"…When PolitiFact described a blatantly deceptive Obama campaign ad on Mitt Romney’s Medicare reform as “Mostly True.” The ad claimed that the Romney-Ryan plan “could raise future retirees’ costs more than $6,000,” when in fact the Romney-Ryan plan would increase future retiree’s costs by exactly zero, and in fact give them the opportunity to lower their out-of-pocket costs…”
Read the article on Forbes.com
"In Ohio, a study by the actuarial firm Milliman found that Obamacare will increase individual-market premiums by 55 to 85 percent in 2017, relative to what they would have been under prior law. A survey by the Physicians Foundation found that, if Medicare cuts physician fees by another 10 percent, as Obamacare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board effectively requires, 30 percent of doctors will place “new or additional limits on Medicare acceptance,” with 24 percent accepting no new Medicare patients altogether.”
- Avik Roy, NRO’s The Corner
In a debate focused on jobs and the economy, Obamacare was a subheading. But it shouldn’t be. It is already causing small employers, and employers with many low-wage workers to put off hiring or shift more positions from full time to part time to avoid paying Obamacare’s employer tax penalty. It also effectively increases tax penalties for low-income workers, discouraging them from working and earning more. In an economy where health care costs continue to take a big bite out of Americans’ take home pay, Obamacare will become an increasing drain on innovation and job creation.
"The best hope for Medicaid reforms that can improve care for low-income enrollees, reduce fraud, and put the program on a sustainable trajectory is to cap federal spending to the states by using block grants. Block grants would offer states a predictable source of federal funding in return for broad state flexibility in Medicaid administration, benefits and copays …"
The Wall Street Journal, Paul Howard and Russell Sykes
Avik Roy on Forbes.com today:
The first presidential debate between Mitt Romney and President Obama was easily the wonkiest such debate I can recall in my lifetime. That’s great for the country. But even better was the fact Mitt Romney was able to correct a number of the misleading statements that President Obama has been making about Romney’s plans for health care and entitlement reform. Let’s review the details…
Romney made a good point about the Dodd-Frank financial-reform law, e.g. that it enshrined five big banks as “too big to fail.”
This point is correct in that the law allows the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) to designate Systemically Important Financial Institutions (SIFIs), including the nation’s five largest banks.
The implication is that the government will be responsible for ensuring that they don’t fail, so if they do fail, it is the government’s fault, and the government would have to make up for that. This issue not just domestic, but one of foreign policy.
To wit: right now, we see Europe devoting tremendous sovereign resources to help Spain bail out its banks. If Europe is taking this tack, it expects America to do so if and when it is necessary in the future, and the Dodd-Frank law does not discourage this thinking.
It is surprising and gratifying that Romney, who doesn’t often mention Wall Street, brought up the financial system largely on his own and got into a little bit of detail.
Romney should make his point into a big speech about what it means for capitalism in general to have a financial system that is immune from market discipline.
His point about people not starting banks in their garages, though, is less promising. We need more small start-up banks, and there is no reason good regulations could not encourage people to start one-branch banks to grow and compete with larger banks. Otherwise, we have an oligopoly in finance.
Romney made the critical point that Obamacare takes $716 billion from Medicare - not to make it more effective or sustainable, but to pay for new health insurance subisidies for the uninsured on state health insurance exchanges. The Medicare cuts will also make 15% of Medicare providers unprofitable in the short term, and 40% unprofitable in the long term. This will translate into reduced health care access for seniors as providers stop accepting Medicare coverage.
On other side of the ledger, which Romney did not mention, the CBO estimates that the exchange subsidies and Medicaid expansion will cost $200 bilion annually by 2020, and grow at 8% annually. This is hardly “bending the curve” of health care costs that President Obama initially promised. Furthermore, states’ ability to invest in critical infrastructure projects and education is being strangled by the rising state share of Medicaid costs. Obamacare does nothing to reverse this trend, and in fact is set to make it much worse.
Mitt Romney said that the amount of money that President Obama has wasted on green jobs programs could have hired two million teachers. Green jobs programs are truly a waste—of the 33 energy loan guarantees or grants made under the Energy Department’s programs, 26, or almost 80 percent, have filed for bankruptcy or have missed production goals.
Plus, as I show in my new book, Regulating to Disaster: How Green Jobs Policies Damage America’s Economy, green energy is more expensive and raises Americans’ utility bills. Generating a megawatt hour of electricity from natural gas in 2015 will cost between $49 and $79. A megawatt hour from onshore wind will cost between $75 and $138, and from solar photovoltaic will cost between $242 and $455.
"…Obama’s energy policy rests on moral superiority. In Wednesday’s debate, Romney should make the case that green energy is neither moral nor superior, but merely condemns America to slower economic growth with only smugness to show for it."
Diana Furchtgott-Roth in today’s Washington Examiner.