December 20, 2009

At the Winter Café...


... you can heat up the conversation.


Ron said...

Christmas trees! I haven't heated up any dinner! I need suggestions, Mein Althousianfreuden!

Wince said...

Richard A. Epstein has published a novel argument why the Reid Health Care bill is uncostitutional.

Impermissible Ratemaking in Health-Insurance Reform: Why the Reid Bill is Unconstitutional

Richard A. Epstein
Medical Progress Today
December 18, 2009


Right now, the Senate is anxiously considering HR-SA 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—a.k.a. the Reid Bill—which builds on earlier efforts in the Senate and House to reach a new consensus on health-care reform.[1] Many legislative uncertainties remain, but its key characteristics seem fixed in stone, and they highlight the radical nature of this legislation.

Senator Orrin Hatch has long urged that the legislation is unconstitutional for its overreaching on individual choice. This paper focuses on the constitutional question in the ratemaking context, by comparison to analogous regulations in the context of public-utility regulation. One telling sign of the relevance of this analysis comes from the Congressional Budget Office ("CBO"). In a recent release, it has treated the proposal as if it nationalizes much of the private health insurance industry, most specifically because it may well require that rebates to customers kick in whenever, in its words, "medical loss ratios are less than 90 percent."[2] In plain English, the Reid Bill assumes that health-care administration, which is always costly, can be done cheaply even in the new legal environment, so cheaply in fact that these health-insurance rebates kick in whenever insurers' administrative expenses exceed 10 percent of their premium dollar. As the CBO has concluded, "this further expansion of the federal government's role in the health insurance market would make such insurance an essentially governmental program ..."

In effect, the onerous obligations under the Reid Bill would convert private health insurance companies into virtual public utilities. This action is not only a source of real anxiety but also a decision of constitutional proportions, for it systematically strips the regulated health-insurance issuers of their constitutional entitlement to earn a reasonable rate of return on the massive amounts of capital that they have already invested in building out their businesses...

Chip Ahoy said...

Soup, strips of beef top round with fresh vegetables and miso

Wince said...

I meant to say unconstitutional not "uncostitutional"(above), but given Epstein's argument about natural monopolies and regulation, it's a pretty good pun.

Irene said...

Are any of the locals here following the Shorewood Hills NIMBY squabble?

It makes the Target tiff look like a hiccup.

It's vintage Madison.

rhhardin said...

Red ball play video.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Madison Haiku

Cold cold cold cold cold,
Cold cold cold cold cold cold cold,
Cold cold cold cold cold.

Penny said...

"Richard A. Epstein has published a novel argument why the Reid Health Care bill is uncostitutional."

A lawyer to "save" us? You gotta be friggin' kidding me?

I know it's the Christmas season, but when was the last time you saw a lawyer in "swaddling clothes"?

Wince said...

The Epstein piece is one of the most comprehensive, lucid and cogent arguments I’ve seen on the Reid health care bill.

It blends elements of law and economics in a very readable to the layman. A must read.

If the Democrats pass and Obama signs the Reid bill, there will be a constitutional crisis if a federal judge issues an injunction to stop its implementation. If not, the Epstein piece explains quite simply why it could lead to catastrophe.

The Democrats, indeed, are on the "precipice."

Penny said...

Hi, cousin Ron! lol You made me laugh. Right before I turned on my stove to heat up some ham and string beans. Thanks for the reminder, honey.

Ron said...

Penny, you are a sweetie! (Penny is Ginger Rogers characters name in Swing Time! This is a good thing...)

Taking Chip's advice, I culled the larder (which is lacking!) and made a penne dish with a red sauce filled with onions, black olives and heaps o' garlic! Good stuff! Thanks, Chip!

Penny said...

"The Democrats, indeed, are on the "precipice.""

Doesn't that depend on how you're holding that picture, EDH?

Because personally, I think the far left is nearing the top of the mountain?

Penny said...

I have no issues with either mountain climbers or cliff jumpers. ALL excellent athletes.

I only get REALLY pissed when they screw up, and expect the rest of us to save their sorry "athletic" asses.

Wince said...

Penny, I have no idea what your argument is in either retort.

blogging cockroach said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
blogging cockroach said...

i don t know about you but i hate snow
here i am stuck in the house with
not only tommy
he s the boy whose computer i use
but also mom and dad and tommy s brother
who just l o v e s to swat insects
dad tries to teach him about karma
and how moths don t really hurt us
and bro just grabs a flyswatter and

w h a p

another sentient being bites the dust

s h u d d e r

anyway i see some other cockroach got
a gig on olga s hot for words
lucky bastard altho he seems to
have lost an antenna in the process
of playing a raisin on olga s cereal
that she almost eats and then s c r e a m s
hell if i was still a human i wouldn t
mind losing an appendage or 2 in olga
but now that i m more brittle i think
i won t chance it and anyway one reason
i am a cockroach at least i think is
because i was such a lech last time
around as an alleged human who would
probably have been eating olga rather
than the other way around and
i bet she would have screamed
about that too but not in a phobic
way if you know what i mean

MadisonMan said...

Tyrone, today was above normal.

Elliott A said...

We got 1/8 inch of snow yesterday evening and it didn't all melt until about 9 this morning. Sadly, it didn't stick on my camellia bushes (which are blooming) because that makes a pretty picture. While I miss the snow I saw growing up in Jersey, I don't think I miss it enough to live where those idyllic winter scenes are common. Please enjoy it for me and I will live vicariously through your experience.

Elliott A said...

Since when does the congress do anything with any regard to the constitution?

Penny said...

"Penny, I have no idea what your argument is in either retort."

Basically what I'm saying EDH is that no one can save us when we've lost our common sense.

Politics has become an "extreme" sport. Not all that long ago, we had few cliff divers or mountain climbers, because the price for not being good at either was death.

Today the price of not being good at your extreme athleticism or your extreme potitics, is that someone can be expected to save your sorry ass, all the while risking their own lives.

The extreme right and the extreme left are the cliff divers and mountain climbers. The emergency crews sent in to save their missteps are the taxpayers.

In case you haven't noticed, emergency personnel and taxpayers are in short supply.

Penny said...

OK, that's enough politics for me today, and besides, one of the main reasons I come to Althouse is her photographic cafes, and those I might meet here.

Rare is the photo taken by Althouse that I don't want to paint, but sorry, Ann. This picture falls in my "rare" category. The mood is set, the colors are lovely, but the composition seems a bit off?

former law student said...

Here's a little pickmeup for non-conservationists:

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