

“When it comes to the individual mandate, CBO has never let the facts affect their wildly inaccurate estimates. CBO continued to forecast that millions of insured Americans would suddenly become uninsured if the mandate were repealed,” Badger wrote in an email to The Daily Signal. “CBO’s faulty estimates misled the public into believing that repealing Obamacare would lead to a vast increase in the number of uninsured. Bad estimates produced bad policy.”

Many conservatives are fed up with the deference shown to the agency, given it’s poor track record and track of transparency. Reps. Mark Walker, R-N.C., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, suggested in 2017 that it’s time to stop “blindly” following the agency’s predictions.

“The value of having outside experts review legislation cannot be understated,” they wrote for the Washington Examiner. “But continuing to hinge congressional actions on the projections of an agency that has proven to be so consistently wrong does a disservice to not only members trying to represent their constituents, it primarily does a disservice to the public.”

I wrote in 2017 that perhaps we should be more skeptical toward the findings of independent agencies like the Congressional Budget Office. It seems those doubts were valid.

People based their votes on the information they were given. It is a shame that a government agency provided inaccurate information.

Good News–Temporary Good News, But Good News

Breitbart is reporting today that a White House study released on Friday found that President Donald Trump’s Obamacare reforms will save Americans roughly $450 billion over the next ten years.

That is wonderful news, but it is only temporary wonderful news.

The article reports:

A White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) study released on Friday found that Americans will save $450 billion through Trump’s Obamacare reforms. The CEA suggested that Trump’s repeal of the Obamacare individual mandate and the expansion of short-term insurance plans and Association Health Plans (AHPs) will save Americans billions over the next ten years.

The White House also suggested that the benefits of Trump’s deregulatory actions saved Americans billions, increased access to more health insurance options, and did not amount to a “sabotage” of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Unfortunately these savings are a result of Executive Orders, not legislative action. That means that the changes can theoretically be reversed by a future President. It would have been wonderful if Congress had stepped up to the plate and made the necessary changes.

The article concludes:

Many Americans have contended that because 80 percent of those who paid the Obamacare mandate made less than $50,000 a year, the individual mandate repeal serves as a significant middle-class tax break.

The CEA said about 87 percent of Obamacare exchange enrollees receive ACA subsidies and “only pay a fraction of their health insurance costs.”

Many Obamacare proponents suggested that the repeal of the individual mandate, as well as the expansion of short-term plans and AHPs, would lead to higher premiums on the Obamacare exchanges.

In contrast, the CEA contended that because more people will use AHPs and short-term plans and fewer people will use the ACA exchanges, the government will save $185 billion over the next ten years.

The CEA said that instead of sabotaging the ACA, the Trump administration offered millions of Americans more affordable health insurance options.

“The oft-expressed view that deregulation ‘sabotages the ACA’ by giving consumers more insurance-coverage options is misguided,” the CEA said.

The free market is always the best answer.

My, How Times Change

Remember when the Democrats told us that ObamaCare was not a step in the direction of government-controlled single-payer healthcare? Well, that statement is now inoperative.

The Washington Examiner reported the following yesterday:

House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., has asked the Congressional Budget Office to analyze the effects of shifting all healthcare costs onto the federal government, a first step toward the “Medicare for all” legislation sought by progressives.

…Yarmuth said in a statement that his request for the score is aimed to inform House hearings on “single payer,” proposals. Such hearings would be the first step in the process toward passing legislation enacting single payer systems, a top goal pursued by progressives like Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.

The article concludes:

The study concluded that overall spending, not just government spending, would be $2 trillion less compared to where spending is projected under the current healthcare system, but that would come mostly through cutting payments that hospitals and other providers were getting from private insurance by about 40 percent. Higher taxes may be under consideration to have Medicare payments align more closely with those of private insurers.

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., had asked CBO to score the Medicare for All Act introduced by Sanders. In taking up various requests, CBO analysts tend to focus on bills that are closer to passage.

