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First Anniversary

One year at this.

I started off on May 2, 2012 with a shrill call to sanity concerning the processing of raw materials.  Since then, the 36 year commodities market failure has merely become a 37 year market failure.  I could remark on how disconcerting it is that newly developed gas and shale oil fields has still not changed the lack of impetus to build oil refineries and natural gas processing centers, but I’m going to set that aside until I tie in the 1973 start of the oil price rollercoaster.

Far more fascinating is that sanity in general has gone into full retreat in the last year.  The major brouhaha to explode today centered around the Oregon study finding improved health outcomes have been lacking in the Beaver State’s Medicaid recipients has led libertarian media and Republican politicians to decry increased funding for the low-income health insurance plans.  Liberal writers have leaped to Medicaid’s defense, but as far as I can tell fail to recognize the essential flaw in the “conservatives’” thought process—there are no Medicaid hospitals.

Medicaid is state-provided, federally funded health insurance.  Medicaid, like Medicare, is accepted at both public and private hospitals and health care providers (at least in theory—Medicaid is notoriously stingy).  Unlike the Veterans Administration, Medicaid and Medicare do not maintain a health care network of clinics and hospitals.  Where is the logic in deciding that if the health care outcomes for people on Medicaid are lacking the problem lies not with the health care delivery system but the payment system (unless the issue is Medicaid stinginess, in which case the proposed solution is to worsen the insurance program’s stinginess)?

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