Steve Case

by James A. Bacon

Education and health care are the two most moribund economic sectors in the U.S. economy, plagued by lagging productivity and poor outcomes. Not coincidentally, both sectors are joined at the hip with government. Democrats are determined to preserve the status quo, while Republicans offer no clear market-based alternative. Is there any reason to think anything will change?

Steve Case, the legendary co-founder of AOL who now runs investment firm Revolution LLC, thinks that a “third wave” of Internet innovation will transform both sectors from the bottom up. He writes the following in the Wall Street Journal today:

While the presidential candidates discuss the merits of abolishing or expanding the federal Education Department, entrepreneurs are revolutionizing how instructors teach and students learn. Venture capitalists see what’s coming. Funding for EdTech startups hit $1.85 billion last year, according to EdSurge, up from $360 million in 2010. Former teachers are leading companies that are unleashing—finally—personalized and adaptive learning. While the pundits debate education policy, the innovators are in the trenches improving classrooms all across the country.

Or look at health care. As the candidates pitch plans to abolish or build on the Affordable Care Act, the real action to improve America’s medical system is coming from entrepreneurs. They are inventing better ways to keep us healthy, and smarter ways to treat us when we get sick. The revolution in health care is being led by the innovators who are working tirelessly to improve outcomes, enhance convenience and lower costs. And again, investors sense this: Last year health care companies raised a record $16.1 billion in venture capital, this newspaper reported, an increase from 2014 of 34%.

But there is no divorcing government from the process, argues Case.

Third Wave innovators … won’t be able to go it alone; they’ll need to go together. They’ll need to engage with governments, as regulators and often as customers. And they’ll need to recognize that revolutions often happen in evolutionary ways. Success will require many alliances, as well as constructive dialogue with regulators.

This entrepreneurial revolution offers Virginians an alternative to the stale and polarized alternatives of the past. Virginia may or may not be where these new companies originate and create product-development, back-office and headquarters jobs. But our approach to public policy will influence where these entrepreneurs do business first. The more flexible and open we are, the greater the likelihood of attracting investment and re-energizing our education and health-care sectors. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity. Will we take it or squander it?

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37 responses to “Disrupting Education and Health Care”

  1. jhuenn Avatar

    “Democrats are determined to preserve the status quo, while Republicans offer no clear, market-based alternatives”. Sweeping generalizations that add nothing to the topic of the article.

    1. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
      Reed Fawell 3rd

      If your statement is correct, then you have just cast the first stone.

  2. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
    Reed Fawell 3rd

    As to education and health care, everything here is between the lip and the cup.

    The great question is whether these private venture capital funds are raised on the backs of government funding so as to corrupt the health and or educational system using crony capitalism.

    I fear that might well be happening now in the INOVA / George Mason University personalized medicine deal. I do not see it happening in the Virginia Tech Carilion Clinic deal. The differences appear stark and telling.

    For the way these things should be done see:

    1. TooManyTaxes Avatar

      The biggest threat to the average American comes not from big business or even big government (although each does present threats as well as some benefits), but rather, from crony capitalism. I’d define crony capitalism as the combination of business and government interests in a manner that uses the power of government to advantage a business firm over other businesses; minimizes the normal play of either the free market or traditional regulated business models; and, often, socializes costs and/or losses, while privatizing revenues and profits.

      First cut at both the conclusion and a description of crony capitalism.

      1. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
        Reed Fawell 3rd

        Too Many Taxes:

        I agree with your basic thumbnail characterization of the threat of crony capitalism in league with government to leverage power and advantage for both. It is somewhat akin to cartel and monopoly on steroids. Highly dangerous, as in the worst possible case the end result is found in Hitlers Fascist state aligned with war machine cartels, as history demonstrated so painfully.

        In any case, the need for covert agreement, dissimulation, lack of transparently, including lack of concrete detail, combined with grandiose claims, are the typical tell tail signs of crony capitalism.

        Here today, in a far different but nevertheless potentially disturbing case in America, for example I suggest that you Google “Inova George Mason University Personalized Medicine” and read what pops up, and then do the same with “Virginia Tech Carilian Clinic”, including article found at:

        Then compare what you read about both ventures. One seems vague, without life, Cuba like. The other is highly alive, interactive, full of detail.