If you read this blog on a regular basis, you have seen this quote before, but here it is again:

Milton Friedman, “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there’d be a shortage of sand.”

Britain has single-payer health care. In March 2017, The Daily Wire posted an article about the problems with the British health care system.

These are some of the highlights from the article:

“Pressure on all services is rising and care is increasingly being rationed. Waiting lists should not be rising, and yet they are,” said Mark Porter, council chair of the British Medical Association (BMA).

“Doctors always want to deliver the best possible care for our patients, but we can’t continuously plug gaps by penny pinching and poaching from elsewhere in an overstretched NHS.”

…A study conducted by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine concluded that around 750 patients a month – one in 28 – pass away due to subpar quality of care, which includes “inattentive monitoring of the patient’s condition, doctors making the wrong diagnosis, or patients being prescribed the wrong medicine.” In other words, patients needlessly die as a result of the incompetence of the NHS.

For example, in January an elderly woman died from cardiac arrest after waiting 35 hours on a trolley because there was a shortage in hospital beds. A 73-year-old man also died from an aneurysm in the same hospital as he languished in the waiting room.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. Note that single-payer health care is government-controlled. Do you really want the government controlling your health care?

Government Health Care Comes To New York City

The Daily Wire is reporting today that New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio has announced that the city will begin a ‘universal’ health care program that will provide for health care for all uninsured New York City residents, “regardless of their ability to pay or their immigration status.”

The article reports:

ABC News reports that de Blasio’s new plan, NYC Care, isn’t exactly a “universal health care” plan, but rather a “guarantee” that the city will pay for preventative medical care for an estimated 600,000 who do not have insurance, but live within the boundaries of New York City.

Health care, De Blasio announced, is now a “right” for anyone who gets sick in NYC.

“We recognized that obviously health care is not just in theory a right,” de Blasio told media ahead of his announcement. “We have to make it in practice a right.”

“Health care is a human right. In this city we are going to make that a reality,” de Blasio repeated at a press conference on the expansion Tuesday morning.

The plan, which isn’t precisely a plan — details are scant on how the system will actually work — will cover everything from mental health services, to well visits, to maternity care for New Yorkers who choose to go without insurance, or who can’t afford even the basic, public insurance option that New York City already offers, and aren’t signed up for “Obamacare” options on the state exchange.

The article mentions Mayor De Blasio’s estimate of the cost:

As Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro pointed out on Twitter, de Blasio’s government estimates the plan will cost the city no more than $100 million per year — an amount that de Blasio says precludes having to raise taxes to cover the program. But the $100 million number assumes either that not all 600,000 uninsured individuals will need medical care, or that medical care will be provided at far below market value.

If anyone wants to start a pool on how long it is before New York City has to raise taxes to pay for this, I’m in. I wonder if this new service (and its cost) will speed up the exodus from New York.

Misplacing The Blame

For years the Republicans told us that if they controlled the House of Representatives and the Senate, they would repeal ObamaCare, defund Planned Parenthood, and build a border wall. We gave them the House and the Senate. Then they said they couldn’t do what they said because they didn’t have the Presidency. So we gave them the Presidency. We were so naive. When they knew their votes on these matters would not be vetoed, they broke the promises they made to the voters and voted against repealing, defunding, and building.

On Thursday Breitbart posted an article about some recent comments by Tucker Carlson.

The article reports:

Fox News host Tucker Carlson said in an interview Thursday that President Donald Trump has succeeded as a conversation starter but has failed to keep his most important campaign promises.

“His chief promises were that he would build the wall, de-fund Planned Parenthood, and repeal Obamacare, and he hasn’t done any of those things,” Carlson told Urs Gehriger of the Swiss weekly Die Weltwoche.

“I’ve come to believe that Trump’s role is not as a conventional president who promises to get certain things achieved to the Congress and then does,” said Carlson, whose new book Ship of Fools is a New York Times bestseller.

