Legislators pull last tooth from ethics watchdog

The excellent Jim Walls, at Atlanta Unfiltered, reports the latest pettiness of our legislators directed at the state Ethics Commission:

“Georgia legislators last week took back an extra $30,000 budgeted to enforce ethics laws in 2012, leaving the State Campaign Finance Commission yet again to do more paper-shuffling and less investigating.

Lawmakers’ parting gift before adjournment could cripple the commission’s capacity to look into allegations against elected officials, candidates and lobbyists. The agency also may not be able to collect even the most rudimentary fines, including late filing fees that accrue automatically.”

But that’s not even the worst of it. Legislators also passed a requirement that the commission use certified letters, rather than a certified e-mail service, to notify politicians of a potential problem with their disclosure reports.

As Walls reports, each certified letter costs the commission $5.54 for each notice, for a total cost of $130,000. The $30,000 was intended to cover a small portion of that unfunded mandate, but even that was stripped out in the end.

As a result, the commission now lacks the money to mail out those warning notices. If it can’t mail out warning notices, it can’t impose fines or late fees either.

“We’ll just use what little money we have until we run out, and then we just won’t be able to send [the notices] out,” Stacey Kalberman, executive secretary for the agency, told Walls.

How utterly convenient.

– Jay Bookman

404 comments Add your comment

jm

April 20th, 2011
5:20 pm

Dentures?

Looks like they need to call Ted Turner or Ray Boyd.

Paul

April 20th, 2011
5:20 pm

Jay

Your crooks are clever.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

April 20th, 2011
5:22 pm

Political tricks. Of coruse given Deal’s prior ethical issues and the many other issues with the state legislators, its no wonder they don’t want real ethics reform.

Kamchak

April 20th, 2011
5:22 pm

As a result, the commission now lacks the money to mail out those warning notices. If it can’t mail out warning notices, it can’t impose fines or late fees either.

It’s almost as if — no infraction ever existed!

jm

April 20th, 2011
5:23 pm

Ray Boyd is breaking every piece of furniture in his house right now.

Jay

April 20th, 2011
5:23 pm

Nicely done, Paul, doncha think?

Dave R.

April 20th, 2011
5:24 pm

Hey, Paul! Your comment below about the French having pretty good ground forces?

I know I’m constantly confused by their annoying habit of waving hello to invaders with both arms outstretched. ;)

USMC dawg

April 20th, 2011
5:25 pm

“As Walls reports, each certified letter costs the commission $5.54 for each notice, for a total cost of $130,000.”

Is that the U.S. (Government) Post Office charging that outlandish price for a certified letter?

jm

April 20th, 2011
5:25 pm

$6 Gas? Could Happen if Dollar Keeps Getting Weaker
http://www.cnbc.com/id/42683030

Guess we already crossed the $5 gas threshold. My Prius doesn’t keep me up to date on current gas prices by dent of a dearth of trips to QT.

Dave R.

April 20th, 2011
5:26 pm

To the topic at hand, I’ve witnessed the Ethics Board in action, and a more worthless, brainless bunch you could not find elsewhere.

jm

April 20th, 2011
5:26 pm

Hell, gas is becoming so valuable I may try to start getting my paycheck in gallons…. or bars.

jm

April 20th, 2011
5:27 pm

Ray Boyd is so hopping mad, he’s probably reached escape velocity and on his way to the moon right now.

Doggone/GA

April 20th, 2011
5:27 pm

““We’ll just use what little money we have until we run out, and then we just won’t be able to send [the notices] out,” Stacy Kalberman, executive director for the agency, told Walls”

Yeah, well…they could post the allegations, without names, on the web…until there are so many the public finally takes notice and demands something be done.

Jay

April 20th, 2011
5:29 pm

Dave R., that’s by design, not by accident.

jm

April 20th, 2011
5:29 pm

Doggone – maybe Ted should give them a billboard on 75-85 to do that. Wait, he sold it…. oops.

jm

April 20th, 2011
5:32 pm

High gas, not good for Obummer re-election prospects. High gas, however, for waking up Americans to fuel efficient cars. Good time to go buy a Hybrid Ford Fusion. :)

USMC dawg

April 20th, 2011
5:32 pm

“Guess we already crossed the $5 gas threshold.”