        1. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
          Reed Fawell 3rd

          For vibrancy and apparent lack of crony capitalism also see:

          Here is copy of this new schools stated mission:

          “Understanding mind, brain and behavior in health and disease at a cellular, genetic, molecular and systems level through interdisciplinary studies and hands-on research

          Every decision, emotion, artistic expression, philosophic thought and even spirituality is ultimately the result of computations conducted by billions of nerve cells that form the human brain. The study of the brain and its various functions is called Neuroscience.

          Neuroscience research is informing us how we make decisions, how we evaluate our environment, how we interact with other human beings; what makes us artistic, compassionate, religious or philosophic, and simply shows us how we sense our environment or instruct our limbs to move. In short, neuroscience is a science that informs and is informed by essentially every aspect of human endeavor.

          Our understanding of gene and gene-environment interaction that alter behavior or drive neurological and neuropsychiatric illnesses is developing at a lightening pace, allowing Neuroscientists to recapitulate complex disorders in models systems to study the underlying biology and in many cases develop novel treatment approaches. As such Neuroscience plays an essential role in driving innovation in the future treatment of illnesses affecting the brain.

          The brain is adaptive, and changes over the lifespan. Activity dependent changes underlie learning and memory, and early life experiences can have a profound influence on an individual’s intellectual capacity. Neuroscience research is making great strides in understanding adaptive and mal-adaptive changes that occur over an individual’s lifespan with hope to improve brain health from pre-conception to death.

          The School of Neuroscience at Virginia Tech takes a very broad view of Neuroscience considering any interactions that are directed or perceived by the nervous system as Neuroscience. For example, any expression of artistry is generated and perceived by brain circuits, as are emotions, motivation, empathy, passion and compassion. Communications between cells, individual organisms, organismal groups and even societies are governed by brain activity.

          Whether a student wishes to pursue Neuroscience research in the future or simply acquire this wealth of knowledge, understanding Neuroscience makes us more competent human beings, and provides us skills to be applied to a multitude of careers in art, music, architecture, urban and community planning, law, finance, policy, politics, health care and many other professions.”

          Is this not dynamic and alive, hurling towards a bright future judging from its startling understanding of what its going to be all about?

  3. LarrytheG Avatar

    re: ” “Democrats are determined to preserve the status quo, while Republicans offer no clear, market-based alternatives”. Sweeping generalizations that add nothing to the topic of the article.”

    Agree and it actually is not an accurate description of the situation at all – it’s papering over the reality.

    First, it does not accurately portray what the Dems want to do – which is NOT the status quo but they are unwilling to go along with the GOP “plan” which is to dismantle the current system with no clue what they’d do next.

    there is no GOP proposal because as we can see right now – the GOP cannot even agree among themselves what to do – other than destroy what is in place now without offering any idea at all about what they would do instead.

    And what I ask is this. Surely out of 200+ countries in the world – there are at least a FEW examples of how that 3rd wave and the private sector has changed and improved education and health care – that we could look at and use as a starting point for GOP proposals here.

    A simple start from the GOP would be a law that requires doctors to promptly turn over all health records in electronic form to any patient that requests them – then the free market would convert that data to a inter-operable form (for a fee) than the patient could then take with them wherever they get care.

    From that point on – the patient would own that data and the provider would be referencing it and, by law, would have to update it if they provided care to the patient.

    The Dems would totally support such a change from the status quo so it”s inaccurate to say they just want the status quo.

    why is it – we have to destroy the system we have and start over without a clue about how we’d do it before we tear it down?

    Make no mistake about Steve Case – he is NOT advocating that govt is the problem and that we need to get rid of it in order to improve education and health care.

    here’s one small example – how do you convince private practice doctors to use electronic medical records that are portable for patients that want to be able to go to other doctors and have their complete medical history when they go to the other doctors?

    how do you get the private sector to do that – which would clearly be to the benefit of most people – reduce costs and improve their outcomes?

    the reality is that doctors do NOT want to share your health data precisely because you might then be able to actually go find another doctor !

    1. Larry and JHuenn, there is virtually no social or economic problem in the United States for which the liberal/progressive/Democratic solution does not entail (a) more money, and (b) an expansion of government control and authority. To my mind, that is a status quo philosophy because that’s been the default “solution” to every social and economic problem nationally for the past 50 years. If the previous “solution” didn’t work, in the mind of Democrats, it’s only because government didn’t spend enough money or wasn’t given enough power.