I like Tucker Carlson. I enjoy his TV show, but I think he is totally wrong on this. Republicans in Congress also made these promises. They had the votes to keep all of these promises, pass the laws needed, and send the bills to President Trump for his signature. I don’t think the problem is President Trump. I think the problem is Republicans in Congress that have reneged on their promises because of the groups that are funding their campaigns. Opensecrets.org is the website that tracks campaign donations. If you want to know why we don’t have a border wall, look at the expenditures of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. They are a group that likes the cheap labor of a porous border. The contribute heavily to Republican lawmakers. That is one reason there is no border wall. There won’t be as long as the Congressmen who receive money from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are in office. If you want to know why Planned Parenthood is still getting government money, look at the campaign donations they make. How much money is the healthcare lobby pouring into Congress? The problem is not President Trump.

Respecting The Wishes Of Pro-Life Americans

On Wednesday, Life News posted an article about some changes the Trump administration has made to ObamaCare health plans.

The article reports:

Today the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a new rule directing insurers selling Obamacare plans that cover elective abortion to collect a separate payment from enrollees for that coverage, as required by law. Under the Obama administration, insurers were allowed to collect these payments together in violation of clear statutory language.

In 2018, taxpayer-funded Obamacare insurance plans in 24 states and the District of Columbia are allowed to cover elective abortion with an embedded abortion surcharge. In 10 of those states more than 85 percent of Obamacare plans cover abortion on demand, including seven states where every single Obamacare plan for individuals and families covers elective abortion.

I don’t want to make abortion illegal–I want it available on the rare occasions it is medically necessary. However, I don’t want to be forced to pay for abortions that take place simply because a child is an inconvenience.

Because the Senate Republicans broke faith with the American people, we still have ObamaCare. Hopefully that will change in the near future.

The article concludes:

National Right to Life President Carol Tobias added, “We applaud President Trump and his administration for enforcing the law and seeking to uphold the principles of the Hyde Amendment to prevent the use of tax dollars to pay for abortion coverage.”

Another leading pro-life group praised the Trump administration for issuing the new rule.

“We thank President Trump and HHS Secretary Azar for enforcing the law and providing much-needed transparency about Obamacare’s abortion coverage,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser, in remarks to LifeNews.

She added: “Obamacare was the largest expansion of taxpayer-funded abortion on demand since Roe. Then, the Obama administration went even further by allowing insurers to ignore the plain language of the law that said an abortion surcharge had to be collected separately. Instead, the Obama administration allowed the “separate” abortion surcharge to be collected along with regular premiums, effectively defining ‘separate’ to mean ‘together.’ Thanks to this trickery, millions of Americans have unwittingly purchased plans without knowing about the hidden abortion surcharge. Consumers deserve to know how Obamacare pays for abortion so they can avoid having their hard-earned dollars used to fund the destruction of innocent lives. Congress must still act to eliminate abortion funding from Obamacare, but until then, the rule issued today is an important step in the right direction.”

The law preventing taxpayers from paying for abortion has been in place for years. Those in Washington need to follow that law.

A Few Observations From The Polls

I have visited my local voting place twice today. Don’t worry–I didn’t vote twice–my husband was handing out information, and I went to provide food and moral support. While I was there, I picked up some literature from the Democrats and investigated the talking points on their local website.

This is what I learned.

Their website states:

Democrats are standing up for the American Dream: an economy and government that works for everyone, not just the few.

Found on their Twitter page:

Hi kids, this is your Mom. Remember to vote on 11/6. If Trump cuts my Social Security and Medicare I’m moving in with you!

Both these statements are totally misleading.

The American Dream is more accessible to everyone under President Trump than it was under President Obama, a Democrat. According to a Western Journal article posted December 18, 2017:

The national unemployment rate for black Americans, ages 16 and over, is the lowest it has been in 17 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In November 2016, the unemployment rate for black people was at 8 percent, and in November 2017 that rate dropped to 7.3 percent — a percentage not seen since the months of September, October and November 2000.

