Skip to Content

Support MinnPost

Hiram Foster

Crystal, MN
Commenter for
7 years 1 week

Recent Comments

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...

Posted on 09/22/14 at 09:23 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 05:29 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...

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 02:36 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 11:15 am 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 05:11 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,...