Blog & Commentary

The ObamaCare Bet

By Grant Bosse on October 28, 2013

Inspired by Julian Simon, I’m searching for someone willing to lose a bet in defense of the increasingly disastrous Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Here’s the bet:

By January 1, 2015, the number of Americans with health insurance prior to October 1, 2013 who lose their current coverage due to employers or insurance companies discontinuing coverage will exceed the number of Americans without health insurance prior to October 1, 2013 who purchase coverage through the Exchanges set up under the Affordable Care Act.

The core rationale of the health care law known as ObamaCare was that expanding coverage to uninsured Americans would fundamentally improve the overall American health care system. There were also plenty of promises of bringing down premium costs, but no one seriously believed those. President Obama also promised repeatedly that anyone happy with their current plan or doctor could keep it. That’s simply not true, and never had any chance of being true.

It’s possible that the percentage of Americans with health insurance will be higher once the law takes effect, though even that low bar is hardly guaranteed. I find it highly unlikely that the number of Americans with the insurance they wanted will have increased.

So, anyone out there disagree? I’ve got $100 for you if you think the newly insured will outnumber those who lose their current coverage.

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Correction in the Monitor

By Grant Bosse on August 29, 2013

The Concord Monitor runs a letter from John Parodi of Epsom correcting an error in my Sunday column recounting my grandfather’s experience as a B-17 crew chief in World War II.

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Feedback- Ray Kuntz in the Concord Monitor

By Grant Bosse on July 11, 2013

Ray Kuntz from Canterbury responded to my recent Concord Monitor column on state employee contracts, by questioning why I favor incentives to limit health care consumption.

Monitor Masthead

Decrying the collective bargaining process for public employee health benefits, Bosse explains: “Taxpayers are on the hook for almost every dollar, since employees pay no deductibles and nominal co-pays. This provides little incentive for workers to limit their consumption of medical services.”

Incentives to limit consumption are a good idea for cigarettes; for medical services, not so much.

Every other country with half a brain is operating on the idea that if it is convenient and affordable to “consume” medical services, the entire country will benefit. We are making insurance companies and hospitals rich and getting less for our money than Costa Rica.

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Business friendly: A good state budget development

By Grant Bosse on July 9, 2013

Guest Editorial in the New Hampshire Union Leader

Gov. Maggie Hassan was flanked by Republican and Democratic leaders as she signed into a law a much-needed update of New Hampshire’s Business Corporation Act. There were no great ideological issues at stake. The bill brings New Hampshire government up to date on handling technical corporate practices, such as domicile and dissolution.

The legislation was a top priority for the New Hampshire Business and Industry Association and was expertly guided through the State House by Republican Sen. Jeb Bradley. The new code goes into effect in January.

Business owners should also be happy for a change that didn’t happen. Gov. Hassan has hoped to delay two popular tax reforms approved by the last Legislature in order to boost tax revenues in her proposed budget.

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The CON board: The beast that won’t die

By Grant Bosse on July 9, 2013

Guest Editorial in the New Hampshire Union Leader

The state’s Certificate of Need board, an outdated government panel that oversees hospital construction spending, was slated to go away in 2015, but supporters of government rationing slipped a provision into the state budget deal that pushes the day of reckoning back to June 30, 2016.

Officially known as the Health Services Planning and Review Board, the CON board has been around since 1979 and requires New Hampshire hospitals and clinics to get permission before building or expanding their facilities or purchasing expensive equipment. The theory is that a panel of well-intentioned bureaucrats could hold down health-care costs by preventing hospitals from reckless and wasteful expansion. It hasn’t worked.

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Medicaid Questions: Summer School begins for legislators

By Grant Bosse on July 9, 2013

Guest Editorial in the New Hampshire Union Leader

The New Hampshire House and Senate may have adjourned for the summer, but a handful of lawmakers have some serious studying to do before their colleagues come back this fall.

A key compromise in the new state budget deal was the establishment of a study committee to examine whether New Hampshire should accept $2.5 billion from the federal government to raise the income eligibility limit for Medicaid.

While the Affordable Care Act originally forced states to expand Medicaid, the U.S. Supreme Court made that decision optional for each state.

The Obama administration promises to pay 100 percent of the costs of expansion for the first three years, and almost all of the costs after that.

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Mass. failure: Aaron Hernandez and guns

By Grant Bosse on July 5, 2013

From the New Hampshire Union Leader

Whether former Patriot Aaron Hernandez is guilty of murder is up to a Massachusetts jury. But looking at the case laid out by Bristol County assistant district attorney William McCauley, the futility of attempts to reduce gun violence by restricting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans is clear.

Hernandez is charged with the execution-style murder of his friend Odin Lloyd. In addition to first-degree murder, Hernandez faces five gun charges. Strict Bay State gun-control laws did nothing to protect Lloyd. And if the prosecution is correct, they did little to discourage Hernandez from accumulating a stash of weapons.

No changes to the nation’s system of background checks would have prevented this grisly murder.

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Happy New Year, Fiscally Speaking

By Grant Bosse on July 1, 2013

Guest Editorial in the New Hampshire Union Leader

July 1st marks the beginning of the state’s new fiscal year, and the start of the two-year budget recently passed by the Legislature. Gov. Maggie Hassan, interestingly, is thrilled at the bipartisan budget deal.

“The large, bipartisan support for the priorities in this budget — caring for our most vulnerable, public safety, education and preserving our natural resources — demonstrates that our shared values as Granite Staters are far more significant than our differences,” the governor exclaimed.

Yet the budget is substantially the same as the Senate budget package that Hassan earlier blasted as “fiscally irresponsible.”

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Games of Thrones Fathers Day Cards

By Grant Bosse on June 12, 2013

Winter is coming. But Father’s Day is this Sunday. Tell your Dad how you really feel about him with our new line of Games of Thrones Fathers Day Cards.

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My Advice to the Class of 2013

By Grant Bosse on June 9, 2013

The Concord Monitor this week asked its readers for 200-word Commencement Speeches containing the best advice they could for graduating high school seniors. Here is my submission:

Congratulations! If you’re headed to higher education, learn something. Your diploma is an expensive signal to future employers that you didn’t screw up too badly in high school. Whether or not you actually learn anything useful is up to you. Challenge yourself.

Attendance counts. You will be judged on your clothes, hair, piercings and attitude. Choose carefully.

You will rarely, if ever, make as much money as you think you deserve. If you hate your job, get better at it. Excellence is more fun than mediocrity, and it often pays better. And even if you love your job, you’re not going to love it every day.

Be content, but never complacent.

Learn to be a better writer every year. Writing is a keystone skill. Clear writing is evidence of clear thinking.

Your generation will rely less on big companies to give you a job, and more on yourselves to carve out value in the market. Find something people want, and get great at providing it. The modern economy holds growing challenges, but endless possibilities if you take control of your own career.

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