As reported by CNS News, black unemployment rate during the Bush and Obama era’s fluctuated between 7 and 17 percent.

BLS data also shows that labor force participation among African-Americans rose from 61.9 percent in November 2016 to 62.2 percent in November 2017.

Unemployment rate for the Hispanic demographic fell from 5.7 percent to 4.7 percent — the lowest it’s been in 44 years, while the unemployment rate for whites and Asians hovered around 3 percent, roughly the same as one year prior.

About Social Security cuts–none of us can predict the future, but we can draw conclusions based on past behavior. This is the chart showing Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) to Social Security in recent years:

I know that it’s only a coincidence that one of the biggest increases in Social Security occurred in 2011, a year before the 2012 election.

As far as Medicare is concerned, the statements are also misleading. The Republicans are not the ones who have cut Medicare. Medicare funding was cut to fund ObamaCare. On August 13, 2012, Forbes Magazine reported:

You wouldn’t know it from listening to the Obama campaign, but there’s only one Presidential candidate in 2012 who has cut Medicare: Barack Obama, whose Affordable Care Act cuts Medicare by $716 billion from 2013-2022. Today, the Romney campaign reiterated its pledge to repeal Obamacare, and promised to “restore the funding to Medicare [and] ensure that no changes are made to the program for those 55 and older.”

If any of the above is news to you, you need to reconsider where you are getting your news. If you were already aware of the above information and voted Democrat, then it is obvious that facts will not get in the way of your opinion. Facts are such inconvenient things.

Misleading Voters In The Hope Of Winning Elections

Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial on Friday about misleading claims about ObamaCare by Democrats running for office.

The editorial reports:

Democrats want health care to be a major deciding issue in the midterm elections and are spending a fortune running campaign ads. Too bad most of the ads make the false claim that Republicans would take away protections for pre-existing conditions.

From January to July, Democrats spent some $17 million for 56,000 health care ads on behalf of Senate candidates, according to USA Today.

The Wesleyan Media Project reported that 44% of all the ads for congressional Democrats focused on health care. In Senate races, half of the ads were on health care, and another 16% on prescription drug costs.

One of the claims in the ads is that Republicans want to deny insurance to those with pre-existing conditions. This is a scare tactic.

The editorial explains the Republican plan for dealing with those who have pre-existing conditions (The article notes that the individual market comprises just 7% of the total insurance market. And of those, only a much smaller fraction had ever been denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions before ObamaCare.):

One GOP idea was to create subsidized high-risk pools for those whose health needs would truly make them ineligible for coverage. Another was to provide protections for those who maintain continuous coverage. That would prevent people from gaming the system by waiting until they’re sick to buy insurance. (In contrast to ObamaCare, which encourages people to game the system.) Still another was to expand access to group coverage by removing needless government restrictions on “association health plans.”

Whatever anyone thinks of the Republican alternatives, it’s clear that ObamaCare’s approach is failing. Its rules and mandates led to double-digit price increases year after year, which have priced millions of families out of the insurance market altogether. (So much for guaranteed coverage.) Those who can afford ObamaCare coverage have no choice but to enroll in HMO-style plans with extremely high deductibles. (So much for making insurance “affordable.”)

The GOP proposals aren’t perfect, a point we made in this space many times. But ObamaCare as it exists today is a disaster. It promises affordable coverage, but makes it impossible for millions to get it. And it requires massive taxpayer subsidies to bring individual insurance within reach of anyone.

Unfortunately voters who are not well informed may believe the lies being told. Hopefully enough people have been negatively impacted by ObamaCare to see through this ploy.

Running Against Opponents Funded By Outside Sources

Yesterday The Washington Free Beacon posted an article about Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, currently running for re-election.

The article reports:

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is one of three attorneys general in the country who knows his opponent this fall has the backing of California billionaire and political activist Tom Steyer, but told the Washington Free Beacon he believes his track record of focusing on local issues and the rule of law will be a better hand come November.

