McClaughry: A state health insurance purchase mandate?

first_imgby John McClaughry The House and Senate health care committee chairs in Montpelier are pondering new adventures in health care policy for 2018. High on their list is a Vermont individual insurance mandate. The mandate to purchase government-approved insurance has had a four year run in Washington. It was made a cornerstone of Obamacare because older people are sicker than young people.  If health insurance premiums are set according to an age group’s risk of incurring medical expenses, the premiums for sixty-year olds will be as much as five times the premiums for twenty-year olds. But when the small business and individual insurance pool is community rated (as Vermont’s has been since 1993), all policy holders must be charged the same premium for the same coverage regardless of age. Thus young, healthy people will be made to pay far above their age group’s expected medical expenses. Their (under 65) grandparents will pay far less than their age group’s expenses.Faced with far higher premium costs, many young healthy people simply “go bare” without insurance. Without the young, healthy people in the pool, the increasingly older (and sicker) pool will require ever rising premiums. This leads to the “death spiral”. To prevent this, the government has to use compulsion to keep the young and healthy in and paying. That’s the individual mandate.Starting in 2019, Congress’s repeal of the Obamacare individual mandate will relieve young healthy Vermonters of the threat of a tax of $695, or 2.5% of income, for not buying a Federal government-approved health plan.Senator Claire Ayer and Rep. William Lippert do not want those people to drop their insurance. They are seriously considering shutting off this exit ramp for the young and healthy by creating a Vermont individual mandate to buy state-approved insurance. Then the young and healthy would continue subsidizing the premiums of the older and sicker.This is “Robin Hood in Reverse”. The State requires young people starting off in life, at the bottom rung of their lifetime income ladder, paying off education loans, planning to raise a family and buy a home, to subsidize people forty years older, at the top of their lifetime earnings, their children grown and gone, and their mortgage paid off.Whenever a proposal for a state purchase mandate raises its head, the first question one should ask is, “Or else what?”Will the State levy a tax on you for not buying health insurance, like the now repealed ObamaCare provision? Will it take away an income tax exemption? Will it confiscate your income tax refund? Will it garnish your wages? Will it suspend your professional or business license? Your hunting and fishing license? Your driver’s license?Lippert notes that Massachusetts has had a state insurance mandate since 2007. The enforcement mechanism there is a denial of the personal income tax exemption. However the new Federal tax bill abolishes the personal exemptions used in computing Federal taxable income, which is used for Vermont income tax purposes. To deny those exemptions would require Vermont to create them, which would require major changes in how Vermont taxes income.There is, however, a far better way than invoking state power to mandate that all Vermonters purchase insurance. It is to hold uninsured persons personally responsible for paying the medical bills they incur. We have long done this for “deadbeat dads” who won’t make court-ordered child support payments.Since 1994 the Ethan Allen Institute has advocated “income tax-based recapture for unpaid medical bills run up by persons who choose to spend their resources on things other than adequate health insurance. Mandating that people buy health insurance of the state’s choice is an invasion of their freedom, but on the other hand, there is plenty of justification for dunning people who run up medical costs and expect others to cover them through higher premiums.”Under the personal responsibility alternative, the uninsured patient would be required to pay down an unpaid balance through income-tax payments year after year until it is retired.This says to the person who prefers not to obtain insurance: “Your government will not fine you for failing to buy health insurance. But if you are unlucky enough to run up a big medical bill that you can’t pay from your assets, you will be paying a piece of it off every year at tax time, possibly for the rest of your life. Are you sure you wouldn’t prefer to protect against that by investing in a high-deductible insurance policy with limited mandates, with a cap on out-of-pocket payments, and with your own tax-free Health Savings Account?”A state insurance purchase mandate is a repugnant to individual liberty. Holding people responsible for the medical expenses they incur is not an invasion of liberty. The choice couldn’t be more clear.John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute ( is external)).last_img read more

