Monday, August 12, 2013

What Are We Thinking?

As I review the news it is often hard to not ask, "What are we thinking?"

A few examples.

Fort Hood Murders

Major Nidal Hasan is on trial for killing 13 unarmed soldiers and wounding another 30 others at Fort Hood, Texas in November, 2009.  Despite the fact that Hasan shouted "Allahu Akbar" as he opened fire and there was evidence he held extreme Islamic views, the Defense Department classified the case as one of "workplace violence".

In his opening statement Hasan, acting as his own counsel. stated, "The evidence will clearly show that I am the shooter."

It has also taken almost four years to bring Hasan to trial during which time he has continued to draw full military pay.

What are we thinking?

Afghanistan Contracts

A second example is the report that the Pentagon is moving forward with a $772 million purchase of aircraft for the Afghanistan army.

Of course, there are two simple problems with this.

First, the Special Inspector General of the Afghan reconstruction warned in a recent audit that the Afghans do not have the personnel or expertise to operate or maintain the aircraft.

Second, $554 million of the aircraft purchases are for a contract for 30 Mi-17 Russian helicopters!

Credit: World

If this was not bizarre enough, the same Inspector General reported that the U.S. Army had refused to bar 43 individuals or companies in Afghanistan from getting U.S. contracts despite information that they supported the Taliban.  The Inspector General concluded in his report, "In other words, they may be enemies of the United States, but that is not enough to keep them from getting government contracts."

What are we thinking?


Finally, Obamacare's main objective was to reduce the number of uninsured Americans without health care insurance.  But 59% of the uninsured are under the age of 35.  This is also the adult age group that is the least costly to insure.

However, the structure of Obamacare actually will increase the cost of healthcare for this age group in order to subsidize the cost of those older and that have expensive pre-existing conditions.  That is because the law dictates that the old cannot be charged more than 3 times the annual premium for coverage than is charged to the young.  The problem with this is that actuaries will tell you that the normal cost factor is about double this (someone in their 60's will average 5 or 6 times the cost of someone in their 20's).

The result is that Obamacare greatly increases the cost of healthcare insurance coverage for exactly the group that is most likely to be uninsured.

This chart from Forbes projects that younger individuals will see increased premiums in 45 of the 50 states.

That is why you have seen reports of premium increases from Washington state (+34%-80%), to Ohio (+88%) to Georgia (85% to 198% for a 25-year old man).  You can expect more of the same from many more states.

Obamacare supporters argue that these premium increases will be offset by government provided subsidies to reduce the actual cost of coverage to the individual. However, as I pointed out in my post, "Obamacare Is Still Dangerous For Democrats", the subsidies are not as large as many might expect.

For example, under Obamacare, a 27-year female who makes $35,000 per year is required to purchase health insurance coverage that is estimated to cost $3,391 per year. She would be eligible for a government subsidy of just $66. She would also be responsible for up to $4,167 in additional out-of-pocket costs for the year.

Does anyone really think that this young lady is going to buy health care insurance at this cost considering the penalty tax for failing to do so (if they can collect it) would be just $350?

We passed a 2,700 page bill that has resulted in 20,000 pages of regulations to end up with this?

What are we thinking?

No comments:

Post a Comment