      1. Cville Resident Avatar
        Cville Resident

        Hmmmm….Seem to recall a Democratic President (Carter) sign the Airline Deregulation Act in 1978 with a Democratic Congress and Senate. Also seem to recall a Democratic President (Clinton) signing Gramm-Leach-Bliley with overwhelming Democratic support which repealed some Glass-Steagall federal mandates on financial institutions.

        Also, Obama signed the JOBS Act in 2012 which exempted crowdfunding from certain securities regulations.

        Are those examples of “more money” and “expansions of government control and authority”?

        1. Well, federal regulation of trucking, railroads and airlines was manifestly a monstrous failure. Dems do deserve credit for going along with deregulation 38 years ago, back when there was such a thing as “moderate” and “blue dog” Democrats willing to vote with Republicans. As for exempting crowdfunding from regulation, that wasn’t actually de-regulation, that was a rare instance in which the Dems resisted their impulse to extend regulation to something new.

          Can you think of a single thing the Democratic Party of 2016 wants to deregulate or scale back the role of government today? Can you name a single issue where the proposed solution of Obama, Clinton or Sanders is a rollback of government as opposed to more government?

          1. Cville Resident Avatar
            Cville Resident

            Obama did sign the America Invents Act which lowered government fees for microentities. Isn’t that a rollback of government revenue/fees?

          2. On the one hand, Obama has expanded government control over the health care system (Obamacare), the banking industry (Dodd-Frank), the Internet (regulation by the FCC), the energy sector (regulation by the EPA), higher education (sexual assault policies) — and that’s just off the top of my head.

            On the other hand, Obama did roll back fees for microentities.

            Gee, I guess I was wrong. Dems don’t want to regulate everything. Just almost everything.

          3. LarrytheG Avatar

            re: ” Well, federal regulation of trucking, railroads and airlines was manifestly a monstrous failure. ”

            bullfeathers.. and balderdash!

            more right-wing ideology without a real basis in truth.

            we have the most powerful and robust commerce infrastructure – on the planet – so how did that happen if we have those terrible regulations?

            the “anti-regulation” mindset is pro-forma these days but ask for a list of them to roll back… ask the GOP to put together legislation for specific roll backs and see what you get.

            the lowest regulation countries in the world – are 3rd world.

            yet when you ask why those countries don’t excel and out-compete us – the “anti” folks mutter something about rule of law.

            rule of law is regulation.

            regulation is what protects property rights and encourages private investment …

            why even Jim Bacon calls for it all the time! cue his words about what to do about college loans!


          4. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
            Reed Fawell 3rd

            The related corollary is when private industry gains too much power over what is essentially a public function, like an airport or public road. Armed with that illegitimate power, private interests then manipulate and manage that essential public asset for its own private advantage to the detriment of the public interests. This becomes particularly corrosive when public officials become involved to promote their own personal or political agenda as well.

            I suggest that there is amply reason to suspect that this is what happened in the case of Dulles Airport, the Dulles Toll Road, and Million Dollar Bus stop.

            In any case the privatization of assets or the deregulation of industries is often a very complicated and tricky maneuver through minefields. A classic example was the 1980s deregulation of Savings and Loan Industry. The price all of us paid for that debacle was enormous, just as damaging in my view as recent recession.

          5. Larry, do you have any recollection of what horrible condition the railroad industry was in before it was deregulated? Remember Conrail? The industry was on the sickbed. Today we have the best freight railroad industry in the world. Likewise, deregulating the trucking industry has brought down freight rates and improved flexibility, enabling a veritable logistics revolution. And airline fares were way overpriced. Do you seriously want to bring back 70s-era transportation regulation?

          6. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
            Reed Fawell 3rd

            But Jim it’s a double edged sword that demands careful handling and monitoring with a competence and ethics that today are in very short supply.

  4. LarrytheG Avatar

    Listen to what Steve Case said Jim. Do you consider him one of those “liberals” who believes there is no social or economic ill …blah blah blah?

    If you have a plan – promote it but your idea that you don’t like the current and would dismantle it before you show a plan is not a solution.

    how many countries in the wold do Education and Health Care the way you believe it should be done?