I am seriously considering downgrading my accord to a civic.

Dave R.

April 20th, 2011
5:32 pm

Agreed, Jay.

jm

April 20th, 2011
5:33 pm

Jay 5:29 – what you’re saying is, there’s no IQ test for the applicants? Or did the APS BOE administer the qualification test?

Paul

April 20th, 2011
5:35 pm

Jay,

Seriously, that was a gambit worthy of the best political operatives. One may detest the results, but still grudgingly admire the play.

ByteMe

April 20th, 2011
5:36 pm

Doggone, they should just use the remaining money to start a web site to announce all issues that way WITH names and links back to the critter’s own web site… and not even mail out notices. How great would that “link love” be when it comes to search engines?

Jay

April 20th, 2011
5:36 pm

jm, the commission has five members — three appointed by the governor, one by the speaker and one by the Senate.

Now, who do you suppose those august leaders would appoint to a board empowered to oversee the ethics of those same august leaders?

jm

April 20th, 2011
5:36 pm

You know, there’s some irony in all of this. The reason oil prices and health care prices are skyrocketing is that, fundamentally, we live in a world of scarcity. Hence, market pricing mechanisms are needed to balance the equation.

But Marx, and his socialist followers, don’t really believe in the pricing mechanism, because the assume the world is full of abundance. So rather than pricing, allocation will work just fine.

You’d think the skyrocketing prices for these 2 important things would provide an indicator that something is amiss. Instead, the left argues for more allocation and price management.

Oyyyy. Just makes your head hurt thinking about how adrift the left is. They’re not even in left field, they’re in the bleachers, or even over at the concession stands.

jm

April 20th, 2011
5:38 pm

Jay 5:36 – not Holmes and Watson? More like Clouseau? :)

1811/1801 - 0311/0317

April 20th, 2011
5:39 pm

” Legislator pull last tooth from ethics watchdog”

Shouldn’t that be “Legislators” ……… plural ?

In any case, just tell them to put that tooth under the Capitol pillow and the political fairies will make it all better.

jm

April 20th, 2011
5:39 pm

BTW, if 3 are from the Gov, and he’s picked a bunch of modern day Madoffs, then I shouldn’t be surprised, but whatever accolades were handed out to Deal should be revoked.

ByteMe

April 20th, 2011
5:39 pm

jm: your understanding of economics is just too rudimentary to rebut, but see if you can answer this question:

If oil (and gold, if you like) was priced using the dollar’s exchange rate of 2003, what would be the price of it today?

We’ll wait. Maybe.

@@

April 20th, 2011
5:40 pm

Well, jay…there’s always you to tell us who’s up, who’s down, who’s in and who’s out.

The Obama administration has drafted an executive order that would force all companies seeking government contracts to disclose their donations to groups airing political ads, as part of a multi-pronged attack on the kind of anonymous campaign spending Republicans walloped Democrats with last year.

===========================================

Pres. Obama’s re-election campaign won’t be disclosing how much money is taken in at the individual fundraising events attended by Pres. Obama. Neither will the Democratic National Committee.

Fundraising numbers have to be filed with the Federal Election Commission, but often not until weeks later – and the FEC documents don’t itemize amounts raised at specific fundraising events.

The Obama Campaign thinks the release of such information might be akin to divulging strategic political information that opponents could use to discern levels of support.

To disclose or not to disclose. It all seems rather sordid, don’t it.

jm

April 20th, 2011
5:41 pm

About That Speech
Mr. Obama’s budget speech makes more sense when one realizes that his sinking poll numbers indicate an erosion in support with his liberal base.

At first glance, President Obama’s partisan speech last week attacking GOP budget proposals was precisely what an incumbent running for re-election shouldn’t do. It was not a speech designed to appeal to independent voters, a group Mr. Obama has suffered serious erosion with.

But Mr. Obama’s tone makes more sense when one realizes that his sinking poll numbers also indicate an erosion in support with his liberal base. Only about three-quarters of self-identified liberals approve of his job performance, a number that has drifted downward since Mr. Obama compromised on tax cuts and decided to keep Guantanamo open.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704570704576275022988451268.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_MIDDLESecond

Doggone/GA

April 20th, 2011
5:42 pm

“they should just use the remaining money to start a web site to announce all issues that way WITH names”

Yeah, well I actually was going to say that, but I figured it would never fly. There are still things as liable laws.

jm

April 20th, 2011
5:42 pm

ByteMe 5:39 – well pick your exchange rate. There are about 200 of them.

