The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

More on health care reform

Democrats have assailed Republicans for wanting to “repeal and replace” the so-called “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” usually known as “Obamacare,” but not having any plan for the replacement: in other words, Republicans are accused of being willing to “repeal” but only giving lip service to “replace.” Well, a couple of weeks ago, I read of a plan by Republican Senators Richard Burr, Tom Coburn, and Orrin Hatch that would replace “Obamacare.” As described in that article (see my January 29, 2014 post entitled “Reforming health care”) the Burr/Coburn/Hatch plan had some flaws, but recently I saw an editorial in The Washington Post that gave a description that differed from the one I saw last month. (The Post did not like the Burr/Coburn/Hatch proposal; it called it “a starting point for a conversation, not a replacement”; but that's another matter — for one, the Post seems to think that mandates are a good idea!) The original article I saw last month said that Burr/Coburn/Hatch would not require insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions, but only grant the companies incentives, while the plan described in the Post editorial would require this coverage; and there was no mention in the earlier posting of replacing the individual mandate by a plan similar to what Medicare Part D has — allowing the insurance companies to charge a higher premium to people eligible for coverage who chose not to buy insurance (which I think is the best way to sove the problem of people signing up only after they become sick), but the Post editorial says that Burr/Coburn/Hatch has such a provision. I don't know whether the first posting was in error, or the Senators involved modified their proposal, but if the Post editorial is correct about those two provisions, Burr/Coburn/Hatch becomes a plan I can support pretty much unreservedly.

It is going to be a major slog trying to get something like Burr/Coburn/Hatch passed, of course. The Senate is still dominated by Democrats, though in November an election is coming up that may — probably will — change that; and President Obama is on track to veto any bill that destroys his “masterpiece.” But this blog will favor the implementation of Burr/Coburn/Hatch or something like it, and you are likely to read more here in the future.

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