Chessable Masters: Carlsen first finalist; Nepomniachtchi holds

first_imgNepomniachtchi, I (2784)-Giri, A (2764) [A13] MATE IN TWO. (2.24) 2020 1.c4 e5 2.g3 d5 3.cxd5 Qxd5 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Nc3 Qd8 6.Bg2 Nf6 7.0-0 h6 8.d3 Bd6 9.a3 a5 10.b3 0-0 11.Bb2 Re8 12.Rc1 Bf5 13.h3 Qd7 14.Kh2 Nd4 15.Nd2 c6 16.e3 Nb5 17.Nxb5 cxb5 18.Nf3 Rad8 19.e4 Be6 20.Bxe5 Bxe5 21.Nxe5 Qd6 22.f4 Qxa3 23.d4 Bxb3 24.Qd3 Qb4 25.d5 Rc8 26.d6 Rcd8 27.d7 Nxd7 28.Nxd7 Bc4 29.Qd1 Qe7 0-1 PUZZLERS Carlsen, M (2863)-Ding, L (2791) [D38] A deciding third set was being played while we were writing this. The winner will face Carlsen in the $46,000 final. (2.22) 2020 Nepomniachtchi, I (2784)-Giri, A (2764) [C41] 1.Nf3 d5 2.e3 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.b3 c5 5.Bb2 Nc6 6.cxd5 exd5 7.Be2 d4 8.exd4 Nxd4 9.0-0 Be7 10.Nxd4 cxd4 11.Bf3 0-0 12.Re1 Rb8 13.Na3 b5 14.Qe2 Re8 15.Qd3 Bxa3 16.Bxa3 Bb7 17.Rxe8+ Qxe8 18.Bc5 Bxf3 19.Qxf3 Qe5 20.Bxa7 Re8 21.h3 h6 22.Rc1 Qd6 23.Bc5 Qd7 24.Qd3 Ne4 25.Bb6 Qd6 26.Qxd4 Qxd4 27.Bxd4 Nxd2 28.f3 Re2 29.Bc3 Kh7 30.Rd1 Nxf3+ 31.gxf3 Re3 32.Be1 Rxf3 33.Rd5 Re3 34.Kf1 Rf3+ 35.Bf2 b4 36.Rd4 Rxh3 37.Rxb4 g5 38.a4 Rh1+ 39.Bg1 1-0 There was no Internet disconnection this time for the Chinese grandmaster who lost the first set 3½-2½. Carlsen showed some nice play in the second set to prevail via a 2½-½ tally. WHITE TO MOVE, 1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Qa4+ Nc6 6.e3 0-0 7.Qc2 Re8 8.Bd2 Bf8 9.Be2 dxc4 10.Bxc4 Nb4 11.Qb1 b6 12.0-0 Bb7 13.Rd1 Qc8 14.a3 Nbd5 15.Bd3 c5 16.dxc5 Qxc5 17.Nxd5 Qxd5 18.Bc3 Qh5 19.Bxf6 Bxf3 20.gxf3 gxf6 21.f4 f5 22.Bf1 Bg7 23.Bg2 Rac8 24.Rd2 Red8 25.Rxd8+ Rxd8 26.Qc2 Bxb2 27.Qxb2 Rd1+ 28.Rxd1 Qxd1+ 29.Bf1 Qg4+ 30.Bg2 Qd1+ 31.Bf1 Qg4+ 32.Kh1 Qf3+ 33.Kg1 Qg4+ ½-½center_img 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.h3 e5 7.d5 Na6 8.Bg5 Bd7 9.Nd2 c6 10.Be2 Qb6 11.Rb1 Kh8 12.0-0 c5 13.a3 Qd8 14.b4 b6 15.Nb5 Qe7 16.Re1 h6 17.Bh4 Rfc8 18.Bd3 Qf8 19.Nf1 Nh5 20.Ne3 Bf6 21.Bxf6+ Nxf6 22.Nc3 Qe7 23.Bc2 Nb8 24.Qd2 Kg7 25.Kh2 cxb4 26.axb4 a5 27.Ra1 Na6 28.bxa5 bxa5 29.Rxa5 Nc5 30.Rea1 Rxa5 31.Rxa5 Qd8 32.Ra3 Rb8 33.f3 Nh7 34.Ne2 Qh4 35.Ra1 Nf6 36.Qe1 Qg5 37.Ra3 Nh5 38.g3 Qd8 39.Qa1 Nf6 40.f4 Qe7 41.Nc3 Kh7 42.f5 Kg7 43.Ra7 g5 44.Kg2 Qd8 45.Kf3 h5 46.Qc1 Qb6 47.Ra1 Rg8 48.Qd2 Qd8 49.Rg1 Rh8 50.h4 g4+ 51.Ke2 Kh7 52.Rb1 Qa5 53.Ned1 Rg8 54.Nf2 Qa6 55.Nb5 Rb8 56.Bd3 Bxb5 57.cxb5 Qa4 58.Qb4 Qa2+ 59.Qb2 Qa4 60.Qb4 Qa2+ 61.Rb2 Qa1 62.Rb1 Qa7 63.Qd2 Nxd3 64.Qxd3 Qa2+ 