ByteMe

April 20th, 2011
5:44 pm

Doggone: you can publicly post a court docket, so there’s no reason they couldn’t post this information if they are at the point where they would send out a certified notice. And political actors don’t get the same level of libel protection as the rest of us.

And if the ethics panel got sued for it and announced why they felt this had to be done this way, maybe it would be a more public fight.

But considering who appoints the board, there’s no chance they’ll do anything but sit on their thumbs.

jm

April 20th, 2011
5:45 pm

ByteMe – still waiting……. on you.

Z

April 20th, 2011
5:46 pm

Well, surprise, surprise, surprise…The republicans never want to to fund (pay for anything) therefore whatever “it” is doesn’t exist…

jm

April 20th, 2011
5:46 pm

ByteMe, you’ve got about 2 minutes. Then you forfeit, because I have to go.

Jay

April 20th, 2011
5:46 pm

I don’t think Deal has been in office long enough to make an appointment. They’re almost certainly Perdue people, jm.

As to your health-care post, isn’t it odd, though, that countries that intervene more directly in health-care delivery — i.e., everyone in the industrialized world — has a considerably lower cost of delivery than we do.

That would tend to undercut your thesis, would it not? The country that is the outlier regarding the role of private enterprise in health care is also the outlier as far as health-care costs…..

Tis a conundrum, no?

Dusty

April 20th, 2011
5:48 pm

GOOD GOOD GOOD!! Somebody is realizing that the state is short on money AND the feds don’t have any either. Let the Ethics Committee post their complaints on the VENT! Or FACEBOOK! Or Bookman’s blog! Or the local RV news! There’s more than one way to do things if you really want to do it. Stop being stuck in the mud, fuddy duddies! And stop saying VILE things about our Georgia legislature.

Doggone/GA

April 20th, 2011
5:49 pm

“But considering who appoints the board, there’s no chance they’ll do anything but sit on their thumbs”

Yep, I agree with that!

ByteMe

April 20th, 2011
5:49 pm

jm: let’s say Saudi Arabia, since that’s where a lot of our imported oil originates.

jm

April 20th, 2011
5:49 pm

Jay 5:46 – not really. They allocate resources, so they reduce quantity (and sometimes price too) by state control. I would agree with the argument that we’re over-consuming health care resources, and therefore some mechanism needs to be brought to bear.

But the reason we’re over-consuming quantity is because the price component is not being felt by the consumer (in particular in Medicare). When P(artificial) goes down, Q(d) goes up, and since Q is limited (somewhat), P(market) goes way up.

Paul

April 20th, 2011
5:50 pm

@@

Seems contradictory. Excerpt states that candidates must file with FEC, but timeliness may be an issue for some. The same “but my opponents will be able to gauge support” is still there, but possibly late enough to counter. Timeliness could have been by design.

As far as forcing companies to disclose who they give to – hey, how’s a free market to operate if consumers don’t have all available information?

jm

April 20th, 2011
5:51 pm

ByteMe 5:49 – fair enough, though I think more actually comes from Mexico, Canada, and Venezuela, but no matter. Gimme a few.

Jay

April 20th, 2011
5:53 pm

And yet costs are rising fastest in the private sector, jm, not the public. Again, that would seem to undercut your thesis, does it not?

ByteMe

April 20th, 2011
5:54 pm

canada exchange rate 2003: $1 gets you $1.54 CAN.
canada exchange rate 2011: $1 gets you $0.95 CAN.

You can see that if you need more dollars to buy something from another country, it’ll seem like it costs more.

jm

April 20th, 2011
5:54 pm

ByteMe – price would be the same since SA fixes their FX rate to ours :) And…..

Lil' Barry Bailout

April 20th, 2011
5:54 pm

Government Cash Handouts Now Top Tax Revenues

U.S. households are now getting more in cash handouts from the government than they are paying in taxes for the first time since the Great Depression.

