Markets Aren’t Created by Mandates

So this is a strange lede …

As many legislatures around the country have finished their work for the year, fewer than one-fourth of states have taken concrete steps to create health insurance marketplaces, a central feature of the federal law to overhaul the U.S. health-care system.

Video Contest

Our short video is officially no longer in the lead at the Independent Women’s Forum video contest, and we may not get enough votes by midnight tomorrow to keep us there. Despite the fact that we have approximately 15-20 times the views as any of the other videos, that hasn’t translated into votes. If you want to help our video win the contest, help us promote it before midnight MONDAY NIGHT!

There is only one way to vote. Visit the video’s YouTube page and put (vote ONLY once) “My choice for the winner” in the comments. That’s it.

If you’ve already voted, don’t vote again or neither vote will count, but a tweet or blog post or Facebook post would be very helpful.

Caleb Brown, Austin Bragg and Lester Romero thank you for your help!

Little American Flags for Others

Do statements like this not elicit at least a raised eyebrow anymore?

… abortion-rights supporters say it is offensive to require a separate purchase for coverage of a medical procedure that for most women is unexpected.

Isn’t that exactly the point of insurance? You buy it. You relax. Should some unforseen event befall you, you will be kept relatively whole financially and your insurance company will pay the bill.

Why is it offensive to have to buy insurance to cover something you don’t expect? That’s what insurance does!

Klein: Bills are Long Because …

Ezra Klein says:

Whining about the length of a bill is the first refuge of the scoundrel. It’s supposed to denote complexity and ambition and overreach. But what it really proves is that legislative language is sort of arcane.

Scoundrel, really? Legislative language is arcane, sure. But that doesn’t always mean that bills have to be long. Long bills don’t denote complexity?

What long bills prove is that humans are complex and that when you proscribe their behavior, you must also understand that they may act differently than you anticipate … so you need to define things more clearly … and repeat … and so on. You do this until, well, you have a very long, complex, ambitious and probably overreaching piece of legislation.

People pretty much want to take what they have and make the most with it. No law can account for everyone’s preferences or circumstances.

The legislation he refers to is the Baucus bill. Klein points to this chunk …

(c) General Definitions- Except as otherwise provided, in this division:
(1) ACCEPTABLE COVERAGE- The term ‘acceptable coverage’ has the meaning given such term in section 202(d)(2).
(2) BASIC PLAN- The term ‘basic plan’ has the meaning given such term in section 203(c).
(3) COMMISSIONER- The term ‘Commissioner’ means the Health Choices Commissioner established under section 141.

“Acceptable coverage,” “Health Choices Commissioner” and “basic plan” are all terms that must be defined in such a way so everyone is clear what behavior is verboten, what constitutes unacceptable coverage and what choices may be circumscribed by the commissioner.

Not only would it be a challenge for a Health Choices Commissioner or a single piece of legislation to adequately provide for all the preferences of hundreds of millions of people, it would be completely impossible. By the time you wrote a bill of sufficient length to provide for the desires of a hundred diverse people, the information would be rendered irrelevant by events. And that’s before politics even gets involved and votes are taken.

Klein, I hope, appreciates that people with thinking brains will do their best to get the most out of life no matter what Max Baucus might prefer.