65.Kf1 Rc8 66.Qb3 Rc1+ 0-1 (2.23) 2020 ******* 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 exd4 4.Qxd4 Nc6 5.Bb5 Bd7 6.Qd3 Nf6 7.Nc3 Be7 8.a3 0-0 9.0-0 a6 10.Bc4 Ng4 11.Ba2 Nge5 12.Nxe5 Nxe5 13.Qe2 Bf6 14.Nd5 Bb5 15.c4 Bc6 16.Be3 Re8 17.Rac1 Nd7 18.Nxf6+ Qxf6 19.f3 a5 20.b3 b6 21.Qf2 Nc5 22.Rfd1 Qg6 23.b4 axb4 24.axb4 Nd7 25.c5 dxc5 26.bxc5 b5 27.Bf4 Ne5 28.Bd5 h6 29.Qg3 Qxg3 30.Bxg3 Ra6 31.Rb1 g5 32.Bxc6 Rxc6 33.Rxb5 Kg7 34.Rd5 Ng6 35.Rb7 Ne7 36.Rd7 Rxc5 37.Bxc7 Rc1+ 38.Kf2 Rc2 39.Kf1 Kg6 40.Rd6 Kg7 ½-½ Ding, L (2791)-Carlsen, M (2863) [A20] (2.22) 2020 The other semifinal first set winner, Anish Giri, met stubborn resistance from foe Ian Nepomniachtchi and went astray in difficult positions to lose the second set, 2½-1½, to the Russian GM. Ding, L (2791)-Carlsen, M (2863) [E90] (2.21) 2020 The key to our last problem is 1.Qd2! Black’s futile options are 1…Sa6 2.Qc3#; 1…Rxg4 2.Sxd7#; 1…Kd6 2.Se4#./PN World chess champion Magnus Carlsen defeated Liren Ding in the second set of matches of the semifinal round to enter the final stage of the Chessable Masters Tournament played on the server.last_img read more

Dunleavy Leaves Majority Caucus With Budget Vote

first_imgDunleavy said the budget had not been cut far enough and protested any use of the Permanent Fund’s earnings. FacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Wasilla State Senator Mike Dunleavy has left the Republican Majority caucus after voting against the party’s budget. The budget was passed last Thursday with Dunleavy the only Republican to vote ‘no.’ Sen. Kelly(R-Fairbanks): “His departure was quite gentlemanly and I don’t know that he’s truly articulated what his problems were. I’ve never quite understood them, because I’ve been here for a lot of years and I’ve never been in anything but a budget-cutting environment and every time we’ve cut the budget and taken the hit and done the hard work, there’s been someone who said, ‘oh, you didn’t cut enough.’” Voting for the majority’s budget is the key requirement to remain in the caucus. Dunleavy now loses his committee chairmanships, seat on the Finance Committee, and six extra staffers.center_img Senate President Pete Kelly told our partners at KENI that he’s not clear on why Dunleavy voted against the budget, which cut $270 million from the Governor’s initial proposal, but he respects Dunleavy’s decision… There has been broad speculation that Dunleavy is planning to run for Governor in 2018.last_img read more