Republicans Offer Obamacare Replacement

This week, Republicans offered their long awaited plan to replace Obamacare.   They had long opposed Obamacare and had vowed to replace it, but the calls became even louder and more widespread this year. Many major insurance companies left the health care exchanges, leaving very little choice of plans for people to choose from in a number of areas of the country and even a small number of counties with no choices at all. Additionally, costs for Obamacare exchange plans skyrocketed with premiums in Minnesota, for example, increasing roughly 50% while at the same time the average deductible had gone up dramatically in the last few years.

It became pretty obvious—and the exit of every major insurer from many or most of their markets made it clear—that Obamacare was in a death spiral and something dramatic had to be done. To keep it, it would have to have had a major overhaul and an infusion of additional tens of billions of dollars. Or it could be replaced with something easier to manage and with a lot less bureaucracy.

The proposed plan is roughly 130 pages, compared to Obamacare’s roughly 1100 pages plus volumes of bureaucratic rules that were developed to implement it. If the length of the respective bills is an indication of the size of the bureaucracy needed to oversee it, then that has to be a good first step. The IRS alone added thousands of staff to handle Obamacare, and we all remember the problems with even such seemingly simple things as building an Obamacare website. At some point, simpler almost can’t help but be better. Continue reading “Republicans Offer Obamacare Replacement”

North Korean Missiles

Days ago, the kingdom of North Korea launched four missiles into the ocean, three of which fell into waters that are in Japanese economic zone waters that are internationally recognized.

North Korea has repeatedly ignored international norms, in developing nuclear weapons and then working to develop intercontinental missiles that could deliver them.  The leader / king, Kim Jong Un who is the third generation of his family to rule the country with an iron fist, has flaunted international sanctions and let his country and citizens suffer while funding military expansion and continuing to test its nuclear and missile capabilities. Continue reading “North Korean Missiles”

In A Busy News Week, THIS Is The Talked About Topic?

Often in the news, and certainly in a Donald Trump presidency, things happen quickly and the hot topic is overtaken by new events-last several days are an example of that. Though it now seems so long ago, but it hasn’t even been a week since the State of the Union speech. Yet the seemingly measured tone of the speech, praised even by some of the President’s long time opponents, has quickly been replaced by new chaos, courtesy of the President’s Twitter account among other things.

In the next several days, Thinking Man will offer thoughts on several topics of the last few days, including the long-awaited GOP plan to replace Obamacare.

But one topic has jumped to the front of the news cycle. Yesterday, President Trump claimed that the Obama Administration bugged Trump Tower leading up to the election this past November.

Right off, one wonders how exactly to respond to that. Probably never in the history of the country has any President made any accusations close to anything like that about a former President.   So one has to take a deep breath—ok, maybe several deep breaths—and sit back and try to be as level-headed as possible. And that may not actually be possible, as there are so many things wrong with this whole scenario no matter what the final outcome. Continue reading “In A Busy News Week, THIS Is The Talked About Topic?”