    ALL of the first world countries in the world have government involved so what is your alternative plan?

    you believe in a philosophy Jim – but it has no realistic real world framework and until it does – your main complaint seems to be that you don’t like the current approach – but you have no alternative.

    is the current approach is such a fail – why are the top countries in the world doing exactly what you oppose and call a failure?

    name the countries that do health care and education the way you say they should.

    surely on the planet earth – you can choose an option other than LA LA LAND!

    1. TooManyTaxes Avatar

      Larry – if you search Stephen Case, McLean, VA in Open Secrets, all you will find are campaign donations to Democrats. A VPAP search shows $37,950 to Democrats and $3500 to Republicans. You must agree that, based on contributions to candidates, Case, at bare minimum, leans liberal.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        perhaps TMT so why is Bacon loving him?

        1. TooManyTaxes Avatar

          Larry, most days I have trouble figuring out me, much less Jim Bacon! LoL

      2. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
        Reed Fawell 3rd

        I’ve just finished Steve Case book “The Third Wave.”

        Steve Case is obviously a very smart and successful guy. And he is a fine fellow as well. That said, Steve Case’s lack a knowledge concerning the proper roll of government and the risks inherent in a US government that overflows the bounds of the US constitution, particularly in regards to its relation to private enterprise, not to mention the teachings of scholars on the subject of government generally, is quite appalling. Its frightening really given Steve’s influence.

        And likely Steve’s ignorance on this subject is also a sure and telling sign of the times we live in. The coal mine canaries are everywhere, and breeding by the minute.

        1. Wow, Reed, are you a speed reader?

          Could you elaborate on your statement that Case lacks of knowledge regarding the proper role of government?

          Key question: Proper for who? Case is a multimillionaire with celebrity status, and he can gain access to any level of society, business or government in Washington, D.C. A strong government — over which he exercises power and influence — may work very nicely for his business ventures.

        2. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
          Reed Fawell 3rd

          Yes, I will follow up on this Jim but am traveling today.

        3. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
          Reed Fawell 3rd

          Home alone night before last, I had to find a surefire method to avoid wasting my time watching the TV commentary on the Wisconsin Primary returns. As an antidote I chose to read the Book “The Third Wave.” I did so in about 6 hours. That took me to 12 o’clock p.m.

          The Third Wave, among other matters, promotes the idea that the next big disruption to our lives and society that will be spawned by the internet and its machines, and its information technologies, will be a Ubiquity Revolution. Therein our computers will delve deeply into our lives in most all of its aspects, collectively and individually. Hence computers will be deep into how we live our lives and those machines will transport vast amounts of information about our lives to other people and other external machines so as to help us and them solve our problems and enhance our opportunities, and ease the ups and downs and the travails and burdens of our lives.

          Hence the Ubiquity Revolution will monitor, regulate, control our lives and how we live our lives and perhaps most all matters related to our lives: such as our health care, our education, our military, our law enforcement, our governance, our transportation, our food, and our agriculture, and our patterns and styles of habitation, work, and daily lives, indeed all these subjects as they relate to us collectively and individually.

          The Third Wave assumes that our government is already a heavy participant these matters. Hence entrepreneurs and high tech companies do now and increasingly will have to work closely, indeed in active partnership with the government in promoting, funding, regulating, and actively working and participating within this third wave, directing it for the advantage of everyone. Indeed the government’s full participation is critical to the success of this grand and on-rushing Venture if America is to succeed within it and compete in the world.

          Here we see the marriage of Andrew Grove’s Disruption Theory and his ideas on how to manage, ride out, and take advantage of its Strategic Infection Points with a new ubiquitous third wave of intrusion into our lives and all its details. All directed and operated by our high priests of innovation in league with and empowered by our Federal Government so as to fund with our money its systems they will control to run our lives according to their dictates. This is how I see the problem involving.

          That said, I believe Steve Case has the best of intentions. Just like I believe he has to a remarkable degree in the past demonstrated in actions his own best of intentions. Unfortunately, I fear the rest of us all too often lack his very high standards in the Virtues Department.

