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links for 2011-08-06

  • Quote:"The law, however, has failed to curb rising costs. While implementation of the law itself didn’t put a major dent in the state’s budget — according to an analysis by independent group Massachusetts Taxpayer Foundation, the increase in net spending for the law was just 1 percent in fiscal year 2010 — it hasn’t reduced overall costs for policy holders.

    Private spending per member grew by 15.5 percent on average between 2006 and 2008. Meanwhile, average premiums for full insurance increased 12.2 percent from 2006 to 2008, according to the Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy.

    Proponents of the law argue that it was mainly designed to expand coverage, not tackle health care costs. Much of the growth in premiums, per the DHCFP, was caused by an increase in medical expenses. More than 88 percent of premiums in Massachusetts are spent on medical expenses.

    // And costs are hard to address, and there are few plans out there that do.

  • Quote:"Ten years and $8.35 trillion later, what do we have to show for this decade of deficit spending? A glut of unoccupied homes, unemployment exceeding 9 percent, a stalled economy and a huge mountain of debt. Real gross domestic product growth averaged 1.6 percent from the first quarter of 2001 through the second quarter of 2011.

    It doesn’t sound like a very good trade-off. And now Keynesians are whining about discretionary spending cuts of $21 billion next year? That’s one-half of one percent. And it qualifies as a “cut” only in the fanciful world of government accounting.

    // Duh

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