Read more: http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2011/04/20/government-cash-handouts-exceed-tax-revenues/#ixzz1K6R9QCYs
—————————

That’s some awesome recovery you got going there!

Idiot Messiah: Fail.

Jefferson

April 20th, 2011
5:54 pm

The GOP has no credibility when it comes to ethics enforcement.

1811/1801 - 0311/0317

April 20th, 2011
5:55 pm

Headline: “CBSNEWS Editors Refuse To Release Full Audio Of Obama Hot Mic Recording… ”

Duh! Did anyone excpect something different from those “journalists”?

Now, if it had been something “top secret” that might cost our soldiers’ lives well then that would be different.”

jm

April 20th, 2011
5:57 pm

Jay 5:53 – because of the balloon squeeze effect.

So, you have two markets functioning with different prices. The artificial market (Medicare) has a artificially low price, which drives up Q. Since Q goes up, and free market prices ultimately reign, then P must go up to reduce the Q in the non-artificial market (the non-Medicare market). Pretty straightforward. (if you’re an economist type)

Dusty

April 20th, 2011
5:57 pm

Uh oh, the AJC is worried it won’t know about ethics in the Georgia legislature unless someone spends more than thirty thousand to tell them. Ah investigative journalism, where art thou??

jm

April 20th, 2011
5:58 pm

Jay 5:46 – well, that would make sense (RE Perdue)…. couldn’t have too many reservoir and business import / Sav port deal and highway deals too closely scrutinized…

Soothsayer

April 20th, 2011
6:01 pm

jm

April 20th, 2011
6:01 pm

Jay, all of that said, the insurance mechanism for both private insurance and Medicare disconnects the consumer from the price. Which always leads to over-consumption from everyone. See also: “tragedy of the commons”.

But its worse in Medicare and pushes costs onto the private system. HCR will exacerbate that trend.

Mighty Righty

April 20th, 2011
6:02 pm

I completely agree with your view on ethics. This is a damn shame and I will make my views known to my Reps. You are correct this time. As for your comments on “Health Care” don’t be foolish. Other countries are cheaper because they don’t provide the same quality of care which is why those that can afford to come here for their care. My gosh, if we close all of our hospitals and jail all of our doctors, our health care cost will be zero.

1811/1801 - 0311/0317

April 20th, 2011
6:03 pm

Headline: “Chicago Dealing With Coldest Spring Temps Since 1940s… ”

I’m sorry, but it’s so hard not to guffaw !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmuaHyzKq1U

Paul

April 20th, 2011
6:06 pm

Dusty

“As Walls reports, each certified letter costs the commission $5.54 for each notice, for a total cost of $130,000.”

It appears the Legislature set up an agency, gave it a mission, then imposed the most high-cost notification method it could find, while denying funds to meet even that mandate.

Does that not strike you as wrong?

Real Scooter

April 20th, 2011
6:09 pm

1811/1801 – 0311/0317

April 20th, 2011
6:03 pm

That’s cruel dude! LMAO
Did you ever see one of the bumper stickers back in the 70,s that said “do 90 mph and freeze a Yankee? :grin:

jm

April 20th, 2011
6:09 pm

“The Medicare Payment Advisory Panel recommended this policy as a means to discourage overuse of home health services, which are estimated to cost taxpayers nearly $20 billion a year and are also a source of health care fraud. Meanwhile, another story, this one from WBUR, offers tips for Medicare “wellness” visits.

The Associated Press: Seniors May Have To Pay For Medicare Home Health
Medicare recipients could see a sizable new out-of-pocket charge for home health visits if Congress follows through on a recommendation issued Thursday by its own advisory panel. Until now, home health visits from nurses and other providers have been free of charge to patients. But the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission says a copayment is needed to discourage overuse of a service whose cost to taxpayers is nearing $20 billion a year amid concerns that fraudsters are also taking advantage (Alonso-Zaldivar, 1/14).”

Head shaking…. no one in their right mind would have ever had a $0 copay. Medicare’s copays are still too low. That is part of the problem….

Jay

April 20th, 2011
6:11 pm

MightyRighty:

A.) There is no evidence that ours is the best health care system on earth. In some regards it is; in many others it is not. It is certainly not as superior as our much-higher costs would indicate.