          1. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
            Reed Fawell 3rd

            The threat here is amply demonstrated by the Obama administrations efforts to federalize US Government control of IRA’s owned by citizens. This will amount to a massive theft of the citizens monies by their own government. It’s outrageous. And it is only a taste of our future should our government succeed in doing what Steve Cases Third Wave book suggests that our future holds for us.

            Bottom line his book advises the US entrepreneur to jump aboard the Federal Government’s regulatory and Administrate leviathan State before its caboose departs the station. Otherwise the entrepreneur class will be cut out of the action and crushed.

            Steve Case has a point. He may well be right. Bernie Sander’s growing success proves Case’s version of the Third Wave ever more probable ever day that passes.

  5. LarrytheG Avatar

    re: ” Larry, do you have any recollection of what horrible condition the railroad industry was in before it was deregulated? Remember Conrail? The industry was on the sickbed. Today we have the best freight railroad industry in the world. Likewise, deregulating the trucking industry has brought down freight rates and improved flexibility, enabling a veritable logistics revolution. And airline fares were way overpriced. Do you seriously want to bring back 70s-era transportation regulation?”

    Jim – do you remember Teapot Dome?

    hey wait… you’re citing de-regulation that was enacted as an argument that it’s always more and bad?

    which is it?

    you say we have the best rail in the world but it’s way over regulated?

    are you familiar with the positive train control issue?

    what say you?

    should the Feds require it or not?

    do you support regulation to require it or not?

  6. CleanAir&Water Avatar

    Here’s another way to look at the issues … the way those early Virginian’s did.
    They understood that power would always be a struggle and so set up a system that assumed there was not a single answer, but where opposing parties would always balance each other.
    That balance is out of whack. Corporate media is not giving us a real picture and political power is centered with wealth, both corporate and personal.
    You might not agree with Bernie’s solutions but maybe everyone should acknowledge his analysis.
    For instance. We would be a banana republic without free public education for all and today that high school degree does not get a person to the point where they can find a job that will pay a good middle class wage. Maybe we need to find a way to fund higher education.
    And in healthcare… why do we spend so much more than any other country without better outcomes?
    Finally, let’s agree that the tax system is not the best place to provide for community goods, nor should business be in the business of providing either education, healthcare or retirement funds. Let’s let business invest and invent and pay a fair share of community goods through their taxes but not add health care and education funding into the price of the goods we buy from them.

    1. TooManyTaxes Avatar

      CA&W – I follow your argument until you get to “Finally, let’s agree that … business [shouldn’t] be in the business of providing either education, healthcare or retirement funds.”

      Passing on education for the moment, both my wife and I have had access to excellent health insurance from our employers. She from the federal employees health plan. Me from a company and two big law firms. It’s been part of our compensation. We earned it, just as we earned salary, bonuses, and vacation time.

      Ditto for retirement. My wife is under FERS and Social Security. I have a vested pension and several 401K plans and have paid much more into Social Security than my employers. Employment-based retirement make good sense.

      I think many would agree. What am I missing from your argument? Thanks in advance for clarifying.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        TMT – your health insurance is made available by the govt as is your retirement plan.

        For health insurance, it is the govt that does not tax the money spent on insurance and also exempts it from FICA tax – a benefit that is essentially a 40% discount in the premiums cost. That comes from the govt – not the employer.

        Next – you are guaranteed insurance coverage and you are guaranteed to not pay any more for it than others and that also comes from the govt – the rules known as HIPPA that prohibit insurers from denying you coverage nor charging you according to your risk and health status.

        without the govt – you’d not only have to pay for insurance with post-tax dollars but you’d also be subject to denial of coverage and/or higher premiums.

        these are things provided to you by the govt.

        it’s similar with retirement savings – the govt allows you to put that money aside – tax free and to defer taxes on it until you start drawing it out. Imagine how your retirement savings would work if the govt did not provide you with those benefits.

        so the reality is – you did not “earn” these benefits – they were provided to you by the govt.

        what exactly “entitles” you to tax-free health insurance guaranteed by the govt? why do you deserve it?

        1. TooManyTaxes Avatar

          In Larry’s world (Obama’s world too), everything belongs to the government. Everything we get is courtesy of Uncle Sam.

