If My Health Plan Died, Did Obama Lie? Sort Of, But It Died For a Good Cause

Right-wing pundit Michelle Malkin’s insurer has canceled her health insurance plan, due, they say, to the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). She quotes Obama, “If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.” Malkin concludes, “Obama lied. My health plan died.”

Did Obama lie? Yes—and no—and yes. But Malkin fails to admit that her plan died so that people like her could be protected for life. Period. No matter what medical tragedy might occur.

In some sense, what Obama promised was obviously impossible. Millions of Americans have experienced the end of their health plan—or major changes in it—even without health care reform. Insurers (and employers) change their plans because of recessions, rising medical care costs, hospital mergers, and such. In a market, companies react to market forces. Continue reading

You can’t have it both ways: Taking from the rich to buy health care

Three and a half years after Obamacare passed, three weeks before the Exchanges go live, and coinciding with their 42nd attempt to destroy the law, House Republicans have an official alternative to Obamacare. In fact, Republican Congressman Tom Price, already had a proposal. But a key change from that proposal—eliminating tax credits in favor of only tax deductions—is revealing. It shows that House Republicans are unwilling to take from the rich and therefore unwilling to ensure that all Americans get modern healthcare.

Our biggest problems with health insurance come from something really good—the great stuff health care can do. Continue reading

Developing the Obama Administration’s College Ratings System: Tower of Babel?

While the price of college has been rising almost as fast as health insurance, graduation rates have stagnated. The Obama administration has responded with a new higher education plan, based on developing a new ratings system for colleges, to be ready before the 2015 school year.  The hope is to unleash market forces on the cosseted ivory tower: students (and families) will shop around for better quality and lower cost, driving the colleges to greater efficiency and quality.

Good luck getting agreement on a ratings system. Different students want different things from higher education. And government should only be supporting some of those things. Continue reading