B.) Yes, there are treatments available here not available elsewhere. On the other hand, more and more Americans are going to Mexico, India and other countries to get surgeries and treatments at much lower cost than available here.

Jefferson

April 20th, 2011
6:12 pm

By mid year, they will be cutting funding to a lot of agencies in this state.

Mighty Righty

April 20th, 2011
6:12 pm

Soothsayer; Well said and hopefully it is not too late to change the course of this nation. We get the government we want. If a majority of people desire for others to take care of us, we will get it. If a majority believe as I do, that our future is up to us, then November of 2012 will give us a chance to so state. If not, our children will wonder what it was like to be free.

TaxPayer

April 20th, 2011
6:13 pm

My oh my. Look at those folks in Georgia. Not the first reported ethics violation! They’re such angels, of the fallen variety. Yet, they still have their faithful constituency to vote them back in.

Dusty

April 20th, 2011
6:13 pm

Paul,

What strikes me as wrong is to set up any agency or whatever when you don’t have money to support it. Somebody tried to offset some bad plans by limiting funds. Now, that I can understand. Too bad those making the agency did not consider costs. Now they know. Better make new plans.

Jay

April 20th, 2011
6:15 pm

“Jay, all of that said, the insurance mechanism for both private insurance and Medicare disconnects the consumer from the price. Which always leads to over-consumption from everyone. See also: “tragedy of the commons”.

And yet all of that is also true — even more true — of other systems that deliver comparable health care, without the higher costs inherent here. We began this conversation, remember, with your claim that high health-care costs can be blamed on leftist government intervention. And yet in every country but our own, leftist government intervention succeeds in keeping costs down.

jm

April 20th, 2011
6:16 pm

Jay 6:15 – because they control quantity. The US does not control Q. Actually, that’s what the “death panel” is for.

Soothsayer

April 20th, 2011
6:17 pm

Deceptive government statistics can only hold back reality for so long. People are finally seeing the truth of what unemployment and under-employment really are. Labor deterioration is accompanied by gas and food inflation. People at work paying steeply higher prices are in no position to buy a home. Feeding the family comes first. As a result of forced Fed policies we also have a falling dollar that increases prices for imported goods.

If all this wasn’t bad enough municipalities and states are in serious financial trouble.

Their working force makes up 15% of overall employment and 70% of costs. That means to cut costs you lay people off first. That increases unemployment and disqualifies future homebuyers and puts more underwater homes into foreclosure, which compounds lenders’ losses. Do not underestimate these layoffs, because they will have a strong negative affect on the overall economy. This year was really the beginning of these municipal and state layoffs. Looming in the shadows is the possibility of hundreds of municipal bankruptcies; 35 states are in the same position with no end in sight. Very few people really understand how serious the overall situation really is. These events take a terrible toll on consumer confidence. These were supposed to be lifetime jobs. What happens when pension checks stop due to bankruptcy? That has to slow the economy. 90% of state and local costs are for education. That means more layoffs and doubling class sizes to 40 children. Children are learning very little in school and their success is held down by the quality of students. It will be pandemonium with giant class sizes and many of the best teachers will resign.

The government supplies 35% of wages. Food stamps are helping to feed 44 million Americans. Government wants to cut Social Security, which people have paid into, but is erroneously allowing thousands in under disability. Medicare is a shamble, and Medicare is worse. In spite of the current problems 75% of Americans do not support cuts to Medicare and Social Security. In spite of that, if Wall Street and banking want less benefits, that is what Americans will get. America is accelerating to a welfare state.

Corporate America is in a dilemma. They are facing higher costs for petroleum products and food. This affects profits, if not passed on, business will eventually have to pass these costs on. In that environment there can be little hiring and little if any job growth. If they hold back price increases when increases do come they’ll be very large.

Can it be, friends, that the great neo-liberal economic experiment of the past 30+ years is proving to be a colossal mistake?

Jay

April 20th, 2011
6:17 pm

Paul, you’re asking Dusty to agree with me about something, and as her response indicates, she just can’t bring herself to do so.

But let’s put her commitment to the ultimate test, shall we?

GO BRAVES!!!!! Beat LA: Beat the Phils!!

