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Hiram Foster

Crystal, MN
Commenter for
7 years 6 days

Recent Comments

Maybe the reason is that in a consensus based system such as ours, there is very little reason to vote. Your vote just doesn't make a difference.

Posted on 10/02/14 at 02:22 pm in response to Why do so few citizens participate in our democracy?

It's as simple as this. If the candidates I vote for win their elections, will the policies they favor be implemented? If not, what's the point of voting?

Posted on 09/29/14 at 09:23 am in response to After another awful season, expect Twins to make big changes

I have always thought that stadium deals should include performance incentives of some sort. If, for example, the Twins fail to reach a certain winning percentage, they should have been required to cut ticket prices the following year.

Posted on 09/29/14 at 10:21 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 06:22 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 05:10 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 07:02 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 09:09 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 08:25 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 11:57 am 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...