Steyer’s efforts on the national stage have been flashy. He has poured his resources into the “Need to Impeach” television campaign and pledged hundreds of millions to help Democrats retake the majority in the House of Representatives.

However, Steyer has not abandoned local politics, keeping an eye out for local races that interest him. In this instance, he is backing the Democratic nominee January Contreras, who has experience as a county and state prosecutor, but has never run for elected office until now.

“It’s been said that you can judge a person by their opponents, so I don’t know if I should take it as a badge of honor that a California billionaire with a radical-left agenda has decided to target me,” Brnovich told the Free Beacon in a recent one-on-one interview.

There are certain state offices that are vital to the Democrat’s agenda. For instance, a state Attorney General can decide not to report illegal aliens to immigration services. A state Attorney General can decide to look the other way regarding certain laws. A state Attorney General has the power to take the blindfold off of justice and corrupt the system of justice in a state. A Secretary of State is in charge of elections in most states. There is tremendous potential for mischief in that office.

Targeting certain state offices in not a new Democrat tactic. The video “Rocky Mountain Heist” (available at YouTube) explains how a group of wealthy men targeted certain key offices in Colorado and turned a red state blue.

I have embedded the video here because I am not sure how much longer it will be available at YouTube:

One example of how state politics can have a national impact. Ted Kennedy died in August 2009. His vote was needed to get ObamaCare past a Republican filibuster. During the time Mitt Romney was Governor of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts legislature had passed a law saying that any Senate vacancy would be filled by a special election rather than by appointment of the Governor. Massachusetts law now requires a special election to be held on a Tuesday, no fewer than 145 days, nor more than 160 days from the date of office vacancy. When Ted Kennedy died, Governor Patrick (a Democrat) appointed the Executor of Ted Kennedy’s will to fill the vacancy temporarily. The special election was held in January–after the Senate had voted on ObamaCare. The reason that ObamaCare was passed through reconciliation rather than being voted on again in the Senate was that after Scott Brown won the election in Massachusetts, he would have been the vote that blocked ObamaCare. State politics make a difference nationally.

 

Those Nasty Unintended Consequences

On Monday, Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial detailing the impact of ObamaCare on doctors.

The editorial reports:

A year before ObamaCare became law, an IBD/TIPP Poll warned that it would lead to doctor shortages because many would quit or retire early. New evidence shows that our warnings were dead on.

A recent report from the Association of Medical Colleges projects doctor shortages of up to 121,300 within the next 12 years. That’s a 16% increase from their forecast just last year.

Not only are medical schools having trouble attracting doctors (New York University plans to offer free tuition to its med students), but current physicians are cutting back on patient visits, retiring early or switching careers.

An article in a recent issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings says that nearly one in five doctors plan to switch to part-time clinical hours, 27% plan to leave their current practice, and 9% plan to get an administrative job or switch careers entirely.

The editorial cites one possible reason for the declining number of doctors:

One of the big drivers of doctor exits, by the way, is the Obama administration’s “electronic health records” mandate, which was supposed to vastly improve the quality and efficiency of care.

It’s had the opposite effect. A Mayo Clinic survey found that the EHR mandate is reducing efficiency, increasing costs and paperwork hassles, and pushing more doctors to quit or retire early.

A Harris Poll found that 59% of doctors say the current EHR system foisted on them by the Obama administration needs “a complete overhaul,” and 40% say it imposes more challenges than benefits.

ObamaCare continued what had been a long and sorry trend in health care. Government-imposed rules designed to fix some problem in the system instead generated mountains of new administrative work.

The result has been that while the number of physicians in the country has climbed modestly over the past three decades, the number of health care administrators exploded.

This is an illustration of the consequences of government interference in the free market. The free market isn’t perfect, but it is the best way to keep prices down, innovation up, and industries (and professions) moving forward.