Available Now! (click cover)

America's Counter-Revolution
The Constitution Revisited

From the back cover:

This book challenges the assumption that the Constitution was a landmark in the struggle for liberty. Instead, Sheldon Richman argues, it was the product of a counter-revolution, a setback for the radicalism represented by America’s break with the British empire. Drawing on careful, credible historical scholarship and contemporary political analysis, Richman suggests that this counter-revolution was the work of conservatives who sought a nation of “power, consequence, and grandeur.” America’s Counter-Revolution makes a persuasive case that the Constitution was a victory not for liberty but for the agendas and interests of a militaristic, aristocratic, privilege-seeking ruling class.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Incoherent Romney

Mitt Romney says he wouldn't repeal all of Obamacare. He'll keep the rule forbidding exclusion for preexisting conditions, i.e., he'll maintain guaranteed issue. But he is going to find that he can't do just that. If all that's mandated is guaranteed issue, what's to stop insurers from charging premiums to already-sick clients that amount simply to prepayment for the medical expenses they are certain to incur (plus administrative overhead)? At that point the coverage is no longer insurance. Also, that won't fly politically, which is why guaranteed issue is always coupled with community rating--the requirement that insurers charge people in the same area the same premiums regardless of their health. That requirement raises premiums for younger healthy people so they will cross-subsidize older and sicker people.

But that leads to a new problem. (See Mises's Critique of Interventionism.) Younger and healthier people will leave the insurance market: Why pay inflated premiums when you can put off buying coverage until you are sick?

There's only one solution to this problem if the other interventions are to be maintained: an individual insurance mandate, the centerpiece of Obamacare, which Republicans and conservatives say they hate. Except that they don't really. Romney enacted a mandate in Massachusetts, and the conservative Heritage Foundation proposed one in the 1990s after the Clintons proposed their health care overhaul.

Is this Romney capitulation to Obamacare enough to keep the GOP base home and assure Obama the election?

No comments: