Manhattan Contrarian Public Service: The Easy Solution To "Surprise" Medical Bills

In the long list of unintended consequences of Obamacare, the latest one to attract attention is the so-called “surprise medical bill.” They have given you to think that your all-beneficent government has bestowed upon you that holy grail of healthcare “coverage.” Then you have to go to the hospital. No problem — you have “coverage.” But upon getting home you suddenly get hit with a completely unexpected bill for $2000 or $5000, or even $10,000 or more, and you are told that it is not covered by the “coverage.” What the hell is going on here?

I guess you didn’t read the fine print. The geniuses behind the design of Obamacare insisted that they could mandate both “affordable” premiums, and simultaneously third-party payment for every conceivable health issue (e.g., free birth control for eighty-year-olds). But something had to give. The remaining escape valves have turned out to be high deductibles and narrow networks in the healthcare policies. Thus, for your hospital visit, you may find that your deductible makes you responsible for the first $3000, or even $5000, of the bills. Or, even worse, you may find that even though you carefully selected a hospital that was “in network,” the doctor who treated you was “out of network,” and sends you a bill for $6000 that your “coverage” won’t pay.

This “surprise medical bill” issue has recently attracted enough attention that the Congress has swung into action. When Congress swings into action, it follows the fundamental principal that all human problems are to be solved by some kind of program, regulation, or mandate emanating from the federal government. This principal applies most particularly to solutions to those human problems that were caused by the last round of programs, regulations and mandates emanating from the federal government. And thus we have something called the Lower Health Care Costs Act, recently introduced in the Senate by Lamar Alexander (Republican of Tennessee) and Patty Murray (Democrat of Washington). Writing in the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, in a piece titled “Get Rid of Surprise Medical Bills” (probably behind pay wall), Benedic Ippolito of the American Enterprise Institute calls the proposed LHCCA the “most consequential bipartisan health-care reform of the ObamaCare era.” . . .

As a public service to our readers and to the Congress, the Manhattan Contrarian wishes to state that there is a far, far better and easier solution to this “surprise medical bills” thing than any of the three proposals in the LHCCA. And it is a solution that is already present in existing law. The solution is, . . .

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Can Anybody Around Here Admit Out Loud That The Federal Government Cannot Fix Every Human Problem With Another New Program?

When you get right down to it, the fundamental fallacy of the progressive movement is the idea that the central government can fix every human problem by just creating some new programs and spending some new money. And the most important theme of this blog is showing by a thousand examples how that effort always fails.

That’s why one of my favorite recent posts is the one of the past November 23, titled “The Idea That Just Won’t Die: The Right Federal Program Can Solve Any Human Problem.” Key quote:

Take a some of our very brightest thinkers. Send them to some top Ivy League or equivalent schools to get the very best educations. Then turn them loose into the policy arena, full of moral righteousness and energy and a burning passion to fix the world. And what will emerge? Remarkably, in every case you can find, what will emerge will be the exact same thing: a proposal for some new government “program” and spending that supposedly will fix whatever problem the particular guru may focus on at the moment.

That particular post focused on federal job training programs. Federal job training programs are perhaps the very best illustration of the fallacy that some new federal program and spending could possibly be the solution to a human problem at hand, since by now there are around 50 of them, all of which continue to fail utterly. Yet despite that incredible track record, every time a government official or policy wonk looks at an issue of job lay-offs or high unemployment, the proposed solution is always another federal job training program. The failure of the previous 50 or so of them is never mentioned. That would just be too impolite. Nor does anyone ever suggest cutting back, much less eliminating any of the 50 failures. That’s just not how this game is played. Instead, one more program is added, and this one is really, really going to work this time. . . .

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Over In The Congress, It's The "Hoax Of The Day" Every Day

Over In The Congress, It's The "Hoax Of The Day" Every Day

If you have read my April 1 “April Fools Day Hoax Roundup” — and maybe even before you had read that piece — it may have started to dawn on you that an absolute majority of what you see in the news media these days is in furtherance of one or another of the current wave of big hoaxes. The hoaxes covered just in that one short piece included the Trump/Russia Collusion Hoax, the Climate Change Hoax, the Hate Crime Hoaxes (multiple examples including Jussie Smollett), and the Poverty Hoax.

For today, forget the news media and let’s take a look at the Congress. Do they even talk about anything over there any more that isn’t a hoax? To all appearances, it seems like they just move back and forth between and among one of the hoaxes and another on a kind of “hoax of the day” rotation. Lately the big ones have been the Trump/Russia Collusion Hoax and the Climate Change Hoax.

Yesterday it was all “Trump/Russia Collusion,” with Senators grilling William Barr about nothing whatsoever. Today, it is the Climate Change Hoax, as the House has just voted on something called the “Climate Action Now Act.” According to Climate Home News, the bill has passed on a party-line vote of 231-190. The bill had 224 Democratic sponsors, but not a single Republican. (It won’t go anywhere in the Senate, of course.) By its terms, this Act would compel the U.S. to meet its “commitments” under the Paris Climate agreement of 2015.

