Friday, November 20, 2009

Two good paragraphs 

The individual insurance mandate, then, is a solution to a problem the bill itself would create. The authors invoke the Commerce Clause to protect interstate commerce from a threat they themselves pose to it. They could avert the threat simply by not imposing guaranteed-issue on insurers.
From Sheldon Richman today. I know I've heard constitutional lawyers say this use of the Commerce Clause meets legal standards, but even CBO says it's unprecedented. How do they know? That CBO report also wondered whether the costs of complying with the mandate should be included in the budget documents. The current CBO report only reports an "unfunded" mandate but does not estimate the size.

I don�t want a single standard of health care, one standard of what�s �best.� Everyone is different and what is best for me may not be best for you. More importantly, what is best is unknowable to a committee of experts. Not hard to know. Not difficult to discover. Unknowable. What age should a women have a mammogram is not a question that has an answer. There are many answers. One reason is that women are different. A more important reason is that our knowledge evolves. What is thought to be �best� (wait until 40) may turn out to be different (wait till 50). But even more importantly, when power is centralized, the very idea of �best� no longer applies. The incentives aren�t there. When there is one standard set by the political process, the experts� incentives on whatever committee determines the universal standard are inevitably going to be politicized. So give me �inefficient� competition among standards. Let different standards vie for attention.
Russ Roberts. BTW, I picked up and re-read The Price of Everything last weekend, deciding to use it in a freshman gen ed course this spring. It's better than I remembered. I am really looking forward to that course now.

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