Jefferson

April 20th, 2011
6:18 pm

Why control quality ? Why not let it be as good as it can be ?

Dave R.

April 20th, 2011
6:19 pm

“And yet in every country but our own, leftist government intervention succeeds in keeping costs down.”

And largely by producing inferior results, accordingly.

Dusty

April 20th, 2011
6:20 pm

Bookman,
Please give us the facts/numbers on people leaving America to get healthcare elsewhere. I think you will find that those leaving here are a very small number. If they have money to fly elsewhere they were not in a hardship financial state or in a desperate situation. Just wanted to save some money and took a chance on foreign healthcare. I’ll take my chances here.

Paul

April 20th, 2011
6:20 pm

Dusty

I’d agree…. but…. in this case, they knew the agency was short of funds. The agency said “we can keep costs way, way, way down by sending certified e-mails.”

The legislature said “nuh-uh…. no certified emails for us! You’re gonna use the US Postal Service and you’re gonna pay many, many times more for the service. Except you really won’t, ’cause we’re not gonna give you the money.

“So you won’t be able to notify us when there’s been an allegation made against us. Which means you won’t be able to investigate ethics violations brought against us.”

Diabolical, wouldn’t you say?

Jay

April 20th, 2011
6:20 pm

Of course the US controls quantity, jm. The private insurance industry especially controls quantity, yet they’re suffering the biggest cost increases.

jm

April 20th, 2011
6:20 pm

Jay – The US system, which is a hybrid, will work better if the “panel” tries to control Q instead of P (remember they’ve been trying to dictate what doctors get paid for decades). If the panel continues to focus on P, they will fail. If they work on Q, they’re actually likely to have some modicum of success, as long as they avoid political interference (a big if).

Jefferson

April 20th, 2011
6:21 pm

The gov gets 25k to decorate at Christmas, hell he should have to buy his own tree…so this is why we have no money ? There’s plenty of money…

jm

April 20th, 2011
6:21 pm

Jay 6:20 – because there are really two markets with different prices…. one artificial, one real.

Paul

April 20th, 2011
6:22 pm

Jay

I’m asking Dusty to agree with logic and reason.

The fact it’s the same logic and reason with which you agree is………

Dusty

Does that make it easier?

Dave R.

April 20th, 2011
6:22 pm

“Can it be, friends, that the great neo-liberal economic experiment of the past 30+ years is proving to be a colossal mistake?”

And the TRUTH . . .

. . . shall set you free! :D

jm

April 20th, 2011
6:22 pm

… and the two markets interact in generally disastrous ways.

Jay

April 20th, 2011
6:22 pm

One with lower cost, and one with higher cost. And yet you advocate the one with higher cost, despite the experience of every other industrialized country in the world.

Good little liberal

April 20th, 2011
6:23 pm

Jay

“Yes, there are treatments available here not available elsewhere. On the other hand, more and more Americans are going to Mexico, India and other countries to get surgeries and treatments at much lower cost than available here.”

You are absolutely correct, but the facilities that offer medical tourism is not the same facilities that service the native population. They are hospitals set up specifically to serve foreigners.

America’s Healthcare system is in a crash dive. In every major urban center, the quality of care is going down and going down fast. The horror stories about some of Atlanta’s Best hospitals would make anyone want to go to Mexico and India.

jm

April 20th, 2011
6:23 pm

I need a diagram, though I don’t know that that would ultimately help…. Jay, can you get a chalkboard integrated into your blog? :)

Jay

April 20th, 2011
6:24 pm

Dusty, I have no numbers for Americans seeking care overseas. I also have no numbers for foreigners seeking care here.

Do you?

Dave R.

April 20th, 2011
6:24 pm

“The private insurance industry especially controls quantity, yet they’re suffering the biggest cost increases.”

Because they have to pay for our litigious society.

outlawgod

April 20th, 2011
6:25 pm

Conservatives so are terrified that President Obama will win reelection that they feel the need to attack him in every forum

Kamchak

April 20th, 2011
6:26 pm

Can it be, friends, that the great neo-liberal economic experiment of the past 30+ years is proving to be a colossal mistake?

Absolutely.

It had an expiration date the moment it was implemented.

