American Elephants

Neither Wind nor Rain, nor Anarchists nor Democrats Will Stay These Republicans From Their Appointed Duties. by The Elephant's Child

Protocol? Nevermind. Tradition? Old fashioned. Courtesy? A “quaint code of etiquette.” Forget it.  Presidential candidates have traditionally kept a low profile during their opponents convention, but Democrats are going all out with high-profile events to counter the Republican convention next week in Tampa. The President, Michelle Obama, the Vice President and leading congressional Democrats have all scheduled high-profile events to compete with the formal nomination of Mitt Romney.

Democratic operatives say their blitz will be the strongest yet. As The Hill reports:

With Romney and the Republicans scrambling to defend Romney’s tax history and undo the damage from Rep. Todd Akin’s (R-Mo.) recent comments on rape and abortion, Obama and the Democrats don’t want to give the GOP a weeklong opening to shift the discussion back to jobs and the economy — Obama’s chief vulnerability heading into November’s elections.

Well, my goodness. Do you think those nasty Republicans might want to talk about jobs and the economy? Mitt Romney’s tax returns are just ever so much more important. I hear he even had a Swiss bank account that he reported to the IRS. Would anyone there have any incentive to look closely at the Swiss bank account of the President’s opponent? Consider it thoroughly examined, vetted, and can we get any sillier? Somebody has been reading way too many spy thrillers.

I know it is hard for Democrat operatives to grasp, but they are dealing with two pretty straight-arrow people.  That’s just the kind of men they are.

There’s a hurricane that may also disrupt the convention, or maybe not; but if it doesn’t, the anarchists have threatened to attack the venue with all their power.

Never fear, the Democrat media will be on hand to report every misstep, gaffe, slip of the tongue, or overheard conversation. They may have become a little testy when Obama has been unavailable for questions for more than two months, but he made a “surprise” visit to a press conference just this week, and even answered some questions.  ABC News correspondent Jake Tapper admitted to conservative talk-show host Laura Ingraham that he “thought the media helped tip the scales” for Obama. “Sometimes I saw with story selection, magazine covers, photos picked, [the] campaign narrative, that it wasn’t always the fairest coverage.”  *

*The once “Big Three” networks are going to offer only one hour of coverage of the convention each night, and they are ignoring Monday night entirely.” At 10:30 Monday night, Ann Romney is scheduled to take the stage in her husband’s four-day introduction to the nation. But tens of millions of people will not be able to watch.” according to the New York Times. Total War includes small sneaky steps as well.

C-Span will, as usual, cover it all.

Did You Think ObamaCare Was Free Health Care? by The Elephant's Child

Theodore Dalrymple, the pen name of British physician and psychiatrist Anthony Daniels, has written on the British National Health Service (NHS) and why the British like their mediocre and miserable  health care service. His article titled “Universal Mediocrity” from City Journal is here.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has attempted to fix a failing plan by putting the government in charge, instead of the doctors. See commentary on that action here.

Doctors are already experiencing burnout from ObamaCare, and it’s not even fully implemented yet. ObamaCare will make it far, far worse. There will not be anywhere near enough doctors


Democrats Don’t Understand the Principle of Insurance. by The Elephant's Child

When Sandra Fluke appeared at a hastily arranged pretend congressional testimony event to demand that taxpayers pay for birth control for all deserving young women,  many were offended at the idea that all young women were going to have premarital sex as a matter of course and we were supposed to pay for it. Many were a little embarrassed, and glad that it wasn’t their daughter making such a public claim. Attention quickly turned to Rush Limbaugh who suggested that she was a slut, and then to shrill claims that there was a “War on Women.”

This falls under the “full of  storm and fury signifying nothing” category. Democrats, who consider Feminists as one of their major support groups, always overestimate feminist numbers.  Nevertheless, they are apparently planning to organize their entire convention around the “War on Women.” Barbara Boxer, always ready to fight in that war, is delighted.

Ms. Fluke’s impassioned plea for free contraceptives so all young women will be free to be sexually active without consequence, spoke of bills for $35 and $45 and more a month. It was quickly determined that discount pharmacies had the prescriptions for no more than $9 a month, which would seem to be affordable.

The idea of insurance is protection from catastrophic events by spreading the potential cost to many people, which will pay for the rare catastrophe. Actuaries, people good at math, do studies to determine how frequent and how expensive catastrophes are. The federal government apparently doesn’t have actuaries, and just wants everybody to pay for whatever free stuff the politicians want to give folks in exchange for their votes. This really isn’t how insurance is supposed to operate. And that is the point.

You don’t expect your car insurance to pay for replacing your wiper blades, replacing worn tires, changing your oil.  You expect it to be there when you get in a wreck, because your car cost a lot, and if somebody sues you it will cost a lot, and you are not prepared to keep that amount of money set aside for the disastrous event.

Ms. Fluke is wrong, Barbara Boxer is wrong, and there is no silly “War on Women.”

Same problem, different event. Obama is bragging about fixing Medicare. He has eliminated the “donut hole” in the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. There is a lot of criticism among Republicans of the Bush administration for passing it. No one, as far as I can tell, has attempted a serious study of the extent to which the plan is saving lives, for many seniors have their lives extended with new drugs. I understand that the Democrat Congress was going to pass the Drug plan anyway, but Republicans managed to insert the so-called “donut hole.” This  is a major incentive inserted in the program to get seniors to participate in keeping costs down. And it has worked spectacularly.  Bear with me, I know it’s insurance talk but I’ll be brief.

Seniors may choose from a number of different plans. There is a monthly premium and a yearly deductible. Once the deductible is met, there is a co-pay for drugs, high for brand name, low or free for generics. Once  the senior and the plan have spent $2,930 for covered drugs, she is in the “donut hole.” As it was, the senior then had to pay her own costs until she had spent $4,700 for the year— when her coverage gap ends, and she pays only a small co-pay till the end of the year. Lots of incentive to avoid the “donut hole” where she has to pay for her own drugs — using generics whenever they are available, using mail-order pharmacies. Most will never reach it. If they needed help during the donut hole, it was available. That incentive made the drug plan come in far below estimates of what it would cost — a novelty in government programs. They never cost less than estimated.

Democrats, however, have a different understanding of insurance. Republicans believe you spread the cost to protect against catastrophe. Democrats believe that insurance means they give you free stuff and make the taxpayers pay for it.

The left could not stand the “donut hole”— it was so mean. So they are working on getting rid of it entirely.  But what they are removing is the incentive to keep costs down.

Democrats don’t understand incentives, and it always shows up in their policies.

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