          I’m (and everyone else so situated) entitled to tax free employer contributions to health insurance and deferred taxes on my 401Ks because a majority of the members of Congress voted for it and presidents have signed the bills into law. With respect to the former, which occurred during WWII, I suspect FDR and the Democrats in Congress wanted my grandparents’ votes by giving a tax break to health insurance. And I suspect they got their votes, as well.

          The same story holds for any other provision of the tax code. Why was Henry Ford able to shelter hundreds and hundreds of millions from the estate tax through his foundation? Why can people for LLCs and be taxed on a flow through basis? Congress decided that. Why were the top tax rates reduced in the 1980s? Congress decided.

          These are public policy decisions. Like them or hate them. But people get health care and retirement from their employers as a part of compensation.

          Can Congress change the rules? Sure, it can. But I suspect eliminating these tax rules would cost a big number of seats in Congress from both parties.

          People don’t owe other people when the former follow the laws and take advantage of them. So long as everyone similarly situated gets to use a benefit, there is no discrimination.

          1. LarrytheG Avatar

            nope. not at all. you owe taxes , we all do. what entitles you to a break on your taxes?

            you misunderstood my question – what ENTITLES you to receive special treatment on taxes – not that Congress voted to do it.

            remember – we’re talking about the ROLE of govt in the private sector.

            what justifies the govt inserting itself in the private sector on your health insurance instead of you dealing directly with the private sector for your insurance – as you and others like Bacon have advocated – that the govt get out of the way of the private sector so it can bring lower prices and consumer choices to that market?

            why do you FAVOR the the govt benefiting YOU but oppose it benefiting others the same way?

            why do you favor govt-subsidized employer-provided but oppose govt-subsidized ObamaCare?

            what make you a legitimate entitlement recipient and not others?

            what would your employer “offer” you if the govt did not provide tax benefits for insurance and retirement? would your employer still offer you health insurance? If they did would you be subject to free market forces on whether it was offered to you or not and no protection on price either?

            your employer is not the one assuring these protections – the govt is.

            you stated earlier here something about crony capitalism where the govt favors one business over another.

            how is this any different with the govt favoring employer-provided folks and not others who have to purchase insurance themselves on the open market?

            how can you say everyone is “similarly situated” when some don’t get the govt benefits you get for the same purpose – health insurance?

          2. TooManyTaxes Avatar

            Larry, the tax law treats everyone similarly situated the same. Indeed, it generally prohibits treating executives better than worker in terms of benefits. Everyone who gets employer-paid health insurance is treated alike for income tax purposes. There is no discrimination. I favor that result.

            I don’t get health care benefits from work. I work for myself and have business arrangements with two law firms. One where I am “of counsel” and share revenue. The second is firm where I used to work, but still do projects on an “outside contractor” business. We work on these arrangements because they work economically for both sides. If they somehow had to pay more than we’ve agreed upon, I probably would get less work from them and my income would decline. I don’t want that result.

            Under your logic, what am I supposed to get? I suspect you don’t want to get rid of the 1099 option, as many people would be severely hurt. As I’ve written many times, I don’t have a problem with, and would support, allowing 1099s to deduct, for FIT purposes, the same proportion of health insurance fees paid by employers – probably based on updated surveys. Deducting the entire premium could make 1099s better off than employees. Doesn’t this tax deductibility proposal make things reasonably fair?

        2. TooManyTaxes Avatar

          Larry, I thought I answered your question as to what entitles me to certain tax breaks — the law, which is a result of our government processes.

          If you are asking me to justify the “morality” of it, why must I? Why must anyone? Even Warren Buffett, who preaches for higher taxes and bigger government, takes full advantage of any and all tax breaks.

          If people want to change the law, they can organize and lobby for whatever changes they want. But I strongly suspect any member of Congress or candidates challenging them would not support taking away employer-provided health insurance benefits’ freedom from income tax or make pension/401K payments made by employers non-deductible expenses.

          I don’t know why you (and others) are bound and determined to go after the middle and upper middle class and drag them down financially. Go after the boys and girls with the big bucks – Wall Street, professional athletes, entertainers, and others similarly situated.

          1. LarrytheG Avatar

            TMT – I’m asking you WHY we have a POLICY that you were accorded govt benefits and not others – like independent contractor workers and other full time workers for industries whose business models don’t permit such spending.

            why do we have folks who advocate for the govt to get out of health care for others and let the free market work it’s magic – but defending their own govt employer-provided insurance because it’s “the law”?

