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Hiram Foster

Crystal, MN
Commenter for
6 years 48 weeks

Recent Comments

Posted on 09/29/14 at 11:21 am in response to After another awful season, expect Twins to make big changes

The great thing about soccer is that bad teams are relegated, demoted to lower leagues, In baseball, and in football, there doesn't seem to be any downside for bad performance. The same bad teams return year after year.

Posted on 09/27/14 at 07:22 am in response to Explaining MNsure, post-PreferredOne

In thinking about issues related to health care, it's useful to understand and make a distinction between problems of health care generally, and those specifically related to Obamacare. Obamacare, after all, is a response to a set of problems it did not create. There have been complaints, for example, about rising Obamacare premiums. Well, premiums are going up because we are spending more on health care, and that would have happened even if Obamacare had not been enacted.

The above...

Posted on 09/28/14 at 06:10 am in response to Explaining MNsure, post-PreferredOne

That remark, made in 2007, was a promise, not a lie. The program the president favored at that time would have been a more complete fulfillment of his promise made after his election, but was not politically possible.

Is it fair for opponents of the president to object that he didn't keep his promises when they did everything the could to make it impossible for him to keep them?

I am sure the $150 million dollars went lots of places and maybe it was too much but business got...

Posted on 09/28/14 at 08:02 am in response to Explaining MNsure, post-PreferredOne

"The problem going forward appears to be if the MnSure published rates are the standard by which individual plans are priced and measured against in the future, then that standard will increasingly reflect a built-in administrative cost which private individual plans do not bear.."

I am not sure how significant a problem this is. For one thing there will be competitive pressure on providers to reduce prices which would otherwise reflect costs they don't bear. And in this case, the...

Posted on 09/28/14 at 10:09 am in response to Explaining MNsure, post-PreferredOne

That 2007 promise was bundled with the costly features of insuring 30 million uninsured people and bringing “government efficiency to healthcare.

Oh sure,but that really isn't a matter of dispute between the parties. Uninsured people get health care too, it just isn't paid for, or when it is paid for, it's done in an extremely inefficient and costly matter. I do believe it's the case that both parties agree that all Americans should have access to affordable health care, the...

Posted on 09/25/14 at 09:25 am in response to MNsure isn't going away, so how do we fix it?

This is an editorial which works pretty hard to avoid taking a stand. Initially, a discussion of PreferredOne's troubles with MnSure, it notes what seems to be true; MnSure provided a market place where Preferred One was able to accumulate a large market share. That market place, which proved so beneficial to Preferred One, by the way, was paid for largely by taxpayers. As problematic as the market place has been for other reasons, for Preferred One, it seems to have served the primary...

Posted on 09/25/14 at 12:57 pm in response to MNsure isn't going away, so how do we fix it?

At some point, we became far more immersed in the politics of health care than we did in the policy. Every issue that comes up, instead of giving us a chance to understand and improve the system, instead becomes a target of political opportunity with no effort at all to maintain any underlying policy consistency.

We decided on a system where private companies would offer insurance in a competitive market place. What happens in a competitive marketplace? Some participants succeed, some...

Posted on 09/22/14 at 10:23 am in response to Dayton campaign calls Johnson's MNsure charges a 'smear'

Obamacare didn't create the problems of health care in America, in particular the increase in costs resulting from the aging of the population, it's a response to those problems. It is unlikely that it will increase overall costs because we were giving roughly the same care anyway, and we were simply allocating the burden of those costs inefficiently in ways that increased costs.

I hear a lot about "transparency". It's a nice thing to have, but the problem with the fix in which we...

Posted on 09/25/14 at 06:29 am in response to Dayton campaign calls Johnson's MNsure charges a 'smear'

Achieving Obamacare was a virtually impossible thing to do. It was the result of a party, one with a real commitment to health care reform, gaining control of the White House, the House of Representatives, and the Senate, not just with a majority but a veto proof majority. I don't think this will ever happen in my lifetime, and as it happens it only effectively occurred for a brief period in 2009, and ended with the death of Senator Kennedy. Even then, passage of health care reform was an...

At this point, it's hard to know what really happened. What we do seem to know is that PreferredOne was able to use the taxpayer financed marketplace to acquire the largest market share of Obamacare insurance customers. Maybe their market share wasn't large enough, but it was larger than that of their competitors who are still in the business. That being the case, it's hard to single out the market place as the source of PreferredOne's problems. What this looks like to me, is a business...