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Hiram Foster

Crystal, MN
Commenter for
6 years 48 weeks

Recent Comments

Why not just raise their rates, and get a smaller but more profitable piece of the pie?

That's kind of an inside baseball question which depends a lot on PreferredOne's business strategy. I don't know the answer, but I can speculate. Preferred's plan might very well have been to grab as much market share as they can, betting on their ability to attract a pool of insured which would yield a certain level of profitability. Insurance companies often start with low ball offers which they...

Markets are places, real and virtual, where things are bought and sold. They work well when buyers and sellers find each other easily and transparently at minimal cost. Once in a marketplace, whether the participants make good or bad deals for themselves isn't a measure of how effectively the market works, assuming the rules of the markets themselves are observed.

By all accounts, the marketplace, created at taxpayer expense as a place for profit making businesses to sell their...

The possibility that coverage will be lost is inherent when insurance is secured in a market place of private insurers. That was true before Obamacare was enacted, and it's true now. For whatever reason, your health insurer can terminate your coverage, and market advocates see that as part, at least, of a good thing. Bad insurers lose market share to good insurers, in Darwinian struggle where only the fittest survive. Don't like that system? Well the alternative is single payer where there...

Posted on 09/16/14 at 03:36 pm in response to PreferredOne says it's pulling out of MNsure for business reasons

There isn't much known here which leaves a lot of room for speculation. What could have happened is that PreferredOne entered the market with lowball rates in order to secure market share which proved to be too low to maintain profitability. Rather than raising rates which would have meant losing their price advantage over their competitors, they simply chose to get out of the business. What happened here isn't the result of some failing of MnSure, as such, it's just a question of an...

Posted on 09/16/14 at 12:15 pm in response to Will the Adrian Peterson case actually cost the Vikings?

The NFL is simply too powerful an institution to be affected in anything beyond the short term by these things. In particular, the media is so intertwined with the NFL, and so completely dependent on the league financially, that it is really impossible for any counter balancing force to emerge.

Posted on 09/09/14 at 06:11 am in response to Former candidate Tom Horner likely to join Johnson campaign for governor

One of the most striking things about Republicans and Democrats is that while both parties often share the same goals, it's the Democratic Party who believe in and supports actually achieving them. Rarely is there a more vivid demonstration of this than in this interview with Tom Horner. How does he see the governor's job? He thinks the governor should ask questions, to engage in some continuing quest for a better or even best solution. Well folks, the best is the mortal enemy of the good,...

Posted on 09/03/14 at 06:15 am in response to Minneapolis Public Schools: The system needs a reboot

The problem with law school professors is that they are much better in compiling lists of questions than providing answers to them. In this case, the focus of questions, in particular the complaints about slow graduation, are a bit off the point. Graduation, after all, is something that can be provided with a stroke of a pen, or a computer keyboard, perhaps; it isn't in itself, sufficient evidence that we are teaching effectively.

And that's the issue isn't it? Are we teaching...

KSTP polls, when we don't like them, are generally dismissed as the product of the right wing Hubbard family. When we do like them, any discussion of them is prefaced by "Even the KSTP poll shows...".

I don't like media paid for polls, actually, for a variety of reasons. For one thing, they are a form of checkbook journalism, where a media source pays for news that wouldn't otherwise exist. Also, I think they interfere with journalistic independence. KSTP reporters are obliged to...

Posted on 08/18/14 at 10:06 am in response to Why boosting primary turnout in Minnesota would require big changes

Voting is a complicated thing, and every system will have good things and bad things about it. One of the real problems in any attempt to reform any electoral system, is that it is very difficult to distinguish between objectively positive reforms, and reforms with subjectively support the reformers own political views. Ranked choice voting, for example, is supposed to discourage negative campaigning. But the notion that negative campaigning is to be discouraged is a subjective value...

Posted on 08/18/14 at 11:39 am in response to Why boosting primary turnout in Minnesota would require big changes

As a political activist, I am far more concerned with people who do vote, or who may vote than I am with people who don't. Some folks, lots of folks in fact, have just made the choice to opt out of the system. Who am I to question their decision?