As I stated in the April Fools Day post, I am not contending that the whole idea that “the climate is changing” is a hoax. But multiple aspects of the endless climate change drumbeat are obvious hoaxes, including as examples the heavily tampered hockey-stick-shaped surface temperature record, as well as the assertion that “extreme weather events” are on the increase. Now add to those another aspect of the climate change narrative that is a clear hoax, namely the assertion that the United States can somehow “do something” about climate change by restricting its own production and use of fossil fuels and/or by driving up the prices of those fuels — those being the central goals of the Paris agreement. And then there is the other part of the Paris agreement that would require developed countries, principally the United States, to transfer some $100 billion or so annually to corrupt third-world kleptocracies as some kind of climate justice payment. How exactly is that wealth transfer going to “do something” about climate change?

The luminaries in our House of Representatives seem not to be noticing that nobody else in the world (other than a few complete fools in the EU) is paying the slightest attention to this Paris agreement emissions reduction thing. . . .

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The Five Dumbest Things In The New York Times Coverage Of The Issuance Of The Mueller Report

The Mueller Report has been issued. At this moment, no one has actually yet seen it, other than a few top guys at the Justice Department — Barr, Rosenstein, maybe a handful of others. Nobody knows what’s in it, except for one thing: according to a “top Justice Department official” (probably Barr or Rosenstein), there are going to be no more indictments, whether relating to Russian “collusion” or anything else. Oh, wait a minute. Before today, there also had been zero indictments for anything having to do with “collusion” with the Russians by Trump or his campaign. So that one little thing that we know means that, after almost two years of investigation by Mueller and his team, and after another year plus of investigation by the FBI before that, the vast and awesome armies of our Justice apparatus have found exactly nothing in the way of criminal “collusion” between Trump or his campaign and the Russians.

Now of course, the New York Times cannot just pretend that this issuance of this Report is not happening. They have to cover it, and in a big way. (Same with the Washington Post. But, since I don’t get the Washington Post, I’ll have to let you read about their shame at other sites, for example at PowerLine.). Trying to live up to their readers’ expectations, the Times fills up oodles of space with “coverage” — about two-thirds of page A1 (three news articles), all of pages A14, A15, A16 and A17, the only unsigned editorial of the day on page A24, and an op-ed on page A25 by one Caroline Fredrickson (President of the American Constitution Society).

But what are we going to say? I mean, we are supposedly the most credible among credible mainstream media sources and we have now spent well over two years hyping this Russian “collusion” thing in dozens of pieces in an obvious attempt to damage if not bring down the President. And now it comes to nothing? Everything we’ve said about this for two plus years has been wrong? What are we going to say???? . . .

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Comments On Andrew McCabe And The FBI's Coup Plotters

Disgraced ex-FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe has written a book, and of course then he’s out trying to sell it. On Thursday the Atlantic published an excerpt. Tomorrow McCabe is to appear on 60 Minutes in a pre-recorded segment, several snippets of which have become public in advance of the airing.

Plenty of people have already offered up comments. Here are some you might find interesting: Marc Penn at Fox News; Roger Kimball at Spectator USA; Andrew McCarthy at Fox News; Willis Krumholz at the Federalist; Julie Kelly at American Greatness; Byron York at the Washington Examiner.

Not wanting to repeat what’s already been said, I’ll just offer up a few thoughts. Most important, you really have to marvel at the deep state mindset exemplified by this guy — a combination of ignorance, stupidity, arrogance, and, more than anything else, sanctimony. Sanctimony. The total confidence in his own righteousness and holiness, even as he has wholly lost track of — or is completely ignorant of — all the applicable legal and ethical principles, even the very most basic ones.

Let’s look at a couple of quotes from McCabe’s book excerpt in the Atlantic: . . .

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The Climate Scare: Ever More Shrill, Ever Less Serious

The Climate Scare:  Ever More Shrill, Ever Less Serious

The Democrats have taken control of the House of Representatives! And, for their first act, how about some scary “climate” hearings? The New York Times, of course, takes the occasion to run a big front-page story with the headline (in the print edition — online is different) “2018 Continues Warming Trend, As 4th Hottest Year Since 1880.” Let’s apply a little critical analysis.

The Times adorns their article with a huge temperature graph, covering the period 1880 to 2018, that goes across two-thirds of the top of the front page. The overall trend looks up at first glance. But on not-very-much-closer inspection, it is obvious that 2017 was down from 2016, and 2018 was down from 2017. How exactly does that constitute 2018 “continu[ing the] warming trend”? I would have said that the last two years in a row down is the opposite of “continuing the warming trend,” but what do I know?

The Times’s graph derives from the systematically-altered NASA/GISS surface temperature series. Go to my 19-part series “The Greatest Scientific Fraud Of All Time” to learn more than you would ever want to know about the adjustments that NASA and NOAA make to the surface temperature record to lower earlier year temperatures and raise later year temperatures to create a fake enhanced warming trend. Since all reasonably-informed readers would know about the serious allegations of data alteration in the surface temperature records of NASA and NOAA, would you think that the Times would deign to mention the issue, let alone mention the existence of the far more accurate satellite record that exists since 1979 and shows something far different? . . .

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