Good little liberal

April 20th, 2011
6:26 pm

Dusty

What Jay is talking about is an entire industry called medical tourism. the care is fantastic and the costs are a fraction of the costs here and what happens there stays of your US medical reports.

jm

April 20th, 2011
6:27 pm

Jay 6:22 – no, what I advocate is that they should have the same cost structures, thus eliminating the pricing and consumption discrepancies and price shifting.

If you change the Medicare cost structure, it will lower the cost in the private sector. Or you can by mandate, with the panel, artificially restrict Q by fiat. That is the route we’re going.

Right now, believe it or not Medicare is a huge beneficiary of the private sector….

Also of note, we’re risking killing innovation if we try to manage Price. Better to manage Quantity if we’re going to have government control.

Soothsayer

April 20th, 2011
6:27 pm

Good little liberal

April 20th, 2011
6:28 pm

outlawgod

We just wonder what the economy is going to look like in 2016, if there still is an economy.

Jay

April 20th, 2011
6:28 pm

Dave R., the CBO estimates that implementing tort reform at the national level — superceding state laws, in direct contradiction of your own view of the Constitution, but perhaps you think that’s OK — would cut health care costs by 0.5 percent.

Jefferson

April 20th, 2011
6:29 pm

Take the British system as a starting point, most of my English friends have no problem with it.

Mighty Righty

April 20th, 2011
6:29 pm

Jay has discovered something no one else has; people are fleeing our health care system. Going to of all places, Mexico. Beleive me, I have been in a Mexican hospital, and you don’t want to go there with a sore throat let alone anything requiring a scapel. Jay, heres an idea, take all of these illegal aliens to Mexico when they need medical care, pay their transportation, give them a free pass to go and come without ICE problems, and pay for their treatment. It will cost us less than Obamacare and likely reduce the illegal population. It’s magic, 20 million uninsred off of Obamacare. What a concept.

jm

April 20th, 2011
6:30 pm

Soothsayer 6:27 – the government controlled economy will bail everyone out through pumping a zillion dollars into their banks perpetuating their flawed system that is going to blow up eventually so spectacularly as to be mind boggling. or if they’re lucky, they’ll manage to let the air out slowly (unlikely)

Jay

April 20th, 2011
6:30 pm

jm, I think we must mind BOTH our P’s and our Q’s.

So to speak.

AngryRedMarsWoman

April 20th, 2011
6:30 pm

“And yet in every country but our own, leftist government intervention succeeds in keeping costs down.”

But maybe before going with those systems we need to understand better how those costs are kept down. Is it because the people do not have the same access to care? Is it because people in those countries do not abuse healthcare the way we in America do? I am not trying to make a point – I am just asking questions that are on my mind. I hear a lot of conflicting information on these points. My folks snowbird in Florida with a lot of old people from Canada who get all of their treatment in the States while they are here because they insist that the Canadian system is “broken.” Then I hear from some here and on other blogs insisting that Canadians are pleased with their system and experiencing better access and care than in America. Is it just a case of “your own results may vary”?

Dusty

April 20th, 2011
6:30 pm

Paul,

Ignore Bookman. He doesn’t know YET that the state and feds are low on money. !! Nobody told him.

If I told Bookman that Chipper was a conservative, he’d never support the Braves. Not a doubt about it. Probably have a blog saying the Braves bribed umpires for wins! But what can you expect? He’s from Pennsylvania !!

Paul

April 20th, 2011
6:31 pm

Dusty?

You still here?

Good little liberal

April 20th, 2011
6:31 pm

Mighty Righty

I’m very conservative, but our healthcare system is bad and getting worse.

jm

April 20th, 2011
6:32 pm

Health care economists must contemplate playing with a revolver every so often….

Soothsayer

April 20th, 2011
6:32 pm

Dave R.

April 20th, 2011
6:22 pm

“Can it be, friends, that the great neo-liberal economic experiment of the past 30+ years is proving to be a colossal mistake?”

And the TRUTH . . .

. . . shall set you free!

POOR OLD INTELLECTUALLY CHALLENGED DAVE R! He doesn’t realize that “neo-liberal” has nothing whatsoever to do with politics! Dave, for your information, that is an economics term.

I encourage you to Google it!