Two excellent posts from Cato@Liberty. First, Michael Tanner provides an update on how well RomneyCare is working in Massachusetts.
Faced with rising costs that threaten to put the program $150–400 million per year over budget, the Massachusetts Connector Authority is now adopting a number of changes to RomneyCare. They include:
- Pressuring insurers not to increase premiums (ie. premium caps).
- Ordering insurers to cut reimbursements to hospitals and physicians by 3–5 percent.
- Reduce the choices available to consumers.
It seems that in the fight between economics and political dreams, economics wins. <sarcasm>How shocking.</sarcasm>
Second, Jim Harper discusses an issue separating Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama with implications far beyond the purported scope of what’s barely been discussed.
Senators Barack Obama (D-IL) and Hillary Clinton (D-NY) disagree quite starkly on whether illegal immigrants should be licensed — or, more accurately, on whether driver licensing and proof of immigration status should be linked.
The right answer here isn’t obvious, but it is important.
Many people believe that illegal immigrants shouldn’t be “rewarded” with drivers’ licenses. Fair enough: the rule of law is important. There’s also a theory that denying illegal immigrants “benefits” like driver licensing will make the country inhospitable enough that they will leave. This has not borne out, however. Denying illegal immigrants licenses has merely caused unlicensed and untrained driving, with the hit-and-run accidents and higher insurance rates that flow from that.
The major reason, though, why I agree with Senator Obama is because the linking of driver licensing and immigration status is part of the move to convert the driver’s license into a national ID card. Mission-creep at the country’s DMVs is not just causing growth in one of the least-liked bureaucracies. It’s creating the infrastructure for direct regulatory control of individuals by the federal government.
I agree with this. As a libertarian concern about unintended consequences drives some of my disdain for anything more than limited government. But as a libertarian who understands a little about history and tyrants, concern about intended consequences drives me more. Stupidity in government is bad. Evil in government is worse. Any politician who supports a national ID system is evil and must be stopped from enacting his or her plans.