            I’m not advocating to drag down anyone here nor arguing on moral grounds.

            I’m asking why we have folks who oppose Obamacare because its a govt benefit – and they are some of the same people who have employer-provided and continue to claim that it’s their employer and not the govt that makes it possible?

            that’s not a moral argument. It’s one of whether one’s own politics are self consistent and support the involvement of govt equitably for all workers on an equivalent basis – or not.

            why do some folks who have employer-provided – oppose an equivalent govt-provided option for folks who don’t have access to employer-provided?

            When Jim and others, including you, advocate to get govt out of healthcare and let the free market “work” why do you not include employer-provided also as clearly if the govt got out of it – it would then subject those employees to the very same market forces others face that they are protected from – by the govt.

            Aren’t you essentially advocating to keep your govt-provided benefits but take away similar govt healthcare benefits for others when you advocate to KEEP employer-provided and to REPEAL ObamaCare since BOTH of them do require the govt to make them work?

            where is the consistency in that position? And further – if we really say we want the govt out of health care and to let the free market innovate and make it better – on what grounds would you exempt including Employer-provided in that?

  7. LarrytheG Avatar

    As the oft-labeled “leftist” here in BR , I have

    1. advocated for NOT providing Medicaid for those who own their own homes

    2. that people on Medicare should pay WAY MORE than $122 a month for health insurance especially those who make up to 85K a year in income.

    That Medicare Advantage be done away with all together or that those who buy it have to pay the full cost of it – no subsidies at all.

    3. that college loans be denied for anything beyond basic tuition and even then only for subjects that lead to a degree that is in demand in the economy.

    4. – that parents of high school kids pay for all courses and and programs beyond those core academic required by the state.

    5. – that major roads be tolled and people pay higher tolls for SOLO rush hour commuting

    6. – that electricity be priced according to peak hour demand.

    7. that the tax subsidies for employer-provided health insurance be repealed.

    8. that mortgage deductions be limited to one owner-occupied house capped at median price..

    9. that fire and ambulance be fee-based with “compassionate” billing

    and more…

    and … I would subject each and every regulation to have to meet an ROI standard and that all regulations have to be re-certified and that a dirty dozen list be generated and voted on for repeal every year.

    In other words – I advocate SPECIFICS rather than symbolic and generalized ideology… opposition.

  8. CleanAir&Water Avatar

    I am talking about the structure of the system.
    Fire services be user funded? I grew up in Phila where the first insurance companies only responded to houses on fire if they had a plak designating their paid insurance on the outside wall. I think that’s a bad idea. User fees aren’t the way to go for community goods that affect all. The same for schooling and health and police and the courts and the air and water.
    Would you allow anything at all to be labeled ‘community’ goods? The system of fair payment for those ‘community’ goods is another matter … full of specifics.

  9. LarrytheG Avatar

    CleanAir&Water – you’re on to it.

    compassionate billing means – you serve the need , send the bill, and if they can’t pay and have no insurance to pay then it is forgiven.

    but the point is that people are put on notice that these services do cost and each one of us ought to be paying our fair share of it.

    not unlike the idea behind education and health care.

    Bacon thinks education and health care can be made cheaper by being revolutionized by the internet and entrepreneurship and the free market but at the core – some people who need the services , can’t pay, no matter how optimized the “free market” is. And the question becomes – is society better off if we do not pay for them?

    that’s a serious question.

    would we be better off if we did not require compulsory schooling and did turn people away from the ER who could not pay?

    Because, if that”s not at the core of what Bacon is proposing – then what exactly IS he proposing – for those who can’t pay no matter how optimized the internet-powered free market becomes?

    I would posit that our approach for education and health care is , in fact, “compassionate billing” where we forgive the costs for those that cannot pay AND – we actually do want to most cost-efficient system possible for those costs.

    Bacon calls that “liberalism” and govt hand-outs…

    I just ask what he would do instead… would he actually get rid of compulsory schooling and EMTALA at ERs … or WHAT?

    I’m asking Jim to cut the rhetoric on these things and provide his alternative to slinging the “liberal’ word around.

    so get with it Jim – give us your plan for education and health care for those who won’t be helped by an internet-powered free market.

    what is your plan?

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